FalconStor Teams With Intel For Custom Storage Appliances

Under the pact, unveiled Wednesday, FalconStor's continuous data protection (CDP) software is now available for installation on the Intel Storage System SSR212CC, enabling system builders to craft CDP appliances for their customers, said Camberley Bates, chief marketing officer at Melville, N.Y.-based FalconStor.

FalconStor's iSCSI Storage Server for Windows software, designed to turn a server into an iSCSI storage appliance, also is now available for the Intel SSR212CC, which Intel code-named Compass Creek, Bates said.

The moves mark FalconStor's entry into the custom-build market, according to Bates. "Intel has a large number of storage VARs, and that's who we are targeting," she said. "It makes a lot of sense for the space Intel is targeting."

With CDP, changes to data are backed up immediately or at certain predefined intervals to allow users to be able to instantly recover a deleted, corrupted or modified file. Though many applications allow data changes to be captured on the fly, others back up the changes at set intervals.

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While some versions of FalconStor's CDP software allow data changes to be backed up in realtime, the version going to the custom system market backs up those changes every few seconds or minutes, depending on customer requirements, because of limitations in the Microsoft Windows environment, Bates said.

Midsize businesses are increasingly moving to disk-based data protection and are starting to talk about such things as recovery point objectives, which is how recent the last version of a file is available, as well as recovery time objectives, which measure how quickly a file can be restored, Bates said.

"Restoring a system can take a minimum of two hours and sometimes four or more hours," she said. "With CDP, they can be back up in five minutes or less."

James Huang, product marketing specialist at Amax Information Technology, a San Jose, Calif.-based system builder that makes custom storage appliances using enclosures and software from several vendors, said that having several different storage software applications makes it easier to sell more custom hardware.

"It helps because when we have a new storage box, people ask, 'What about the software?' " Huang said. "The more software is available, and the wider the selection, the easier it is to meet customer needs."

FalconStor is making its CDP and iSCSI software available to the custom-build storage market but has yet to decide if it will do the same with its virtual tape library (VTL) software, Bates said.

"We don't see much demand for VTLs in this space yet," she said. "Most customers tend to jump from using tape directly to disk-based backup when they don't have a large investment in tape."

The new FalconStor software is available to system builders directly from FalconStor or from distributor Bell Microproducts.

Pricing for a complete CDP appliance, including the software and the SSR212CC enclosure with 2 Tbytes of disk capacity, starts at $7,179. A similar appliance using iSCSI Storage Server for Windows instead of the CDP software starts at about $4,700.