Fast File Transfer - ExpressWay

GRID computing enables applications to be executed on an arbitrary computer in an intranet or cluster. This performs well for applications that have a limited set of input or output data. Applications that require accessing large amounts of data have traditionally been less well suited for such an architecture due to slow access to the data. This is especially true for Windows applications. These applications require an infrastructure that either copies data to the node before the application starts, or directly maps a remote network drive so the data can be accessed remotely from the application. The first case requires a network capable of streaming large chunks of data at high speed and local storage to temporary store the data. The latter case requires high streaming capacity or low latency access to data or both, depending on the application data access pattern. Either case can be set up using regular Windows mechanisms and standard networking protocols (TCP/IP). Performance problems arise, however, because the networking and remote file system accesses include large protocol processing overhead and latency which significantly delay the application in completing its job. Replacing Gigabit Ethernet with 10 Gigabit Ethernet as the remote connection medium will partly improve the streaming capabilities, but as the amount of CPU processing power needed per byte transferred is constant and independent of the Ethernet technology used, both the system overhead and the latency will remain high due to the processing overhead in the TCP/IP protocols.

The Dolphin Express Fast File Transfer technology (ExpressWay) overcomes these performance problems by safely bypassing the network - and operating system - protocols used for regular remote file access. The Dolphin Express hardware provides the underlying reliable system interconnect that enables applications to safely complete these file operations using a tiny user space software library. Processing overhead and latency are minimized, resulting in significantly faster file transfers compared to using Ethernet.

Dolphin Express Fast File Transfer Use

Typical users of the Dolphin Express Fast File Transfer need to quickly move large amounts of data between computers (e.g. for backup, HDTV video processing).

Performance

A single Dolphin Express channel connection is measured to provide more than 700 MB/s transfer rate. The Dolphin Express software includes options to perform disk and interconnect bandwidth measurements.

Installation and Configuration

The ExpressWay software is available as an optional component in the Dolphin software Windows installer msi.

To use Dolphin Express to transfer files to a remote file system, just map the remote file system using standard Windows 'map network drive'. Dolphin Express will automatically detect mapped drives and offer these for file transfer if they also are connected with Dolphin Express hardware.

File Operations in the Shell

Dolphin Express provides a small utility called dis_copy.exe that enables files to be moved between local and remote drives from within a Windows shell or a bat file.

Availability

The fast file transfer solution is available for Windows 8, 7, Vista, XP, and Windows 2003. Both 32 bit and 64 bit are supported. The software is available with the Dolphin Express IX product line.

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