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Startup seeks to win a place in the data center through faster file migration

Moonwalk, an Australian company that sprung up to fill a specific need in the data center, is looking to make it as a broad data migration player.

Moonwalk -- the name of the software as well as the company -- migrates unstructured data, setting policies for moving seldom accessed or unusually large files off primary storage to secondary storage. That's hardly unique: Arikivio, CaminoSoft, Enigma Data, and SevenTen do that.

Moonwalk CEO Peter Harvey says the difference is Moonwalk does it without middleware. It streams files from server to server. Like competitors, Moonwalk leaves a stub on the main server when it moves a file. But Harvey says if the Moonwalk stub gets corrupted or removed, the software re-creates it on the fly.

"One weakness of stubbing technology is having the middleware," he says. "If you lose a stub, you're stuck. Recreating your file without a stub is a nightmare. We've got a streaming technology that doesn't stage."

Analyst Brad O'Neill of the Taneja Group says Moonwalk's software behaves as in a peer-to-peer network, which lets devices share bandwidth and processing power, in contrast to the point-to-point network approach with a central server.

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