FalconStor is looking to upend the enterprise storage market and help businesses modernize their storage environments with FreeStor, the company’s new unified data services and storage management solution.
Like the storage industry at large, the Melville, NY-based storage software company, known for its virtual tape library (VTL) tech and data protection products, is in the midst of a revival, according to its CEO Gary Quinn. The push to cloud-like IT architectures and high-performance, flash-enabled systems is rewriting not only the rules of data center deployments, but also storage management.
Although there are no shortage of solutions aimed at the modern data center, organizations with existing storage investments are getting left behind, asserts Quinn. “Customers are being challenged with the ability to move legacy applications or portfolios of storage into the new world,” he told InfoStor during a recent interview.
For FalconStor, it’s an opportunity to address this market need and align its own product slate with the software-defined era.
Unveiled today, FreeStor is the “first true SDS [software-defined storage] platform that is truly heterogeneous,” said Quinn. “It gives customers a seamless, single point of view.”
It also represents a big milestone for the company. FreeStor is “the first new introduction of technology in five years” from the company, he added.
The software provides data migration, backup, recovery, continuity and optimization services for physical and virtual systems, and across storage arrays (HDD, SDD and hybrid), on-premise servers and the cloud. Sitting between client systems and storage is a FreeStor Management Server, which can scale to cover up to 128 storage nodes.
The included dedupe repository optimizes capacity by providing inline, block-based and file-based deduplication services. Capacity is managed from a unified, HTML5-based interface that can be rebranded for service provider customers.
FreeStor pricing is set by an annual, price-per-terabyte subscription with included software updates. “As they add capacity throughout the year, there is no additional cost to the customer,” said Quinn.
Powering the solution is the company’s “new Intelligent Abstraction engine,” said Tim Sheet, vice president of global marketing for FalconStor. The software is a blend of a storage hypervisor, data services and automated management and provisioning tools that streamline management and enables businesses to breathe new life into their old applications with flash and modern storage software. “Now we have a way to help merge those technologies in an existing environment,” said Sheet.
And FalconStor didn’t raid the virtual parts bin for the new unified solution, assured Sheet. FreeStor is based on “a completely rearchitected engine, [it’s] not a repackage,” he said.