FAQ

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What is WAN acceleration?

Well, it depends. In a general view, everything speeding up process in a wide area network (compared to the local network) could be regarded as acceleration.

What is WAN optimization?

WAN optimization (WO) covers transparent acceleration of applications for use in a wide area network environment. Besides other network optimization, WO benefits significantly from recurring transmissions (caching). Respective devices often called WAN optimization controllers (WOC). TIXEL does not offer WOCs in this notion – see next question.

Does TIXEL offer WAN optimization controllers?

No. TIXway appears to behave similar to a WOC as it is integrated on networking level and it acts transparent to transmission end-points. However optimization behaves entirely different from regular WOCs: e.g. TIXway applies no compression or caching – mechanism that have no or little effect to bulk data transfer anyway.

TIXEL's solutions perfectly complement WOCs for individual bulk data transfer – and work well hand in hand.

What kind of products does TIXEL offer?

TIXstream and TIXway are both software solutions which can be licensed in various models (perpetual or leasing). Moreover, TIXway is available as a managed service requiring no software installation at any endpoints (i.e. at the customer premises).

What is the difference between TIXstream and TIXway?

While TIXstream replaces established transfer tools, TIXway accelerates them. Both rely on the TIXEL's transfer technology including a WAN optimized network protocol.

TIXstream is a high performance service based solution that can be controlled via TIXEL's Web-UI, command line tool and 3rd party service clients. It can deliver multi-gigabit WAN data rates due to its highly optimized I/O and processing modules.

TIXway is a semi-transparent gateway solution that is installed in-between the long-haul link e.g. of an FTP server and an FTP client. It significantly accelerates transfers over long IP links while letting the user use standard FTP clients.

My media production or managed file transfer solution has build-in FTP functionality. Can transfers be accelerated with TIXway though not using a standard desktop CLI/GUI FTP client?

Especially here TIXway reveals its versatility and benefits from its "semi-transparency" resulting in minimum impact on existing workflows and environments. Several built-in FTP client applications have already been successfully tested with TIXway (AVID, DAVID Systems etc.) and transfer speeds could be accelerated significantly.

I read about 100G ethernet links that could benefit from TIXstream cluster solutions. What is this?

The first 100G ethernet router components and ethernet links are currently being setup and established between major research sites and HPC (high performance computing) facilities worldwide. By forming a cluster of several servers with a 10GE connection running a TIXstream cluster node instance at each end transfer speeds of more than 90  Gigabit/s have been achieved in first field tests.

Why is TIXstream so much faster than other commercial file transfer acceleration solutions?

TIXstream has been designed from the ground up for high performance environments. When initial design and development of the key components started at Thomson the initial position in the M&E industry was:

  • We have high performance storage components that deliver more than 10 Gigabit/s throughput.
  • We have expensive 10 Gigabit/s IP network connections between Hollywood and New York.
  • We can only reach transfer speeds of ridiculous 50 Megabit/s between those sites.
  • We want to utilize these expensive components and transfer uncompressed digitized video sequences in realtime at 7 Gigabit/s and more.
  • Make it happen!

So an extremely motivated and highly skilled team of software and system engineers started tackling a lot of issues that form a variety of bottlenecks for the above scenario and demonstrated the first prototype at NAB 2007 and shortly after that showed the world's first reliable 4k realtime video transfer over a real production IP WAN with RTTs of 100ms at the Thomson facility in Hanover.

Why is TIXway only supporting data rates up to few Gigabit/s?

The underlying protocol that is also used in TIXstream seems to be capable of much higher rates.

Currently the major bottlenecks in a TIXway enhanced FTP file transfer are the legacy FTP servers and clients itself. The servers are usually swarmed with transfers from many users (limiting the speed of each single transfer) and the clients run on desktop/laptop PCs with poor disk performance.

What kind of system or platform do I need to run TIXstream?

TIXstream is targeting high-end file transfer environments in the first place. Therefore multi-core XEON based high end server platforms are recommended that have the necessary 10GE and fibre channel connectivity to storage systems.

Lower speed grades can be run on less sophisticated PC platforms (recent Pentium class). Detailed hardware recommendations are available from TIXEL. As operating system we suggest Linux 64-bit, preferable CentOS/RHEL 5/6, Debian 6 and SLES11 also work as well as Mac OS X and MS Windows.

What kind of system or platform do I need to run TIXway?

At typical speed grades up to few Gigabit/s the hardware requirements are less demanding than TIXstream. The low speed grade licenses can even be run on consumer devices and small form-factor solid state devices (e.g. Atom processor based).

TIXway runs on 64-bit Linux, Mac OS X and MS Windows.

This is all very impressive. What can be expected next from TIXEL?

TIXEL is a very technology driven company. We are heavily investing in further developing the core technology. We have been and are still working on funded research projects together with partners from universities and industry to be able to provide best-in-class data transfer solutions for our customers, today and in the future.

Is it possible to evaluate TIXEL's software solutions before purchasing it?

Of course TIXEL is providing evaluation licenses that can be obtained. Please contact us to get further information.

I'm not sure what kind of performance I can expect from my storage and network infrastructure. Is there a way to do some upfront testing?

Of course. TIXEL provides a comprehensive set of tools to measure storage and network throughput/latency. These tools can and should be used before even installing TIXEL's transfer solutions. Thereby you can get an initial idea of what kind of performance boost you can expect when using TIXstream or TIXway.

In what price range do I have to expect TIXEL's solutions?

For all product lines TIXEL offers very flexible licensing options depending on the performance and features that are required for different environment. Please contact us for further details on licensing options and pricing.

I have very special requirements regarding the integration of a file transfer solution into our existing workflow infrastructure that seem not to be fulfilled by any existing of-the-shelf solution. Can TIXEL help?

All existing TIXEL products have been derived from a very flexible software framework and TIXEL has very skilled analysts and engineers to provide customized solutions based on that framework in a very short time frame. Please contact us and let's talk.