Moonwalk Takes Small Steps

ILM/data migration startup continues worldwide campaign from Australia

March 21, 2007

3 Min Read
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ILM/data migration startup Moonwalk has added a few more partners, as it builds momentum from its homebase in Australia.

Today, the startup, whose product is also called Moonwalk, announced an OEM deal with Messaging Architects, a Montreal-based firm that sells email management software for Netware environments. The agreement calls for Messaging Architects' email archiving software to incorporate Moonwalk's policy-based method of moving objects from one tier of storage to another.

Moonwalk also has inked a deal with Grau Data Storage, a provider of storage management products in Germany.

The additions make the list of Moonwalk's partners almost bigger than its list of employees. Even though the company has about 10 full-time programmers, it has certifications, development agreements, or official partnerships with Caringo, EMC, HP, Microsoft, Novell, and Sun. And among analysts and experts, the company's reputation is growing.

"They have an extremely interesting object model approach to file management that obviates the need for metadata servers or centralized controls," says Brad O'Neill of the Taneja Group consultancy. Whereas other firms, such as competitors Arkivio and CaminoSoft, require some sort of middleware or central console to move files from one place to another based on policies, Moonwalk's software does not.Moonwalk's been making a name for itself for a few months. (See Moonwalk.) Its premise is to enable files to move as self-propelled objects throughout a LAN, in response to simple rules such as "copy," "move," and "migrate."

"We have a new architecture for managing data," declares CEO Peter Harvey. "From my laptop, I could control every file in the world if I had access to it."

Moonwalk uses agents comprising 1 Mbyte to 4 Mbytes with integral NFS capabilities to move unstructured files from one place to another in Windows, Unix, Linux, or Netware environments. "There is no migration server; there is no hierarchy," Harvey says. "You create associations [between objects] by creating a rule. When a rule moves a file it leaves a stub. There's a one-to-one relationship between stub and file. They know all about each other and they are two abstract objects. The agent is light and sleeps and wakes when it's told to do something."

If it sounds fanciful, it seems to be working. Moonwalk has racked up 17 paying customers so far, and it hasn't launched itself in the U.S., despite pairing up with suppliers here. Cost per server for a typical installation is about $4,000.

The downside is, of course, that there are agents in Moonwalk. But the architecture of the product appears to be advantageous enough to help initial users overcome resistance to what may have been a hindrance in the past.Moonwalk's expected to make additional announcements soon. It's in discussions with at least three more OEMs, and Harvey is willing to discuss his product's use in a range of applications, not just email archiving and simple unstructured file ILM.

Watch this space.

Mary Jander, Site Editor, Byte and Switch

  • Arkivio Inc.

  • CaminoSoft Corp. (OTC: CMSF)

  • Caringo

  • EMC Corp. (NYSE: EMC)

  • Hewlett-Packard Co. (NYSE: HPQ)

  • Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT)

  • Moonwalk Inc.

  • Novell Inc. (Nasdaq: NOVL)

  • Sun Microsystems Inc. (Nasdaq: SUNW)

  • Taneja Group

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