FalconStor VTL aimed at SMBs

By Kevin Komiega

FalconStor Software’s success in providing virtual tape library (VTL) technology to larger enterprises is undeniable. Now, the company is swimming downstream with the introduction of two new VTL appliances aimed at remote offices, departments, and mid-sized companies- the VTL Storage Appliance and VTL Virtual Appliance, which is a pre- configured virtual machine image that brings VTL capabilities to VMware environments.

Both products include FalconStor’s VTL integrated with Single Instance Repository (SIR) technology for data de-duplication. The VTL Appliance and Virtual Appliance provide high-speed backup interfaces-1Gbps iSCSI or 4Gbps Fibre Channel-and tape-format aware de-duplication.

According to FalconStor’s technology evangelist and spokesperson Diamond Lauffin, the VTL Storage Appliance can be deployed within 30 minutes with no changes to the existing environment and its compatibility with legacy physical tape drives or libraries allows the VTL to automatically export tapes directly, by policy, or on-demand, at the speed of the SAN. The VTL Storage Appliance integrates with FalconStor VTL Enterprise to allow remote offices to replicate virtual tapes over the WAN to the corporate data center for centralized management or compliance.

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The FalconStor VTL Virtual Appliance is software application packaged with the operating system inside a virtual machine running under VMware Infrastructure. The virtual version is equipped with all of the features of its physical counterpart.

FalconStor is not restricting any of the features or functions of the new appliances, but the company has capped the scalability of the new products to differentiate between the VTL appliances and its enterprise offerings.

“The difference is in scalability. The appliances are designed for the 2TB to 10TB range. We are not going to restrict features, but you will see a difference from a capacity standpoint,” according to Lauffin. “Customers tell us they would prefer to see the same feature set as the enterprise offering versus the same capacities.”

FalconStor VTL Storage Appliance and FalconStor VTL Virtual Appliance are available now through FalconStor’s partners. The VTL Storage Appliance and VTL Virtual Appliance are priced from $19,000 and $8,000, respectively.

Robert Amatruda, research director at IDC, says FalconStor’s new appliances will serve them well in their efforts to extend virtual tape and data de-duplication technologies to new markets like the midrange and virtual environments.

Amatruda believes FalconStor’s main goal is to attract users who do not currently have a virtual tape solution.

“FalconStor has been enabling VTL solutions for pretty much all of the major storage suppliers out there. I really see these new products as an expansion of FalconStor’s existing brand with a channel product along the lines of an appliance aimed at customers that manage a lot less data than a large enterprise,” says Amatruda.

FalconStor’s partnerships are numerous. The company has existing relationships with Copan Systems, Hitachi Data Systems, IBM, LSI, Nexsan, Pillar Data Systems, Sun Microsystems, and Quantum, to name a few.

This article was originally published on November 01, 2007