Compaq Finds FC-IP Storage Progress

In a time when business contingency plans are huge for computerized data storage, Houston's Compaq Computer Corp. Monday unveiled Fibre Channel and Internet Protocol (FC-IP) technology to implement global data replication networks.

Also known as storage tunneling, FC-IP enables the transmission of Fibre Channel information by tunneling data between storage area network (SAN) facilities over IP networks, facilitating data sharing over a geographically distributed enterprise.

With Compaq's development, the SANworks Data Replication Manager software, FC-IP is being used by The South Financial Group to realize long-distance data replication. The application allows remote data replication in real time, which essentially makes storage networks disaster tolerant, allowing customers to use regional SANs as recovery sites within the broader national or global infrastructure using IP networking.

The South Financial Group implemented its DRM FC-IP solution to safeguard against the potentially disastrous impact of inclement weather on the southeast U.S. coast.

"We live in a region vulnerable to hurricanes and tropical storms. We needed our SAN in Lexington, South Carolina to be fully replicated to another SAN-based data recovery center at our headquarters 105 miles away in Greenville," said Hart Raley, vice president of client services for The South Financial Group. "With Fibre Channel and FC-IP technology from Compaq, we designed a redundant infrastructure to improve performance and protect our data."

While it's work with The South Financial Group is its latest FC-IP development, it is not the first. Compaq confirmed the existence of similar software pacts with Oracle and Giant Loop Networks.

"As Compaq brings its FC-IP offering to the market, it also brings a desire to fully test remote copy solutions," said Dianne McAdam, analyst at research firm Illuminata Inc. "This is not easy stuff. To have completed interoperability testing with three partners gives the user community alternatives when considering the addition of FC-IP-based solutions to their business continuance plans."

To be sure, next to virtualization, replication may be the hottest ticket in the storage industry, largely due to the catastrophic events of 9-11. Since that day, an oft-repeated buzzphrase, "business contingency" has come to the fore in the enterprise. Analysts feel the market demand for FC-IP-based remote replication will blossom because of this, but also because the approach lowers long-distance operational costs. FC-IP data recovery applications run over existing network infrastructure so contingency plans don't require customers to allocate dedicated optic cables for Fibre Channel traffic.

In related storage industry news, Dell said Monday that the National Football League (NFL) will install and use only Dell servers and Dell EMC storage systems for the next year, and will loom as the the official computer systems provider of Super Bowl XXXVI. For the Super Bowl, Dell PowerEdge 6450 servers will process game-day statistics and manage other tasks.


Want the latest storage insights?