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Bank gives up on EMC replication

First Independent Bank struggled for eight months to get EMC's MirrorView to work over a low-bandwidth connection, eventually giving up and using Kashya instead.

When First Independent Bank in Vancouver, Wash., was looking to replicate 500 GB of critical data from an EMC Corp. Clariion CX600 array over a 3 Mbps bonded T1 link to a disaster recovery site in Portland, Ore., early last year, its first choice was EMC's MirrorView replication product. The bank's local reseller, InterNetwork Experts (now called INX Inc.) had initially recommended MirrorView. In addition to Clariion, the bank uses Legato NetWorker elsewhere in its environment.

But try as it might, the bank could not get MirrorView to work.

"They tried from February to October of 2005 to get it working," according to Duane Swizer, director of technical operations for First Independent Bank. Swizer was hired last September.

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"It would work in-house, but they never got it to work over in Portland," Swizer said.

After some investigation, EMC returned a report saying that the bank would need a T3 connection for Mirrorview to work. That's about 15 times the bandwidth of the bank's bonded T1 link and at least three times the cost per month.

"That was well outside what we wanted to do," Swizer said. "That's when our reseller told us about Kashya [Inc.] instead."

According to Swizer, Kashya came in last November and demonstrated that it could get the bank's remote replication product, the KBX5000, working over a single T1 -- half the bandwidth the bank had originally reserved for MirrorView.

"And they got it working in less than a week," according to Swizer.

Currently, the KBX5000 replicates core banking systems, including customer loan accounts, safe deposit boxes and customer information linked to accounts from the Clariion SAN at First Independent Bank's headquarters. In the future, Swizer said, the bank will be looking to add secondary data, such as loan documents and Exchange data, representing about 700 GB and currently stored on an HP MSL 5000 tape library and backed up using Legato NetWorker. The tapes are sent off site with Iron Mountain Inc..

Right now, Swizer said he is looking into local replication for Exchange in particular, or to move Exchange to the Clariion SAN so that it can be replicated.

Kashya consolidates its product

Kashya might have some good news for Swizer on the local replication and consolidation front. This week it announced a new version of the KBX5000, called R 2.3. The product allows Kashya's three main software modules: CDP backup, and local and remote replication, to run on the same machine – any WinTel-based server, according to Kashya's vice president of marketing Rick Walsworth. It's usually delivered to customers on an IBM xSeries server. The three modules can be viewed and managed through one Java-based interface and can be accessed remotely by storage administrators.

Moreover, the new KBX software contains lookup tables for Oracle SQL and Exchange, capable of recognizing certain patterns, such as a hot backup in Oracle, which it will then mark in a journal file so that users can roll back to events rather than points in time.

Other R 2.3 improvements mean that the user can choose whether applications are backed up locally, remotely or using both methods on an individual basis -- so for example, Exchange could be set to be replicated locally, while Oracle was set to replicate remotely using the same appliance.

"I can definitely see us using that product," said Swizer. "Most banks use tape and a SunGuard hot site, but we're trying to get our five key branches back up within an hour and do it ourselves … Replicating Exchange locally with this product, while still replicating our core banking data remotely, could be key to that."


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