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DataExpress – 2020 will be the year for core to edge file distribution!




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Let’s stop and take a look at what DataExpress has been doing for the past six months. Now that the acquisition by DATA443 is in the books and everyone is happily working from home – yes, we had welcomed the opportunity to work remotely long before this global pandemic took hold – it’s a good time to talk secure managed file transfer once again. In doing so, it’s also a good time to hit the pause button and look around at what our customers are doing and in particular the impact the cloud and the edge are having on new product introductions.

For the NonStop community the news that HPE had invested in the migration of NonStop to the Intel X architecture and followed up quickly with adding support for virtualized deployments, the choice as to where to run NonStop grew wider than at any time in the past. Have excess x86 servers stacked in racks inside your server farm and access to skilled VMware engineers then yes, run virtualized NonStop (vNS) – why not?

However, the news that came out of Las Vegas last year during the HPE Discover 2019 event that all products available today running in the core or the cloud would be supported out at the edge changed many vendor’s plans and while we haven’t strayed too far from our roadmaps it certainly has influenced our priorities in some product areas. As a vendor with product for NonStop as well as for Linux / Unix / Windows, it has left us thinking about what business benefits we can create for those NonStop customers who will indeed deploy processors as part of an intelligent edge deployment strategy.

The priority that current events and changing technology topologies have influenced the most is the work we are currently doing with our DataExpress Remote Agent (DXRA). It’s been part of our product portfolio for some time enjoying varied success as our customers began realizing that moving files within the enterprise had merit. In a world where multiple copies of files needed to be deployed and refreshed on a regular basis – with the intelligent edge, we have observed that there are numerous files and tables that the edge relies upon – this plays to the strength of our company and where we can leverage skills honed over decades of supporting some of the biggest enterprises running NonStop.

This product, as implemented, can run almost anywhere. From an adjacent Linux server within the data center or on assigned resources deep within a public cloud, DXRA is all about making sure files are securely moved under the overall management of DataExpress. “This new updated version of DXRA will provide a thin (intelligent) client”, said Data443 Engineering Manager, Billy Whittington, “that will be capable of residing anywhere – the edge included – that can perform pre/post processing on any information, files, tables, etc. that require distribution.”

For the NonStop user of DataExpress (DXNS), they would see DataExpress Open Platform (DXOP) as a server whose purpose would be to allow files to be pushed from NonStop or pulled to the NonStop. The DXOP server would then act as the distribution or collection point to/from multiple DXRA clients  “A fundamental strength of the original DataExpress architecture gave it the ability to support any client / server model that met accepted standards for file transfer,” said Whittington. “While not a peer-to-peer solution, in the traditional sense, but rather a solution designed to meet the heterogeneous deployments we so often encounter today.”

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With this revision to DXRA, the actual tasks that can be performed remotely have been greatly enhanced. “Whether it’s a need to simply move a file or have it encrypted along the way or even to upload / download libraries,” said Whittington, “DXOP, and its subordinate DX Remote Agents, comes with a scheduler along with a monitoring capability to ensure there is always a footpath that can be retraced at any time by those tasked with security, for instance.” And this is where our knowledge of NonStop comes into play – when it comes to DXOP we have designed it to mirror what we provide on NonStop, including a unique underlying redundancy mechanism, to ensure almost NonStop like properties of operational availability.

Looking further afield Whittington referred to the DataExpress roadmap, also “looking at being  able to make DXRA downloadable so that DataExpress can start a marketing initiative for secure transfer from a system that we host in a multi-tenanted environment, to allow smaller companies to get on board with minimal fuss.” DataExpress would configure, manage and report – the first steps towards delivering on the earlier promise of bringing DataExpress-as-a-Service to market.  “We are nearing the end of this development so we will have yet another tool out there for DXOP,” said Whittington “and we will be talking to our NonStop customers and prospects for additional input before finalizing our go-to-market plans.”

For now, if this is of interest to you and your organization then do not hesitate in giving us a call as we would really like to hear from you. In this emerging world that places so much emphasis on a core to edge model, as vendors envision today, files simply have to move and for DataExpress, that’s us: We move those files!