FalconStor Updates VTL for Blazing Backups

By Pedro Hernandez

Melville, N.Y.-based FalconStor Thursday launched an upgraded version of its virtual tape library (VTL) platform. With new features that improve performance and enhance security, the company is positioning its FalconStor VTL 7.5 software and storage appliances as an adaptable backup and recovery solution that exercises a light touch on midsize and enterprise networks.

"Backup and replication are very network intensive," says Darrell Riddle, director of product marketing for FalconStor Software. To relieve some of that burden, VTL 7.5 replicates only unique data, lowering LAN and WAN traffic as well memory requirements. Another benefit is improved compression -- and optimizing for the latest compression cards in the case of its hardware appliances -- which reduces network overhead by "compressing backups and metadata that goes into the data repository," he added.

Storage administrators will also notice improved performance in terms of network performance and data transfer speeds, depending on which deduplication setups they settle on, according to the company.

Flexible, Fast Dedupe

FalconStor's flexible approach to data deduplication allows them to custom architect a backup strategy based on a mix of -- or exclusively on -- inline, concurrent and post-processed deduplication, or no deduplication at all. All told, "there are six different ways to streamline data," said Riddle, depending on what types of deduplication are employed along the backup and replication data path.

And it's fast, too. The fastest in fact, according to the company.

In company tests, FalconStor VTL 7.5, a four-node cluster, achieved sustained inline deduplication transfer rates of 28 terabytes per hour. The figure jumps 40 terabytes per hour for post processing. Expect that performance out in the field, said Riddle assuring that the test results comes from "real world" workloads and configurations.

Similarly, FalconStor touts improved levels of scalability with OST .Next support, based on Symantec's Open Storage Technology (OST) platform. While catering to broadening industry support for the technology, the company claims its VTL can handle a maximum of 2 million backups -- a far cry from the previous 250 backup sets -- in an eight-node cluster for near-instant access to years' worth of data.

It's a decidedly enterprise-grade level of data protection, but midsize companies aren't left out of the loop said Riddle. He points to features like simplified dedupe server configuration, the lack of fixed capacity limits and flexible cluster, node and single instant repository expansion options as ways for IT shops of more modest means to right-size their VTL environment.

Security gets some attention as well. In response to customers that do business with government agencies, Riddle said that FalconStor VTL 7.5 now conforms to FIPS 140 cryptography standards. Also keeping backups secure are full end-to-end replication encryption, AES encryption support and tape shredding.

It all adds up to a VTL platform that allows organizations to better manage and secure their storage while faced with growing backup requirements, said Robert Amatruda, research director, data protection and recovery at IDC. "Companies can no longer manage their unabated data growth using traditional backup solutions such as tape. FalconStor VTL 7.5 provides customers with the benefit of leveraging disk for backup and flexible deduplication options to address their ever-changing data protection requirements," he stated.

FalconStor VTL 7.5 is available now. Deployment options include software only, a virtual machine or a pre-configured appliance. Per terabyte prices ranges from $2,500 to $4,500 per terabyte, depending on the configuration.

Pedro Hernandez is a contributing editor at InternetNews.com, the news service of the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals. Follow him on Twitter @ecoINSITE.

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This article was originally published on April 26, 2012