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Storage Expo If you're shopping for remote back-up services or software, make sure the storage behind it is up to the job, because choosing the right hardware is not as simple as it might seem.

"We started out with two ATA arrays and it worked, but it didn't mirror fast enough," warns Michael Tremblath, a director of online back-up company Datalifeline. "We had to buy NetApp filers and use them with NetApp's SnapMirror software."

He says the problem came when Datalifeline mirrored standard RAID arrays between its datacentres in London and Gateshead. These copied files fast enough, but once Windows-based replication software was added to the equation, it needed to scan each file at start up to determine which needed to be mirrored to the other site, and this made the process far too slow.

"A lot of companies have bought remote backup software to run on mirrored RAID, and it doesn't work," Tremblath asserts. "We've found it requires hardware designed for the purpose." ®

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