Essex Investments was looking for a cost-effective way to meet its data-replication needs. Instead of buying a comprehensive system, it choose an a la carte approach, sandwiching Permabit software between Dell hardware and an end-user data solution by CommVault.
Essex Investments went live with Permabit's compliance system, Permeon Compliance Vault, 10 months ago, and has been beta testing its newly released Permeon Replication feature for just over three weeks. Randy Wilson, assistant VP of IT at the Boston-based investment management firm, says the replication feature appears to be fitting the bill. "It does what it's designed to do," he says.
Permabit, a Cambridge, Mass-based content and storage software company, this week made the Permeon Replication software widely available. The software, which has a second-copy functionality, was created to complement its compliance platform, Permeon Compliance Vault. It's aimed at helping institutions meet regulatory requirements, specifically SEC Rule 17a-4, which stipulates a duplicate copy of archived electronic records must be stored separately from originals.
The Permeon Replication feature is designed to store non-rewritable and non-erasable WORM (Write Once, Read Many) file attributes at a separate physical location. In order to minimize additional cost, it uses standard TCPIP communications and existing network infrastructure to pass data from one Permeon system to another.
Essex Investments has a local Permeon system at its headquarters. The replication software makes copies of this data and sends it through a T1 line to its disaster recovery facility in Watertown, Mass. The process is automated; Essex Investments can schedule the replication at a particular time, any day of the week.
Wilson says he's yet to push massive amounts of data over the T1 line, which makes it difficult for him to assess the maximum efficiency of the feature's replication speed. However, from the tests Wilson has run, he's been able to push about 150 megabytes of data in just over five minutes. "I don't think speed's been an issue so far, but it's a little early for me to be making that call," he says.
The one call Wilson can make is the need to improve the Permeon replication software's error e-mail and messaging capabilities, to make room for more error-checking. Because Essex Investments' has a three-person IT staff, a hands-off storage software solution is essential. "I don't have resources to put towards this type of functionality," says Wilson. "I just want [the software] to tell me when something's wrong."