BT plans to launch a remote data back-up service based on an extended Fibre Channel SAN, but is keeping tight-lipped about how it will sell it.
A BT Cellnet representative said the company is working with Compaq on a trial network which runs between Holborn and London's Docklands. The SAN will stretch over 40km, and the two companies expect to extend that to 70km by the end of the year.
But BT was unable to confirm if it would be marketed through its channel partners, or the telco's business sales team.
The system uses BT's channel extension service 1000, which runs Compaq's SAN technology that allows distant site link-ups.
Donal Madden, storage division representative at Compaq, said remote mirroring will replace existing back-up techniques. "Our customers are looking to reduce the recovery times associated with tape back-up," he said. The service claims to restore data within four minutes.
Anoop Ubhey, analyst at researcher Frost & Sullivan, said reduction of downtime was the most important feature of back-up technologies, but that SAN uptake would not mean the end of the road for tape storage. "Vendors have been using mirroring. People said tape was going to die a while back, but there are still users and there are many advantages of using this technology," he said.
BT and Compaq expect a boom in data storage over the next 12 months.
Shaun McCaughan, business continuity solutions manager at Compaq, said: "Fibre Channel SAN allows companies to access and protect their critical data."
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