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Cisco Systems & Hitachi Data Systems selected by Euronext.liffe.

Cisco Systems recently announced that Market Solutions, the IT division of Euronext.liffe, is using networking and storage technologies from Cisco and Hitachi Data Systems, together with project procurement services from BT, to interconnect data centres in London and Paris for business continuity purposes.

In this innovative deployment, both the London and Paris data centres host servers and applications that process live, transactional data with each site serving as the other's backup data facility in the event of failure. Storage, data, and optical networking products from Cisco supporting Fibre Channel, IP storage, TCP/IP, and Synchronous Digital Hierarchy (SDH) form the underlying transport infrastructure that extends nearly 650 kilometers from one data centre to the other. Storage subsystems and data replication software from Hitachi Data Systems help ensure that identical copies of data are maintained and can be accessed from either data centre at all times.

"Within a trading environment, having reliable access to realtime data is not just important, it's business-critical," said Mark Hemsley, Managing Director of Euronext.liffe Market Solutions. "We turned to Cisco, Hitachi Data Systems and BT to deliver this business-continuity solution because the companies have the experience and the product portfolios that meet the needs of high-end enterprise computing environments like ours."

Market Solutions data centres host services for all of their portfolio of customers, each of which has demanding service levels for availability and data integrity. The storage area network (SAN) is an important infrastructure component of LIFFE CONNECT, the world's most advanced electronic trading system. LIFFE CONNECT is used by an expanding global customer base, the SAN allows the flexibility to consolidate and manage the storage demands of these customers in a business environment where growth in data storage needs can be dramatic.

The SAN consists of multiprotocol switches, four at each site, built using Cisco MDS 9509 Multilayer Directors. These SAN switches connect servers to several Hitachi Freedom Storage Lightning 9960 and Lightning 9980V enterprise-class storage systems, delivering multiple terabytes of storage capacity. Hitachi TrueCopy software installed in the storage subsystems at both data centers helps provide the remote data replication capability.

Cisco & Hitachi worked together with BT to provide Euronext.liffe Market Solutions with the most innovative solutions in both technology and project financing. "The power of the cooperation delivered much more than any of us could have provided separately," said Pierre Danon, CEO of BT Retail. "This project reflects the way the market is going; strong teams provide the most benefit to the customer."

"We often talk of our open and collaborative strategy at Hitachi Data Systems," said Robert Bignell, Senior Director, Enterprise Products and Solutions, Hitachi Data Systems. "Working as a cooperative team to provide the most complete solution possible is what customers want and need, and Euronext.liffe is proof that this strategy works."

For network connectivity outside of the data centers, Euronext.liffe Market Solutions equipped its Cisco MDS 9509's with Cisco MDS 9000 IP Storage Services Modules that connect to Cisco 7600 series routers over TCP/IP. In turn, these routers connect to a wide-area SDH (synchronous digital hierarchy) ring built using Cisco ONS 15454 Multiservice Provisioning Platforms located at networking points in London, Paris, and Amsterdam. The SDH ring supports multiple STM-16 links, equivalent to 2.5 gigabits per second of bandwidth per link.

The IP Storage Services Modules serve as the gateway between LIFFE CONNECT Fibre Channel-based traffic in its SANs and the TCP/IP-based traffic outside of its data centres through Fibre Channel over IP (FCIP) technology. FCIP works by encapsulating entire Fibre Channel frames in IP packets for transport across TCP/IP links. FCIP, therefore, helps enable Euronext.liffe Market Solutions to connect its SANs over long distances, making it useful for business continuity applications such as data mirroring, asynchronous data replication, and remote backup.

Cisco is the first vendor to implement the industry-standard version of FCIP technology, which is currently undergoing the ratification process through the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF). Through the IP Storage Services Module and the Cisco MDS 9000 Family, Cisco is also the first vendor to offer FCIP integrated into both director and fabric-class SAN switches.

"Assuring business continuity is becoming a strategic initiative for many of our customers," said Robert Lloyd, President of Cisco Systems in Europe Middle East and Africa. "By working with industry leaders such as Hitachi Data Systems, Cisco is able to apply its storage and data networking expertise to deliver highly available and reliable solutions that protect perhaps the most valuable IT asset an enterprise can own--its data."
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Comment:Cisco Systems & Hitachi Data Systems selected by Euronext.liffe.
Publication:EDP Weekly's IT Monitor
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Jul 21, 2003
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