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Using replication for remote site backup

Independent storage expert Greg Schulz offers insight on how replication is used for remote site backup in this Expert Response.

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How is replicationbeing used for remote site backup today?

Replication tools are used in many different ways, and it's used locally as well as over distances -- from a remote office to a central site. Replication is often used in conjunction with backup. Here's a key point, though: Replication by itself is not a replacement for remote site backup. It needs to be combined with some kind of point-in-time or time-based protection.

These days, replication tools are being integrated with traditional backup tools. Instead of the backup tools going out and collecting the data, they are used for their tracking capability. They are receiving snapshots, data that is being replicated, ingesting it into the backup software and then cataloging and tracking it.

Another thing that's important to mention: synchronous versus asynchronous replication. Synchronous replication is real-time -- whether it's local or over distance. Asynchronous replication is time-delayed. So if you need that real-time coverage (whatever is written to Site A is written to Site B), then you need to be looking at synchronous. If you can tolerate a delay of anywhere from a few seconds to a few minutes, asynchronous comes into play.

This was first published in March 2013

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