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WHAT IS THIS TECHNOLOGY?

Critical business processes and operations depend on non-stop real-time access to IT systems that consist of applications and corresponding data.  It is now imperative to ensure continuity of critical IT systems and services through fast recovery against hardware, software, and site failures. IT professionals must think of integrated protection and recovery of whole systems required to support critical business processes and operations rather individual applications or data stores. To meet this need, NEC developed ExpressCluster X WAN software to provide integrated application and data disaster recovery solutions. ExpressCluster is designed to ensure continuity of business critical systems with fast recovery of application and data within minutes to minimize disruption of essential business processes.

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Tomorrow's Technology Today - Disaster Recovery


WHAT DOES THIS TECHNOLOGY DO?

Continuous business operations depend on reliable access to critical data and applications. In today’s global business environment, this dependency means that fast and effective disaster recovery is essential to systems that power complex, large-scale transactional applications or databases.  Within data centers, it is essential to have a back-up plan should a server fail, to ensure no data is lost, and that applications are available at all times. NEC ExpressCluster X WAN is an integrated disaster recovery solution for Windows, Linux and popular virtualization platforms.  This solution ensures application and data protection and recovery for wireless networks. 

ExpressCluster X WAN provides protection for generally all standard applications and data. Standard applications, such as database servers and applications, Web servers, and enterprise server applications, are supported without requiring source code changes or specially designed cluster-aware versions.  Standard data repositories, such as file and databases stored on conventional disks, are also readily supported without requiring data format changes.  ExpressCluster's broad-based application and operating system support enables a lower total cost of ownership (TCO) for consistent, application and data continuity management of standard e-commerce, email, database, Web and file systems running on physical and virtual server platforms.  In addition, support of software-based data mirroring eliminates the need for proprietary storage hardware systems, which further lowers TCO.

One of the key benefits of ExpressCluster is minimized unplanned downtime caused by server hardware, software or site failures.  By quickly detecting failures then recovering applications and data on a standby server, ExpressCluster reduces overall system downtime from hours or days to minutes.  Also, ExpressCluster can automatically transfer virtual host server identity between servers so client systems do not require reconfiguration in order to connect to the standby servers in event of primary server failures.

A second key benefit of ExpressCluster is minimized planned downtime. Unlike unplanned downtime, planned downtime is usually scheduled to perform necessary maintenance at times that minimize business impact: for example, planned downtime to apply security patches for OS or applications.  In such situation, ExpressCluster can easily move multiple applications and data workloads between servers with minimal system disruption and still allow planned maintenance on all servers to be performed without restrictions.  ExpressCluster can effectively eliminate the need to schedule extended planned downtime during off-business hours for maintenance purposes and reduce planned system downtime from hours to minutes.

Unlike most other solutions, ExpressCluster X WAN can recover applications and data without loss should an application, system, or site outage occur. This is because the ExpressCluster X WAN allows users to easily choose between synchronous and asynchronous data mirroring modes to meet a wide range of data protection needs. 

Synchronous data mirroring technology enables full data protection. Data written to the mirrored disk on the primary system is also written to the mirrored disk on the standby system, in real-time, as a single transaction. Under normal operating conditions, applications will only see successful data write operations if the data has been successfully written to both the primary and standby systems. If the standby server is unavailable (e.g. maintenance), ExpressCluster will allow write operations to be completed on the primary system, while tracking changes.  When the standby system becomes available again, it is quickly resynchronized with the primary system via ExpressCluster’s FastSync feature, and only the changed data is mirrored. This ensures that no data committed to the mirrored disk on the primary system is dropped and no data is lost.

There are some cases, however, where synchronous data mirroring is not strictly required because some data loss is acceptable. In such situations, the asynchronous data mirroring capability can be used to further simplify network requirements.

Asynchronous data mirroring differs from synchronous data mirroring by allowing data write operations to complete to the mirrored disk on the primary system without verifying data write completion on the standby system. Instead, data write operations to the standby system will be performed on a best effort basis. This depends on system and network conditions, and includes a slight level of the risk that some data will be lost if the primary system fails before the write operations to the standby system can be performed.

ExpressCluster can easily support a combination of different mirrored disks using synchronous and asynchronous data mirroring in the same cluster. Also, unlike other solutions, it allows quick change between synchronous and asynchronous mirroring modes without requiring major reconfiguration, ultimately providing protection for all standard applications and data.

In summary, NEC ExpressCluster X WAN features:

  • Fast integrated application and data disaster recovery for Windows, Linux and virtual systems with little or no application service and data loss
  • Synchronous/asynchronous data mirroring support for ease in choosing between full data protection and minimized WAN requirements
  • Virtual server identity support enables transparent server application and data workload migration
  • Unified web management console for easy and remote administration for increased usability and manageability
  • Standard and Enterprise application and operating system support lowers total cost of ownership of solution

Conclusion:

ExpressCluster X WAN focuses on providing superior application and data protection and recovery performance and TCO benefits through its support of standard applications, OS and data storage hardware.  ExpressCluster provides simple and cost effective solutions for unplanned downtime mitigation against hardware, software, and site failures and planned downtime mitigation against periodic hardware and software maintenance tasks that require system restart.


NEC Corporation of America
2880 Scott Blvd.
Santa Clara, CA 95050
Tel: +1-866-632-0767