Always a topic of great interest, disaster prevention and recovery requires constant vigilance on the part of database professionals, and in recent years that job has gotten even more complex. This year's winners not only provide advanced data-protection features, but also help database professionals cope with the requirements to meet legislated governmental standards for privacy and data protection.

Best Database Backup/Recovery Hardware. EMC's Centera walked away with this award for its networked storage solution, which is designed exclusively for fixed content—that is, unchanging digital assets such as archived e-mails, electronic documents, and MRIs. This content addressed storage (CAS) solution lets you have unlimited online access to vast amounts of permanently stored data, meeting businesses' requirements for random access and simultaneous use. The product is designed to work with integrated applications and custom applications. In addition, EMC Centera Governance Edition and Compliance Edition Plus are specially designed to enable compliance with enterprise governance needs. And EMC appeals to businesses of various sizes by offering smaller-capacity, rackable configurations that deliver the benefits of active archiving with a reduced footprint and a mid-tier price.

Best Database Backup/Recovery/Archive Software. In the database backup and recovery arena, Imceda Software's LiteSpeed 2005 for Microsoft SQL Server (now a Quest Software product) got high praise from an enthusiastic pool of voters. "This application has saved my patooticles on numerous occasions!" claimed one anatomically challenged voter. This backup-and-recovery solution features high compression rates (as high as 90 percent) that significantly reduce backup and recovery times for large volumes of data. In addition, LiteSpeed can provide fully encrypted database backups for added security that helps you comply with regulatory standards put forth by HIPAA, Sarbanes-Oxley, and the UK Data Protection Act. The product seamlessly integrates with your existing infrastructure without requiring proprietary hardware or applications. LiteSpeed is fully programmable and scriptable with T-SQL and command-line interfaces, and features an easy-to-use GUI that prompted one voter to call this product "absolutely the best on the market!"

Best High-Availability Solution. High-availability clustering solutions often encounter multiple challenges, including incorrect configurations and lack of robust support services. Dell's PowerEdge servers form the basis for the company's winning high-availability solutions, which meet those challenges head-on. Dell's solutions combine PowerEdge server clusters, PowerVault storage systems, commonly used software, and services into order-ready packages designed to help customers quickly deploy computing environments that provide maximum system uptime.

Best Replication Solution. Heavy competition in the replication category resulted in a tie between two providers, Dell and VERITAS. Dell/EMC storage solutions provide replication-support options that include SAN and fibre-channel storage for entry-level, mid-level, and enterprise-level RAID arrays. The company also offers software and hardware replication solutions tailored to the needs of different businesses, and it is the variety of solutions that Dell offers that made this company the pick for many voters. To serve the replication needs of small businesses, Dell provides Replication Manager, software that can manage the entire information-replication process from discovery and configuration to operation of multiple disk replicas. EMC SnapView software helps midsized and larger businesses cost-effectively accelerate backup and recovery through disk-based "instant restore" of production data. EMC SAN Copy lets larger businesses quickly move data between multi-vendor storage systems without affecting server cycles or LAN bandwidth. And the company's EMC Visual-SAN products let you visually monitor and manage multi-vendor SAN environments.

Voters were also sold on VERITAS Replication Exec and Volume Replicator, replication solutions that address the specific needs of smaller and larger businesses. Replication Exec, which works closely with Backup Exec and is geared for small to midsized businesses, copies an organization's data from remote office servers to a central location at the main office backup and storage. By centralizing backups, organizations can reduce costs by eliminating the need to invest in hardware, media, and administration at each remote office. Volume Replicator, which works with Storage Foundation and is geared for enterprises, replicates data to remote locations over any IP network to prevent data loss and prolonged downtime. The product can replicate data over any distance across a standard IP network to 32 secondary locations, either synchronously or asynchronously, providing the foundation for seamless availability across sites.



Best Disaster-Prevention- Recovery Tools

Best Database Backup/Recovery Hardware


EMC, EMC Centera
866-283-8841, 703-970-5818, http://www.emc.com/products/systems/centera.jsp
Price: Base list price is less than $100,000 for a 2.2TB system

Best Database Backup/Recovery/Archive Software


Imceda Software, LiteSpeed 2005 for Microsoft SQL Server
888-763-7685, 781-229-6300 http://www.imceda.com
Price: $719 per CPU

Best High-Availability Solution


Dell, PowerEdge Servers
800-999-3355, 512-338-4400 http://www1.us.dell.com/content/products/category.aspx/servers?c=us&cs=555&l=en&s=biz
Price: Contact vendor for pricing

Best Replication Solution—Tie


Dell, Dell/EMC
800-999-3355, 512-338-4400 http://www1.us.dell.com/content/products/compare.aspx/sanet?c=us&cs=555&l=en&s=biz
Price: Contact vendor for pricing

VERITAS, Replication Exec and Volume Replicator
800-327-2232, 650-527-8000
http://www.veritas.com
Price: $1495