The Riverbed Blog (testing)

A blog in search of a tagline

Data Security through WDS

Posted by riverbedtest on July 9, 2008

Several recent events serve to highlight the importance of data security.  A short while ago Bank of New York Mellon Corp confirmed that a box of unencrypted data storage tapes that was lost by a third-party vendor responsible for transporting the data to an off-site facility.  The tapes contained the personal information of more than 4.5 million individuals.  Only a week later after the BoNY Mellon incident, State Street Bank confirmed the loss of the personal information of more than 45,000 employees and customers stored on disk.

The unfortunate fact is that these types of incidents have occurred with regular frequency in the past.  And they are certain to continue happening in the future until corporations adopt the latest network-based approaches to secure data replication.   That is specifically the reason why many enterprises purchased Riverbed–to securely transport their data by transmitting it over their WAN infrastructure instead of through a third-party courier service.  Because the WAN transfer is over private leased lines or encrypted VPN’s, it is secure in the network.  Because the data is never stored on tapes or other separate media, there is nothing that can be physically stolen.  Because no third parties are involved in the transfer of data, there is no requirement to trust unknown entities.

Of course, the personal information on 4.5 million individuals can amount to a very large amount of data,  perhaps hundreds of gigabytes, or multiple terabytes of data.  The network infrastructure required to efficiently transport that amount of data can be costly.  Without a WDS solution in place, such a WAN infrastructure needed to transport that amount of data may not be affordable by many organizations.

But that is where a WDS solution can enable an existing legacy WAN infrastructure to replicate vast amounts of data.  WDS can allow an existing T1 or DS-3 WAN infrastructure to efficiently and cost-effectively transport hundreds of gigabytes of multiple terabytes of data, within a matter of hours.

The best part of it is that the data replication tools that you use can be as simple or complex as you desire.  You can use something as simple as FTP or even the DOS diskcopy utility to transfer your data.  Or you may opt to use something more sophisticated, such as a storage replication tool like Netapp Snapmirror, or a software-based host replication tool such as Symantec NetBackup.  The WDS solution works transparently with any WAN replication tool or product.

However you choose to copy or transfer your data over the WAN, the Riverbed WDS solution allows your WAN infrastructure to perform as if it were many times larger.  It can allow physical T1 WAN links (1.5Mbps) to sustain data transfer throughputs of as much as 50-60Mbps.  WDS can allow physical DS-3 WAN links (45Mbps) to transfer data at throughputs of several hundred Mbps.  Thousands of Riverbed customers already know this, and as a result their Riverbed WDS solutions allow them to perform backup and data replication processes with even greater frequency and regularity than before, which of course further enhances data security.

One Response to “Data Security through WDS”

  1. Mead said

    Great points something interesting that departments who are looking at WDS devices may have not considered.

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