Geo-replication is a type of data storage replication in which the same data is stored on servers in multiple distant physical locations. 

In disaster recovery, geo-replication provides additional redundancy in case a data center fails or there is some other event that makes the continuation of normal functions impossible. On a wide area network (WAN) , geo-location can help improve network performance so that end users halfway across the planet can access the same web services at local-area network (LAN) speeds.

Geo-replication typically works in this fashion: data is created or updated in a primary location and then asynchronously replicated to a secondary location so that the same data exists (and is backed up) in both locations. Ideally, these locations remain completely independent of each other, with no need to communicate with one another beyond data transfer.

The data durability provided by geo-replication is particularly important as enterprises consider moving to public and private cloud storage platforms and data is stored externally. Many cloud providers, such as Amazon Web Services and Windows Azure, offer geo-replication as part of their data storage packages.


This was last updated in October 2011

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