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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