IBM has announced its latest disaster recovery technology, which it claims can backup data over distances of more than 180 miles in three to five seconds - three times faster than competing technologies.

Called the TotalStorage Global Mirror for the TotalStorage Enterprise Storage Server (ESS), the technology uses asynchronous peer-to-peer remote copy technology and allows massive data transfers between two locations linked by Fibre Channel. It can write data at 23,000 I/O's per second.

Available from May, it is aimed at companies that want to preserve their data in the face of regional disasters such as hurricanes or earthquakes. The business continuity market is estimated by IDC to be growing twice as fast as the rest of the IT market, reaching $118 billion by 2007.

"In the context of outages - planned or unplanned - every second is of critical importance," said Tom Hawk, IBM's general manager of Enterprise Storage. "The value of lost, or saved, data is virtually incalculable. Global Mirror is designed to help customers maintain high availability among business processes and key business applications in a cost-conscious manner - across the globe and at some of the fastest speeds available today."

The Global Mirror technology itself is available as part of the IBM TotalStorage Resiliency Family, which also includes FlashCopy, Peer-to-Peer Remote Copy and the Geographically Dispersed Parallel Sysplex software.

Both Global Mirror and Metro Mirror start at $23,000.