NSI Software: Refining the Design

By Baselinemag  |  Posted 2005-04-06 Print this article Print

NSI Software has continuously improved its products, many customers say, though its track record isn't perfect.

If you spent more than a decade doing just one thing, you might get pretty proficient at it. That's the case with NSI Software, according to customers, who say the company has been doggedly improving its software.

Robb Good, director of information systems at Sundt Construction in San Diego, says that when he installed NSI's Double-Take in 2002, he was "a little surprised" how much bandwidth it used: It sometimes would take over the entire 1.5-megabit-per-second link from San Diego to a backup site in Tucson, Ariz. But he says the latest version is more efficient, and with bandwidth-throttling features enabled it now uses less than 15% of the connection. "It's worked flawlessly," he says.

NSI has also been quick to mend glitches, says Andy Bomboy, manager of network technology at hospitality company Hershey Entertainment & Resorts. Two years ago, a conflict between Double-Take and Symantec's antivirus software caused one of the backup servers to freeze. Three weeks after alerting NSI to the problem, the company's engineers had fixed it. "There's always room for improvement, but they've made improvements along the way," Bomboy says.

But NSI couldn't get Double-Take to work for Dallas law firm Locke Liddell & Sapp, says Jeremy Newhouse, its manager of information-technology projects. The firm has separate e-mail administrator groups for its main offices, in Dallas and Houston. If a mail server failed in one, Newhouse wanted the other office's servers to take over but maintain the original's administrative rights. Even after NSI spent 40 hours reconfiguring the software on site, Newhouse claims, Double-Take still wouldn't grant access to a remote administration group. "NSI never got it to work, period," he says. Locke Liddell & Sapp chose XOsoft's WANsyncHA replication software instead.

An NSI spokesman says the company told Locke Liddell & Sapp the configuration it wanted "would likely not work," but he also insists Double-Take could have handled the setup.

Other NSI customers, meanwhile, say they've never encountered a problem with its products. Tom Bloom, computer systems manager at Texas A&M University, says Double-Take's documentation for setup and configuration is excellent. "I have not called their tech support once," he says. "The software just works."

Data Replication Software

NSI Software
2 Hudson Place,
NJ 07030
(201) 656-2121

TICKER: Privately held


Don Beeler
President, CEO
One of the company's three founders, he has headed NSI since 1991. He was previously president of a telecommunications consulting firm, Plexar Communications Consultants.

Dave Demlow
VP, Product Management
Before joining NSI in 1997, he held sales and engineering roles with Seagate Software, a tape storage vendor later acquired by Veritas Software.

Double-Take software copies selected files from one or more servers to backup servers over standard network links, and allows either manual or automatic fail-over to a secondary server in case of an outage. GeoCluster works with Microsoft's Windows server-clustering software to replicate data among multiple machines working together as if they were a single system.

Reference Checks

Sundt Construction
Robb Good
Dir., Information Systems
Project: Contractor uses Double-Take to synchronize about 60 gigabytes of critical project-management data between servers in San Diego and Tucson, Ariz.

Hershey Entertainment & Resorts
Andy Bomboy
Mgr., Network Technology
Project: Hospitality company replicates data from 25 servers at 10 properties to eight Double-Take servers at its Hershey, Pa., headquarters.

Texas A&M University
Tom Bloom
Computer Systems Manager
Project: School's student activities department backs up data to Double-Take servers three-fourths of a mile across campus.

Thacher Proffitt & Wood
Dierk Eckart
Dir., I.T.
Project: New York law firm uses Double-Take to back up 1 terabyte of data to its office in Summit, N.J.

Accessor Capital Management
Shawn Huey
Dir., I.T.
Project: Seattle fund-management firm uses Double-Take to replicate 100 gigabytes of data from e-mail, database and Web servers to a backup site 25 miles away.

Legal Services for New York City
John Greiner
(212) 431-7200
Project: Provider of legal services to low-income people uses Double-Take to replicate case-management and e-mail data from its headquarters in lower Manhattan to its Harlem office.

Executives listed here are all users of NSI's products. Their willingness to talk has been confirmed by Baseline.

Revenue, 2004 (est.): $48M
Revenue growth: 33% from 2003 to 2004
Funding to date: $60M

ABS Capital Partners, Dell, J&W Seligman & Co.

Major Partners
Dell, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Lakeview Technology, SunGard Data Systems

Other Major Customers
Financial: The Bank of New York, Grant Thornton, Liberty Mutual Insurance, State Street
Government: Indianapolis International Airport, New York City Dept. of Correction
Retail: Family Dollar Stores, JC Penney, Sears, Roebuck and Co.
Utilities: Covanta Energy, Xcel Energy
Education: Naval War College, University of Miami School of Law
Manufacturing: American Power Conversion (APC), Lyondell Chemical

Founded in Hoboken, N.J.

Receives $7M from ABS Capital Partners

Launches replication software for Microsoft SQL Server

Raises $15M in funding

Opens sales office in Southboro, Mass.

Sources: Company reports, Thomson Gale (revenue estimate)


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