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Datadobi touts SMB and product streamlining in update

Datadobi's 5.12 update unites software under a single engine and adds SMB file transfer support, as the company looks to evolve next year.

Datadobi's unstructured file and object data migration software is about to become a little more structured itself in the 5.12 update, a refresh which the company said will lay the foundation of future improvements into 2022.

For Datadobi users, the most notable new feature adds optimizations for data migrations involving server message block (SMB) network protocol, breaking operating system dependency and moving the protocol client into the user space, rather than the system kernel.

The feature allows the Datadobi software to communicate agnostically with varying vendors' storage systems and cloud storage, according to Steve Leeper, vice president of product marketing for Datadobi.

"We're optimizing the SMB client stack for the type of I/O we know we're executing," Leeper said. "By writing our own [client], we can really tailor our workload to get the best performance possible."

For Datadobi as a company, however, the 5.12 update looks to streamline its software offerings, while preparing what Leeper called a "foundational layer" for future products.

The existing DobiMigrate and DobiProtect software will become part of the new Datadobi Data Mobility Engine. This will offer the current features of the aforementioned software, both on premises and in the cloud, managed by a unified GUI.

"It's going to take on a role with a future software offering that's in development right now that really expands our unstructured data management both in the file and the object space," Leeper said.

We try to stay neutral and get customer data migrated, replicated and synced in between disparate platforms [that don't] always play nicely together.
Steve LeeperVice president of product marketing, Datadobi

He added this new engine will continue to help enterprises manage petabytes of unstructured file and object data by eliminating intervendor incompatibilities and multiprotocol migrations.

"This engine has been built with that in mind," Leeper said. "We try to stay neutral and get customer data migrated, replicated and synced in between disparate platforms [that don't] always play nicely together. … Those [vendor] subtleties make for a lot of problems when you're moving data en masse."

Tied into the new engine and introduced in the 5.12 update is the Integrity Enforcement Technology. This will add features including data verification, chain of custody lists, data readback and more to improve large migrations.

The Mobility Engine will also continue to support many of Datadobi's other features, including automation and fast scan and copy speeds, as well as reporting technology on how data is distributed across an organization's data lakes.

Enrico Signoretti, senior data storage analyst at GigaOm, echoed the sentiment that this release will lead to a more comprehensive upgrade next year.

"It's an iteration to bring them to the next level," Signoretti said. "I'm looking forward to what they're going to launch next year. Right now, we're talking about small adjustments -- small tweaks to make their customers happy."

Datadobi's entire focus is on creating copies of unstructured data in multiple environments at massive scales including petabytes of data. Some of Datadobi's direct competitors include StrongBox Data Solutions, Komprise and Hammerspace. The company, which is based in Belgium, primarily sells the software through channel partners.

Signoretti noted Datadobi also competes against open source or free software such as robocopy and rsync. Those free options, however, come at the cost of potential errors and a need to manage them far more closely than enterprise solutions like Datadobi.

"They work, but they are slow and don't do many checks," he said. "You can't ask much from these products. … A tool like Datadobi empowers you to get much more."

The move of protocols to the user space over the kernel also has an added business benefit.

This allows Datadobi to keep the code proprietary and avoid conflicts with the open source origins of the Linux kernel, said Ray Lucchesi, president of Silverton Consulting.

"If Datadobi has reimplemented NFS and SMB, what they're trying to do is become more of a generic NAS system, rather than just a pure migration service," he said. "It makes it easier for them to own and monetize the functionality. Most of the storage vendors move this into the user space. … It doesn't necessarily do anything for the users of the service in my mind."

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