NetEx Gets Hyper About IP

StorageTek spinoff claims its IP replication device can boost WAN performance by 10x

October 10, 2003

3 Min Read
Network Computing logo

Minneapolis-area software company Network Executive Software Inc. (NetEx) this week launched HyperIP, an IP acceleration device that the company claims can boost performance of WAN data transmission by up to 10 times -- without requiring any changes to applications or storage systems.

The company's HyperIP appliances are designed to alleviate TCP/IP degradation associated with long-distance data transfer. NetEx says it has tested the system operating at simulated distances up to 46,000 miles.

"We're all about moving big data over long distances," says Craig Gust, NetEx's CEO and president. "Over one DS3, I can get the equivalent of three or four or five DS3s simply by putting HyperIP in."

Sound like magic? Here's how NetEx says it accomplishes this feat: HyperIP uses a proprietary transport protocol that runs over UDP (User Datagram Protocol), which compensates for the latencies involved in typical TCP/IP transmissions. Gust says the devices are able to offer 90 percent of the bandwidth of the original pipe, over very long distances.

Unlike Fibre Channel over IP (FCIP) or Internet Fibre Channel Protocol (iFCP) technologies, HyperIP works with any IP-based application, although it does require a user to deploy HyperIP appliances on both ends of a connection.Graham Bull, general manager for IT infrastructure and operations at Australian carrier Telstra Corp., is already sold on the product. "Telstra expects HyperIP to help achieve improved cycle times and cost effectiveness in the delivery of its IT services through the more efficient use of core IP infrastructure now and as new standards emerge," he says.

Rick Villars, an analyst with IDC, believes NetEx's introduction of HyperIP "signals that we've reached a level of maturity in the storage world that companies are starting to look at manipulating IP to look at, 'What can we do to boost the performance?' "

But Randy Kerns, senior analyst with Evaluator Group, cautions that the product is only suitable for data that must be periodically replicated. "If this would allow me to get my job done a whole lot faster or a lot less expensively, then I'd be interested in it -- it's all about the money," he says. "But you have to understand your business requirements about the data you're going to replicate."

NetEx's timing in delivering an IP-based product optimized for storage is quite fortuitous, Villars notes: EMC Corp. (NYSE: EMC) recently added native IP connectivity to its Symmetrix DMX platform (see EMC Debuts DMX, Part Deux). "That opens up the opportunity for traction," he says.

Gust says NetEx is planning to target EMC field sales teams "to show them what we can do," and says he's also interested in working with Veritas Software Corp. (Nasdaq: VRTS) on its Volume Replicator product.NetEx was spun off by Storage Technology Corp. (StorageTek) (NYSE: STK) in March 1999. Based in Maple Grove, Minn., NetEx has 23 employees, plus another half dozen contractors. Gust -- who bought out the technology from StorageTek when it decided it wasn't strategic to its business anymore -- says the company has no debt and has received no venture capital funding. He owns 40 percent of the business, with other NetEx employees holding the remaining 60 percent.

The company has 128 customers for its data replication products, including American Airlines, Bank of America, British Telecom, the Chicago Board of Education, Halifax Bank, Hertz, Nat West Bank, PNC Bank, Royal Bank Scotland, the Securities and Exchange Commission, the U.S. Internal Revenue Service, Union Pacific Rail Road, and United Airlines.

NetEx expects to start shipping HyperIPs, which are delivered on Linux PC-based appliances, before the end of the year. The product starts at a list price of $39,500 for a pair of 10-Mbit/s appliances; two of the DS3 models cost $65,000.

Todd Spangler, US Editor, Byte and Switch

Stay informed! Sign up to get expert advice and insight delivered direct to your inbox

You May Also Like

More Insights