FalconStor's New Virtual Tape Library Adds Inline Dedupe

FalconStor enhanced its Virtual Tape Library with the addition of new deduplication technology and compatibility with the Symantec Open Storage Technology platform.

The biggest change in the new FalconStor VTL 7.5 is the addition of inline deduplication, said Darrell Riddle, senior director of product marketing at the Melville, N.Y.-based storage vendor.

"We now have, depending on how you look at it, three to five different ways to do dedupe," Riddle said. "We're adding inline functionality so the VTL can stretch all the way from small businesses to the enterprise."

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Virtual tape libraries, or VTLs, are disk arrays configured to look to the host server and the backup software as if they were physical tape libraries. Data is streamed to and recovered from the VTL as if it were tape, so no changes are needed to the backup process. Data backed up to a VTL also can be backed up to a physical tape for archiving or off-site storage. VTLs can be purchased as a complete hardware appliance or as software.

FalconStor in 2008 first added dedupe capabilities to its VTL offerings.

FalconStor previously offered post-processing technology, which dedupes data after a complete backup job is complete, as well as concurrent technology, which dedupes each part of a backup job after it has been backed up. The company also offers what it calls a turbo feature for post-processing and concurrent dedupes which, when turned on, increases the speed of the dedupe process when compressed files are not being backed up.

With inline dedupe technology of the sort FalconStor is introducing with its VTL 7.5, the data is deduped at the same time it is being backed up. While slower than post-processing and current dedupe, inline dedupe results in the most efficient use of storage capacity as less data is actually moved over the storage network during the process.

Inline dedupe also allows data to be exported directly to tape for archiving without the need of a media server, Riddle said.

FalconStor claims to offer the fastest dedupe technology in the industry. Riddle said that with a four-node cluster, FalconStor's inline technology dedupes more than 28 TB per hour, while its post-process technology dedupes more than 43 TB per hour.

NEXT: Adding Symantec OST, Improving Security

Also new with FalconStor VTL 7.5 is compatibility with Symantec's Open Storage Technology (OST), which, when done in conjunction with Symantec's data protection software, allows storage devices to automate the backup of data between multiple appliances.

OST provides more consistent backups than other methods, ensuring that customers can recover data years after it was backed up, Riddle said. OST also adds scalability to the backup process, with up to 2 million backups possible per cluster compared to 750,000 backups previously, he said.

The data compression algorithm with FalconStor VTL 7.5 was improved as well to provide better use of LAN and WAN bandwidth, Riddle said.

The security of FalconStor VTL 7.5 also was enhanced with FIPS (Federal Information Processing Standards), a standard used by U.S. and Canadian government organizations, many state and local governments, and regulated industries as a way to ensure the security of encrypted data.