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Frimley, Surrey-based disaster recovery firm Safetynet Ltd has gained UK and European distribution rights to a MIMX38 database mirroring system, which is claimed to cut System/38 and AS/400 crash downtime to a matter of minutes. Developed and marketed by Whittman-Hart of Illinois, MIMX38 uses SDLC or X25 links to copy specified files from a system’s main database onto a section of a secondary machine. Should disaster strike, users simply switch over to to their secondary system; processing can resume once any lost data has been re-entered – often within an hour of system crash. The secondary system can also be used to spread the processing load, by performing read-only functions away from the mainframe. Somewhat ironically, the dual system principle was first dreamt up five years ago by Safetynet senior consultant Jim Burtles, during a spell at IBM. The idea was floated and internally tested at IBM’s Rochester, Minnesota laboratory, and subsequently selected for commercial development by Whittman Hart, which has been selling the product for two years in the US. Burtles acknowledges that disaster recovery awareness among European System/38 and AS/400 users is low, but argues that the highly integrated nature of both machines makes the issue essential. In the UK, however, the company has already clinched two deals within its 90-strong System/38 customer base, and claims a number of others are in the pipeline. In Europe, the company is setting up operations in Paris, Switzerland, and Germany, and will exploit a one-year franchise arrangement with a software house in Norway. Burtles will also address the Computer Security Conference in February, where he will present a paper advocating the implementation of accross-the-board disaster recovery legislation. MIMX38 will be licensed by Safetynet for an annual charge of UKP15,000. Maintenance and upgrading will also be available for a one-off charge of $1,500. Other services offered by the three-year-old company include hot and cold recovery sites for the System/38 and AS/400, and a disaster recovery dealing room, at Lincolns’ Inn Fields, near the City.

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