[ISN] Firms face disaster over WAN bottlenecks

From: InfoSec News (alerts@private)
Date: Thu Mar 29 2007 - 22:37:40 PST


By Bryan Betts
29 March 2007

Two-thirds of large enterprises don't have enough bandwidth to replicate 
or backup their remote sites in an emergency, according to a survey of 
IT managers and directors.

IT managers simply don't have enough bandwidth to meet the demands of 
their disaster recovery plans, and most of them will find a big chunk of 
their sites isolated in a disaster, according to the report, produced by 
Forrester Consulting, and commissioned by F5 Networks. But the answer 
may not be more bandwidth - users can make better use of the bandwidth 
they have, instead of adding more in a bid to catch up with impossible 

"Only 16 percent of North American respondents and 15 percent of 
European respondents report that 80 percent or more of their remote 
sites are protected with centralised data replication or remote backup 
technologies," the report says. "This means that enterprises are either 
relying on local backups and offsite tape vaulting for disaster 
recovery, or there is no disaster recovery solution in place at all. 
Either situation is not good for enterprises."

The report advises - perhaps not too surprisingly, given that it was 
sponsored by a WAN acceleration vendor - that instead of simply buying 
more bandwidth, companies should consider WAN acceleration technology. 
It adds that, on average, European IT bosses are less aware of this 
technology and its potential than are their North American counterparts.

The risk, according to F5 Networks, is that untreated WAN bottlenecks 
may push organisations into cutting back either the number of 
applications they protect, or the number of sites.

"Our concern is that companies are settling for stripped-down disaster 
recovery systems when they don't need to," commented Ameet Dhillon, F5's 
product management director. "Disaster recovery efforts can be made many 
times more efficient by using WAN optimisation devices like our WANJet, 
and at a fraction of the cost these companies are spending on 

The Forrester authors conclude: "When evaluating WAN acceleration 
appliances, focus on the vendors that have made the time and investment 
to test the interoperability of their appliance with independent 
software vendors, storage vendors, and storage networking vendors. Also 
look for case studies and/or customer references that prove its 
capabilities and intended benefits."

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