Mirroring HP EVA4000 data

Business continuity expert Pierre Dorion offers advice to a reader seeking information about mirroring HP EVA4000 data.

I have a setup of two HP EVA4000 arrays. These are connected to two nodes participating in a cluster via Fibre Channel (FC) switch. I want to mirror the entire data of one EVA4000 into the other EVA4000. I do not want to implement Continuous Access Synchronous Replication.

Is there a reliable method to keep a mirror copy of the EVA4000 data? I want to implement host-level mirroring or software mirroring that can do this. Can you let me know how I can do this?

There are quite a few reasonably priced software products available to achieve that particular level of data protection. Neverfail, Datalink, Data Domain, XOSoft, TimeData and FalconStor (just to name a few) provide various features and levels of functionality. However, simply naming "the best product" is not that easy. In your particular case, you indicate that you want to avoid using HP's Continuous Access Synchronous Replication. The situation seems to indicate you are seeking a point-in-time or snapshot type of replication rather than synchronous mirroring; the assumption is that you probably want to mitigate the risk of suffering data loss or corruption on two copies simultaneously.

In any case, you must answer a few questions before selecting the type of product that will best meet your business requirements:

What type of data are you trying to protect? Certain products are database-aware and will take into consideration logs and configuration files during creation of the copy or snapshot. These products interface with the database application to ensure data integrity and provide the ability to "roll-forward" using transaction logs.

How cluster-aware must the software be? Some of the products listed above will range from fully automated failover capability to failover with manual intervention (i.e., Datalink, XOSoft or NeverFail).

What level of granularity do you require with respect to the recovery point objective (RPO)? Some software products can "journal" the changes allowing you to "play-back" changes to a specific point-in-time. (i.e., TimeData) or allow multiple point-in-time copies (FalconStor).

By first answering these questions, you will be able to narrow down your search to the products that meet your requirements. The rest of the selection process can then focus on added functionality and cost.

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