FalconStor Preps Data Protection Software For Services-Oriented Offering


FalconStor on Monday unveiled a unified release all of its key storage virtualization and data protection software applications as part of a move to get ready to release a services-oriented data protection offering next year.

FalconStor is now shipping version 7 of its Virtual Tape Library, File-interface Deduplication System (FDS), Continuous Data Protection (CDP), and Network Storage Server (NSS) applications, said Mike DiMeglio, director of product marketing for the Melville, NY-based storage vendor.

The new release is all about synchronizing the company's products to position them as the base for a services-oriented data protection offering to be released sometime in 2012, DiMeglio said.

"It's beyond data protection for block data," he said. "It's about treating the email server or Share Point server or database server as an object so it can be handled from creation to protecting data to archiving to its eventual disposal."

Ultimately, FalconStor plans to bring its VTL, CDP, NSS, and FDS into a single product, DiMeglio said.

Version 7 of the company's applications feature new capabilities, increased scalability, and improved performance across all four offerings, DiMeglio said.

Despite the move to synchronize the releases and eventually turn them into a services offering, DiMeglio declined to say whether there would be a unified version 8 of the software before the services version is announced.

"Version 8? I can't say what the nomenclature will be, or when they will be consolidated into a single offering," he said. "It's premature. But it's the direction of the product."

FalconStor has merged its file-based dedupe and its VTL dedupe technologies, letting customers now use FDS as a stand-alone dedupe offering or take advantage of up to eight dedupe nodes in front of a cluster of storage devices to do global deduplication with load balancing, DiMeglio said.

Version 7 also includes enhanced hashing technology to speed the dedupe process across the front-end FDS and VTL nodes. It now provides sustained dedupe performance of up to 9.8 TBs per hour compared to 5.9 TBs per hour previously. It also scales to 1 petabyte of deduped storage, or about 20 TBs of data before dedupe, he said.

FalconStor's NSS version 7 was redesigned with business continuity and storage virtualization in mind, DiMeglio said. "It is an extension of NSS to virtualize the storage across multiple arrays," he said. "It allows customers to manage a set of tools across a heterogeneous set of storage arrays, and to virtualize that storage under a single set of management tools."

It now features an extended LUN size of up to 64 TBs, compared to 16 TBs in the past, and is ready to support VMware's upcoming vSphere 5 cloud platform.

Other VMware-focused capabilities include the support for VMware vStorage APIs for Array Integration (VAAI) so that NSS can allow heterogeneous arrays whether certified for VMware or not to take over the data protection processing from host servers.

"Our difference is we support not only arrays certified on VMware's HCL (hardware compatibility list), but for all arrays that are not certified," DiMeglio said. "We're now going to provide them performance enhancement across all arrays."

NSS version 7 also increases the ability to do multi-threading of code to improve the performance of such services as data replication and encryption, DiMeglio said.

FalconStor also improved NSS's failover performance, and separated its HotZone write cache and SafeCache read cache because of the different performance requirements for both, he said.

Next: Getting Ready For Services-Oriented Data Protection