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Hewlett-Packard on Tuesday announced three new additions to its HP StorageWorks Business Continuance Software portfolio that are designed to drastically improve replication and automatic failover capabilities of HP StorageWorks EVA (Enterprise Virtual Array) midrange arrays.

Available this quarter, the HP Metrocluster, HP Continentalclusters and HP StorageWorks Cluster Extension EVA enable HP-UX and Microsoft Windows customers to better combat planned or unplanned system downtime.

These applications do this by failing over the entire server cluster and storage site beyond just a local data center, said Belinda Wilson, executive director of business continuity and availability for Palo Alto, Calif.-based Hewlett-Packard Co.

Relating to HP-UX environments, Metrocluster and Contentinalclusters are layers of middleware that provide continuous access.

They sit between server clustering and midrange array-based replication capability in such a way that servers and storage can be protected with replicated instances of data using EVA at long distances via a single product.

Read more here about replication in a clustering environment.

Metrocluster offers synchronous replication featuring automatic and bidirectional failover and fail back operations. The cluster is limited to 260 kilometers and supports up to 16 HP 9000 and Integrity servers.

For its part, Continentalclusters provides asynchronous replication, extends beyond 260 km for greater geographic stretching of data and supports up to 32 HP 9000 and Integrity servers per Continentalclusters deployment.

HP’s new host-based application, called Cluster Extension, integrates Continuous Access EVA remote mirroring and Microsoft Cluster Service.

The software offers the same functionality for both local metropolitan and wide-area failover and fail back as Metrocluster and Continentalclusters, but is specifically designed to perform those disaster recovery tasks within Windows environments.

“What [midrange array and SMB (small and midsize businesses) customers] really need are other sites that can map them up almost with a duplication of their facility without having to have a duplication done,” Wilson said.

“Because of [growing] database sizes, it makes sense to ether vault or replicate your data. Before you could just reload from tape, and that’s just not feasible anymore.”

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