Can Your WAN Handle a Disaster?

Arthur Cole

If your enterprise is like most, you've got an extensive disaster recovery program in place. But according to a new Forrester survey, more than two-thirds of you lack the WAN bandwidth needed for a speedy recovery.


The report was commissioned by F5 Networks, a WAN acceleration provider, so it shouldn't surprise anyone that it recommends better acceleration technologies, rather than increased bandwidth.


Still, it's sobering to learn that only 16 percent of North American enterprises have centralized data protection and remote backup capabilities for more than 80 percent of their remote sites.


Improving the WAN is taking center stage in a number of recent disaster recovery upgrades. One case study in ServerWatch took a look at Fidelity Bank in Edina, Minn., in which the company realized that recovery from a remote replication site could take days without some sort of optimization solution. The company quickly installed a series of NX appliances from Silver Peak Systems.


As software providers and service organizations continue to team up on disaster recovery solutions, the LAN and WAN will become increasingly important. Service provider Status Technologies recently inked a deal with Double-Take Software to extend Double-Take's WAN/LAN-based replication and recovery systems to Stratus customers.


This is all well and good, provided the WAN infrastructure remains in tact. But what to do in the wake of a truly devastating event that knocks out virtually all systems and structures? IBM and Cisco say they have a solution in the form of the command Network Emergency Response Vehicle (NERV III). It's basically an armored truck that offers electrical power, phones, satellite and wireless connectivity, plus enough server and storage capability to keep you going while recovery is under way.


Fortunately, very few enterprises will have to endure such an extreme circumstance. But on the off chance that something catastrophic does happen, it's good to know whom to call.

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