Is real-time or synchronous replication possible over WAN link?

The company I work for is looking to implement truly real-time file replication with file locking over a WAN link that spans over 2000 miles. We currently have a 16-drive SAN setup in our east coast office. We also have an office out in Colorado that will have the same exact SAN setup. The idea is to have those two SANs contain the same exact data at all times, which will allow us to work with the same data pool, and which will also provide use with an offsite backup solution, should a failure occur on either end. We're running Server 2008.e objective is to enable users in the east coast office to work on files and have those changes be instantly updated on the Colorado SAN as well. We also need there to be file locking so that there will be no conflicts or overwritten changes if users attempt to work on the same file.

Is this scenario even possible, at speeds that would make the files usable? And if so, what software would we need to pull this off? As I understand it, DFS-R does not provide file locking, so if we used that, we would need to go with a third-party product like Peerlock. But I don't even know if DFS-R is an option. Can it replicate quickly enough over a WAN link? Can any product? It seems that if we were to use synchronous replication, the programs would be unacceptably slow, as every write would have to wait for confirmation from the other end of the link. But if we used asynchronous replication, what kind of latency would we be looking at? There is a product from GlobalScape called WAFS that claims to provide "File coherence with real-time file locking, file release, and synchronization" and says that "As files are modified, changes are mirrored instantly using intelligent byte-level differencing to minimize the impact on network bandwidth". So this sounds like synchronous replication, but that doesn't even seem possible, given physical limitations such as the speed of light.

If anyone has any experience with this kind of setup, or knows whether it's even possible, I'd appreciate your input and suggestions, including recommendations for software that we should check out.
johnorjackAsked:
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giltjrCommented:
Technically it is possible.  However the question is "Are you willing to spend the money?"

First, 16 drives really means nothing.  You could have 16 real old 4 GB drives, or you could have the newest drives at 1 TB each.

Its the volume of data that matters.  How much usable storage do you have?  What is your typical volume of data updated in an hour and what is the maximum amount of data updated in a single 5 minute period.

For instance, the company I work for is looking at real time offsite data replication.  Based on our update patterns we need somewhere between an OC-12 (662 Mbits/sec) and a OC-24 (1.244 Gbits/sec).

Some SAN's have this capability built in or available as an option.
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