Disaster Recovery for Windows Environments

In the wake of the terrorist attacks of last Tuesday that destroyed the twin towers of the World Trade Center and left the Pentagon heavily damaged, analyst firm Gartner made some of its disaster recovery research freely available as a public service.

One report published in June, "Disaster Recovery: Weighing Data Replication Alternatives" discusses various software and hardware approaches that can help an enterprise prepare its data for potential catastrophes.

While Gartner's research is geared toward the heterogeneous enterprise, several of the solutions in the Gartner report dealt with point solutions for Windows environments.

The three most established solutions listed by Gartner were Legato Octopus, a data shadowing product that runs on Windows NT or Windows 2000; Legato Co-StandbyServer, a mirroring technology supporting only Windows NT; and NSI Double-Take, a shadowing technology that supports Windows NT, Windows 2000 and Microsoft Cluster Service for wide-area cluster support.

"For Windows environments, file-based replication solutions from NSI Software and Legato Systems have garnered a significant number of installations," the report states.

Veritas also recently entered the market with its Veritas Storage Replicator, which supports Windows NT and Windows 2000. However, Gartner notes that there are fewer than 100 customer deployments on the Veritas offering, suggesting customers could be taking risks on an immature product for a function that requires the utmost reliability.

Another relative newcomer to disaster recovery is the log shipping in Microsoft SQL Server Enterprise Edition, Gartner notes. That also has not surpassed the 100 customer threshold, although Gartner notes that it's the only one of the Windows-only products that is transaction aware.

Oracle provides its own transaction-aware log shipping product for database recovery in its Oracle Standby Database, which surpasses Gartner's 100-customer threshold. The product depends on the Oracle database but supports all platforms, including Windows, that Oracle's database supports.

To access Gartner's free section on disaster recovery, click here

About the Author

Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.


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