By Dave Simpson
– Billing it as "the only SAN that can virtualize other SANs," FalconStor Software today introduced its first turnkey SAN system. The Network Storage Server (NSS) HC series includes a new release of the company's NSS software coupled with a hardware platform from FalconStor partner H3C.
The NC is a self-contained SAN disk array supporting iSCSI and/or Fibre Channel connectivity, as well as a gateway that can virtualize heterogeneous storage resources and SANs.
"The key differentiator [vs. other SAN arrays] is the ability to virtualize other vendors' SANs," says Eric Kao, FalconStor's director of NSS product marketing. "This enables users to preserve their existing investments as they grow their SANs."
Although the system is new to the North America and Europe markets, H3C has been selling the software-hardware combo for some time in China.
The NSS HC series includes all of the core NSS software functionality (as well as a full RAID stack), including virtualization, provisioning, heterogeneous management and data protection features such as synchronous data mirroring, WAN-optimized replication, application-aware snapshots, and disaster recovery.
In addition, the system is optimized for VMware environments, according to Kao. For example, a Snapshot Director VA feature guarantees reliable point-in-time copies for instant recovery at both the virtual machine (VM) and application levels.
The NSS HC series also supports Windows VSS recovery/cluster, Windows 2008 multi-site clusters, and Hyper-V.
In conjunction with the introduction of the HC series, FalconStor introduced a new release of the NSS software, with enhancements such as snapshots of snapshots and expanded thin provisioning. The company also claims improved WAN bandwidth utilization (up to 90%) without third-party WAN optimization devices, as well as performance increases (to more than 100,000 I/Os per second).
The NSS HC systems are available in four hardware configurations, each with dual controllers in a 3U, 16-bay disk enclosure:
--HC620: two dual-core CPUs, 4GB of cache, eight GbE/iSCSI ports and up to 224 SAS and/or SATA drives
--HC630: four dual-core CPUs, 8GB cache, 16 GbE ports, 336 SAS/SATA drives
--HC650: four dual-core CPUs, 8GB cache, eight Fibre Channel and eight GbE ports, 336 SAS/SATA drives
--HC670: four dual-core CPUs, 16GB cache, four 10GbE ports, 336 SAS/SATA drives
All configurations include thin provisioning, snapshots, mirroring, replication, and multi-path support.
An entry-level NSS HC620 with eight GbE/iSCSI ports and 16TB of SATA capacity is priced at $49,000.