SteelEye has upgraded its LifeKeeper product to replicate data faster across a WAN.

LifeKeeper Data Replication v5.2 speeds up replication for Windows servers. It achieves over 90 percent bandwidth utilisation without recourse to hardware accelerators or data compression boxes.

SteelEye claims the product uses software techniques that assure a constant and optimal flow of data across any wide-area connection, regardless of latency. It replicates data, using mirroring, at the block level, below Windows' file system layer. Only changed data is replicated which reduces the burden on a WAN. By boosting speed SteelEye says its product is suitable for continuous data protection applications.

Availl's Continuous Data Protection wide area file system product uses a similar technique.

Bob Williamson, VP products at SteelEye, said: "With most other offerings, you have to buy separate hardware accelerators to achieve the same performance levels that our software-only solution delivers. For 20 percent of the cost, our customers get the same or better performance across their WANs as well as the option to add high availability clusters for comprehensive application protection.”

The accelerated replication traffic can hog bandwidth. To stop that happening per-mirror replication throttles, also called speed limits, have been implemented to provide administrators complete control over cross-site bandwidth usage. (This way SteelEye sells both a software accelerator and a software brake.)

SteelEye also provides a SAP-specific version of LifeKeeper. You can find out more about LifeKeeper for Windows here.