Infinidat Blog

InfiniBox Concurrent Multi-site Replication: Taking the Lead for Data Protection

If protecting your data against any and all types of threats is critically important to your organization, Infinidat now offers you the industry’s best multi-site data protection among all enterprise-class storage offerings. 

  • The industry’s only solution that can concurrently provide zero RPO (no data loss) at zero RTO (continuous operation without human intervention) in a metropolitan area while asynchronously replicating data to a third (or fourth) site located at distance with near-zero (single-digit seconds) RPO. 
  • These features are based upon and fully integrated with InfiniSnap, Infinidat’s industry-leading snapshot technology that provides space-efficient, zero performance impact snapshots.
  • These features are standard and included with all InfinBox storage systems, or can be added to existing InfiniBox systems with a non-disruptive, no-cost software upgrade 

The concept of protecting data by making a copy of it at a remote location has a long and rich history. The foundation is, of course, creating backup copies of data that were then transported to a remote location, so that if the primary data were ever compromised then the backup copy could be used to restore the data. For decades, unprotected disks were the media of choice for enterprise data and tape became the media of choice for remote backup copies. The Recovery Time Objective (RTO) for when things could be back to “normal” after data loss back then (assuming that recovery plans were well executed) was usually measured in days. The Recovery Point Objective (RPO) — the state of the data at the time the backup copy had been created —- was also typically days out of synchronization with the state of the business, and all data created beyond the point of the last backup would typically be lost. 

In a perfect world RTO should be zero — instantaneous continuous operation after an event, without requiring any human intervention. Perfect RPO should also be zero — no data loss despite an event. In the pursuit of this ideal, there have been several game-changing inflection points:

  • 1994, Digital Equipment Corporation introduced OpenVMS Multi-Datacenter Facility (MDF), later renamed Business Recovery Server (BRS). This was a distance-stretched (up to 25 miles) synchronous implementation of OpenVMS clusters. It enabled one data center to keep running if the other failed, providing the world’s first zero RPO at near-zero RTO data protection solution. It was server-based, and required all hardware and software to be from Digital. 

  • 1994, EMC Corporation introduced Symmetrix Remote Data Facility (SRDF), the world’s first storage-based synchronous remote data replication solution, able to provide zero RPO at near-zero RTO for multiple servers. Over the next decade all major storage competitors scrambled to follow EMC’s lead and introduce their own replication products, as synchronous, asynchronous, and eventually multi-site solutions evolved. 

  • 2010, EMC Corporation introduced VPLEX, the world’s first technology to finally offer zero RPO data protection at zero RTO within synchronous distances. Much of the technical foundation of VPLEX was from EMC’s 2008 acquisition of Yotta Yotta. 

  • 2017, Pure Storage introduced ActiveCluster, the first zero RPO at zero RTO synchronous replication solution from a storage vendor other than Dell EMC. 

  • 2019, Infinidat introduced Active-Active replication for InfiniBox, providing an easy to deploy, standard-and-included, zero RPO at zero RTO synchronous solution. Active-Active Replication does not have the additional cost and complexity of the Dell EMC offerings, while being able to scale well above Pure’s offering for both capacity and performance. 

  • May 2020, Infinidat announced the integration of its industry-leading low-RPO (4-second cycle time) asynchronous replication with Active-Active replication, providing the best-possible options for optimal RPO and RTO in 3-site (or more) replication solutions. 

What’s the Big Deal? 

Infinidat now has the most available storage system in the industry, backed by a 100% Availability guarantee with meaningful remedies and a portfolio of local and remote replication features that can deliver a zero RPO at zero RTO metropolitan solution that can then simultaneously replicate to a third (or fourth) site at distance. 

Infinidat’s solution is superior in the following ways: 

  • When asynchronously replicating to a third (or fourth) site, with InfiniBox the RPO between the two systems at metro sites and the remote distance sites can be as low as single-digit seconds. This is not currently possible with alternative enterprise storage systems, whose minimum RPO will typically be measured in minutes due to multiple “delta sets” or much larger minimum cycle times.  

  • Although Pure Storage recently became the only major storage vendor besides Infinidat to offer a “near-zero” asynchronous replication solution, Pure’s new ActiveDR does not appear to be able to currently integrate with Pure’s ActiveCluster. Pure’s alternative legacy asynchronous replication feature can integrate with ActiveCluster, but it has a minimum cycle time of 5 minutes - providing for much greater data loss after recovery at the remote site than InfiniBox.


Data protection has come a long way from the days of conventional Backup/Restore for truly mission-critical environments that require superior RPO and RTO, and Infinidat now offers the industry’s leading technology to achieve it.  

Only Infinidat can provide you with a solution that prevents any data loss (0 RPO) in a metro configuration while simultaneously providing you with as little as only single-digit-second data loss (near-zero RPO) if the entire metro area was lost. If this is important to you, let’s talk

About Ken Steinhardt

Ken Steinhardt serves as Field CTO at Infinidat. He has held many different roles in the IT industry over the last 49 years, having started as a mainframe applications programmer and systems analyst, part-time when he was still in high school. After receiving his BS degree in Computer Science from WPI, Ken was at Digital Equipment Corporation for 16 years, EMC Corporation for 20 years, and joined Infinidat from Pure Storage. His longest-tenured role was as EMC's Vice President of Enterprise Storage & CTO for Global Product Sales.