Start-up Axxana ties disaster recovery gear to EMC software

Axxana "black box" enters general availability

Storage start-up Axxana has made its disaster recovery black box generally available and integrated the system with EMC's RecoverPoint software.

Six months after unveiling a "black box" for disaster recovery, the storage start-up Axxana has made the product generally available and integrated the system with EMC's RecoverPoint software.

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Axxana stores critical data on flash memory inside a 400-pound black box designed to survive terrorist attacks and natural disasters, and transmits the data wirelessly in the wake of such an event. Axxana on Wednesday announced the product's general availability and integration with RecoverPoint, which performs continuous data protection and remote replication.

The black box, known as the Phoenix System, is being deployed by Banco Caixa Geral- Spain, a large financial institution, and is being tested by several other organizations including an Israeli systems integrator known as Bynet Data Communications, according to Axxana. The Phoenix box is priced in the six-figure range, but Axxana says it lowers the cost of zero data-loss protection over great distances by bridging the gap between synchronous and asynchronous mirroring.

With asynchronous mirroring a business can replicate data to another site no matter how far away, but some bits of data could be lost. With synchronous mirroring, no data is lost but you're limited by distance to about 45 miles, application performance can be affected, and it may be pricey, according to Axxana.

With the help of EMC's RecoverPoint, Axxana's approach uses asynchronous mirroring to send most of the data long distances, while preserving the small bits of data that otherwise would be lost in the Axxana black box. If the Phoenix black box can be physically accessed after a disaster, the customer grabs the data from an Ethernet port. If it can't be physically accessed, the box will transmit the data over a wireless network.

David Vellante, co-founder of Wikibon and CEO of Barometrix, a CIO advisory firm, writes that "Axxana's integration with RecoverPoint means EMC customers can do economically what previously only the largest data centers, particularly those in the financial services sector, could do with mainframe-class technology - that is provide a near zero data loss solution. Previously this required very expensive, high end storage, many copies of data and often a third data center."

EMC's endorsement is "a big credibility booster" for Axxana, but the start-up is still small, new and unproven, Vellante writes. "The big knock on the solution is it uses cellular technology to get the data out. It's too slow and potentially unreliable. Axxana will have to improve this over time," according to Vellante.

Axxana is based in Tel Aviv, Israel and its founders include CEO Eli Efrat and CTO Alex Winokur, a former IBM master inventor.


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