NetEx Introduces IP WAN Data Migration

Data transport vendor NetEx's new data migration service aims to replace the traditional method of migrating data over a WAN.

Data transport vendor NetEx has come up with a different way—and more predictable, faster, and cheaper, company executives claim—to migrate large amounts of data over IP WAN connections.

The service, called the DMO (Data Migration Optimizer) program, offers resellers and systems integrators, as well as large companies interested in attempting migration independently, a way to replicate data over IP WANs using NetExs HyperIP technology in conjunction with many popular data replication and migration products.

DMO has been pre-certified to work with a host of data replication and migration tools, including those from EMC Corp., Network Appliance Inc., IBM Corp., Symantec Corp., Oracle Corp., Softek Storage Solutions Corp. and NSI Software Inc., as well as industry-standard FTP applications.

The appliance-based offering, which organizations can rent from NetEx for a minimum of three months, is intended to replace the traditional method of migrating data over a WAN, which usually involves Fibre Channel over IP.

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The traditional Fibre Channel-based approach tends to be more complicated, less efficient and more expensive, said Bob MacIntyre, vice president of business development and marketing at NetEx of Minneapolis, Min.

"Some of the Fibre Channel technology thats being used takes quite a bit of people and resources to implement, including special management and networks," he said. "With this, its an eleven mouse click installation done by the network folks every week. Very simple."

The most obvious candidates for a service like this, MacIntyre said, include organizations going through acquisitions or mergers that require data center centralization, or internal corporate consolidation.

A systems integrator or reseller using DMO would be better able to meet the organizations bandwidth performance requirements and time frame, he said, than one using the traditional Fibre Channel-based approach.

In addition to increased simplicity and lower cost due to the rental structure, the DMO service offers better predictability —something that is elusive but important in a WAN environment, said Marc Staimer, president of Dragon Slayer Consulting of Beaverton, Ore.

"With local data migrations within a data center, its fairly predictable, but when you do it over a WAN, thats not always the case. This gives it a predictability that it normally doesnt have because IP is an unpredictable protocol over the WAN," he said.

Speed is another incentive, with performance running three to ten times faster than environments normally can achieve with TCP applications, MacIntyre said.

But perhaps most importantly, the DMO process helps mitigate packet loss, congestion and bandwidth changes—factors that can cause significant complications during a migration.

"Were mitigating all of these disruptions—even the infrequently misbehaving network node that for three seconds out of the month hiccups, requiring the application to restart," MacIntyre said. "And its all done transparently."

Although other vendors—notably application acceleration vendors Riverbed Technology Inc. and Juniper Networks Inc.—offer products and services that compete on a generic level, NetExs DMO offering punches it up a notch, Staimer said.

"This is different, because its designed for very high-performance pipes," he said. "This gives you the full 10MB per second because of the de-duplication/common sequence reduction and compression. It offers very consistent performance," he said.

With a three-month minimum, the monthly cost ranges from around $2,000 per appliance for a performance of 10MB to 40MB per second, about $3,500 for performance of 46MB to 135MB per second, and about $5,700 for 156MB per second to nearly OC112. At least two appliances are needed.

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