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Doubling Up On Databases

PeerDirect eases replication among databases from different vendors
As company I.T. systems become more distributed, replicating, synchronizing, and distributing data is getting tougher. PeerDirect Corp. this week will debut software for distributing data throughout a company and to mobile employees.

The PeerDirect Distributed Enterprise Suite, available now, provides bidirectional data-replication capabilities for synchronizing databases in a company's data center with databases in field offices and other remote locations. While most databases have replication capabilities, they're generally limited to databases from the same vendor.

PeerDirect software supports databases from multiple vendors and open-source systems. That way, data from an Oracle database in one location, for example, can be copied to a Microsoft SQL Server database in another. "That's a real plus," says Ian Campbell, chief research officer at market research firm Nucleus Research Inc.

The redundancy provided by data synchronization can improve system availability and resilience. If the connection between a field office and a business data center is broken, employees in the field office can continue to work off the local database instead of waiting for the connection to be restored. "The value of that alone is pretty high," Campbell says. Once the connection is restored, changes made to either database are automatically updated in the other.

BankOne Corp.'s security operation is using PeerDirect software to synchronize databases in its Chicago and Phoenix centers that monitor security at 2,250 BankOne branch locations. When emergency contact lists and branch-location information is updated in one database, it's automatically replicated to the other, says Ken Kreterfield, corporate security operations manager. The PeerDirect software already has maintained database integrity through two failover incidents, he says.

PeerDirect InnerEdge Server, priced at $25,000, is for use within a business data center. The PeerDirect OuterEdge Server, for remote locations, is $1,000.

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