Moonwalk improves restore window

By Ann Silverthorn

—Moonwalk, the Australian developer of data management and protection software, today unveiled the 6.0 version of its eponymous software, which addresses enterprise backup and restore with a combination of policy operations to secure primary data, ensure uptime, and eliminate not just the backup window but also the restore window.

Moonwalk 6.0 features a copy function that manages the backup of data from desktops and servers to a centralized location. It allows data that resides on any server to be copied to any other location on the network. This can be a secondary on-site server for automated fail-over and quick local retrieval or an off-site disk storage device.

Moonwalk's method maintains a full file-format copy of the data set, rather than a proprietary format, so files can be restored without complicated restore operations.

"Full file format copy is not block replication," says Peter Harvey, Moonwalk's CEO. "It's full-file." This means if there is a complete hardware failure, then a rollover keeps users up and running with DNS spoofing or by deploying "round-robin" load distribution.

Another plus for the Moonwalk software is that it does not require middleware or staging platforms to temporarily house data before servers direct files elsewhere on the network, eliminating potential points of failure.

Harvey says Moonwalk is not out to replace backup software but, rather, to reduce its use. This appeals to Horace Greeley, systems integrator in the Controller's Office Systems Group at Stanford University.

Of particular appeal to Greeley is that the Moonwalk software does not require an intermediary server and works with the variety of platforms the controller's office already had running. In addition, Stanford has a NetWare-centric environment and Moonwalk supports NetWare.

"The fact that Moonwalk works equally well with all of the major directory services is important for us. And from a disaster-recovery and business continuity standpoint, an important piece of the software is that it allows the migrated files to contain all the metadata relating to the file," says Greeley. "Even if the original source is completely obliterated, you can go back with the disaster-recovery tool and restore to the same or different data path."

The controller's office at Stanford has about 6TB of compressed storage. Stanford stores its Moonwalk-related data on an EqualLogic PS300 storage system and maintains a second EqualLogic system at a collocation facility. Data is replicated between the two EqualLogic arrays via iSCSI.

Greeley says: "On average, we were spending close to an FTE a year in file management. The system is not completely on autopilot now, but I spend less than 10% of my time on it now."

Moonwalk software costs approximately $4,000 per node, depending on configuration.

This article was originally published on August 27, 2007