What are data movers in a NAS box? What is their purpose?

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A data mover in a NAS device, or in any storage system, is really the function to be able to push or pull (send or receive) data over an interface/port to or from another device. An example would be for data migration –- the NAS device could be instructed to move the file system (where a file system equals a LUN for this case) from another device. The NAS data mover will take control of reading the data from the other device and storing it into the NAS device with host/server involvement. The movement could go in the other direction as well.

Besides data migration, the data mover could be used for making a copy of data either locally or remotely. For block storage systems, this would work in a similar fashion. A couple of examples of data movers that exist in block storage systems are SANcopy in EMC Clariion and Open Replicator in EMC Symmetrix.

This was first published in May 2005

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