HDS is now bundling VTL ad deduplication software from FalconStor with its midrange storage array family in a move which solution provider partners of both companies said will make it easier to bring the technologies to market.
Hitachi Data Systems has signed an agreement with FalconStor under which it will bundle FalconStor's Virtual Tape Library (VTL) and File-interface Deduplication System (FDS) with its Adaptable Modular Storage 2000 midrange arrays.
The solution, which bundles a gateway appliance with the FalconStor software with an AMS 2000-series storage array, will be a HDS-branded solution sold through its direct and indirect sales channels, said Fadi Albatal, vice president of marketing for FalconStor.
FalconStor VTL can be used to replace physical tape libraries with up to eight storage nodes combined into a virtual tape library for high-speed backups.
FalconStor FDS provides block-level deduplication of backup data in LAN-based, disk-to-disk backup environments. It also offers global deduplication, under which duplicate data replicated from multiple sites to a central site is removed.
FalconStor solution providers who also partner with HDS will have immediate access to the bundles, Albatal said. The company will also work with its other solution providers to get access to the bundles, he said.
Solution provider partners of the two vendors support the bundles, and say the agreement will make it easier to market their products to customers.
However, some partners, speaking off the record, said that, of the two vendors, FalconStor has more to gain from the agreement than does HDS because of the decreasing business FalconStor does with HDS rival EMC.
FalconStor currently has an OEM deal for its dedupe software with EMC, but sales resulting from that deal have been declining, especially since EMC acquired dedupe appliance vendor Data Domain last year.
FalconStor also has an agreement with Nexsan under which Nexsan bundles FalconStor's FDS technology in a co-branded SMB solution.
Even so, solution providers said the bundles are a good opportunity for the channel.
HDS has needed a good dedupe partner since its previous partner, Diligent, got acquired by IBM in 2008, said Joe Kadlec, vice president and senior partner at Consiliant Technologies, an Irvine, Calif.-based solution provider.
Consiliant, a long-term HDS partner, started working seriously with FalconStor about six months ago, and Kadlec said he likes the idea of the two working together.
"I like how you can scale FalconStor," he said. "It provides a lot of flexibility. A lot of customers want dedupe, but without the right scalability it can become very expensive. And what I really like is, we can bring in Hitachi storage on the backend and FalconStor on the front."
For Chi Corp., for whom HDS and FalconStor are primary vendor partners, the new bundle should open up some new doors, said Greg Knieriemen, vice president of marketing for the Cleveland-based solution provider.
"This gives customers the confidence that the combined solutions are validated and supported by both vendors," Knieriemen said.
HDS makes great technology, but it can be cumbersome in terms of its go-to-market strategy, said Chris Young, manager of advanced technology at Netrix, a Bannockburn, Ill.-based solution provider and partner of both vendors.
"This agreement will standardize the bundled solutions from Hitachi for VTL and dedupe, and will simplify ordering," Young said. "And anything that makes it easier to work with Hitachi's channel program is good news."
Young said he is already seeing customer interest in the joint solutions, particularly in large SMB and smaller enterprise customers.