StorageTek Couples With FalconStor

STK wades into storage virtualization with plans for FalconStor-based replication appliance

June 19, 2003

3 Min Read
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Storage Technology Corp. (StorageTek) (NYSE: STK) -- looking to edge its way into the storage virtualization game -- is teaming up with FalconStor Software Inc. (Nasdaq: FALC) to create a data replication appliance that works with heterogeneous storage systems (see StorageTek, FalconStor Snuggle).

As part of the deal, StorageTek will immediately start reselling FalconStor's IPStor software. Then, over the next two months, the two vendors will jointly produce a StorageTek-branded heterogeneous replication and mirroring appliance, which they say will reduce the cost and improve the efficiency of mirroring data to local or remote locations. Financial terms of the deal weren't disclosed.

The companies say the planned appliance fits into each of their data lifecycle management strategies, which are intended to let customers move different types of data to the appropriate storage medium depending on the value of the data.

"We offer policy-based data movement, and StorageTek offers the most interesting array of storage mediums today," says Jon Greene, the director of product management for FalconStor. "This is a very logical synergy."

Michael Karp, an analyst with Enterprise Management Associates, says the partnership is a smart move for both players. "It gives FalconStor a huge customer base and gives StorageTek access to technology they never had before," he says.The forthcoming 2U-high, Linux-based appliance will integrate FalconStor's IPStor software, which provides a range of storage services over heterogeneous SAN environments, with StorageTek's BladeStore ATA-based storage arrays (see StorageTek to Punch Into Disk Backup). The in-band appliance will be able to replicate data -- either synchronously or asynchronously -- from one type of disk at the primary site to another type at secondary or disaster recovery sites.

"This gives customers the flexibility to have something outside of the proprietary solutions," says Jay Seifert, StorageTek's disk product marketing manager.

The StorageTek/FalconStor appliance will join a growing number of fabric-based data replication products, designed in part to allow enterprises to move data off high-end disks at a primary site to a cheaper medium like ATA-based disk arrays or tape at a secondary site.

Hewlett-Packard Co. (NYSE: HPQ) and IBM Corp. (NYSE: IBM) are among those offering appliances in this area; and Brocade Communications Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: BRCD) and Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) are developing switch-based technologies that provide such advanced storage services (see IBM Plays With Self (Virtually), V-Switch Alliances Take Shape, HP Opens Doors to CASA, and Brocade Reupholsters Rhapsody).

StorageTek and FalconStor concede that some enterprises that need to replicate business-critical data are likely to continue using high-end solutions from the likes of EMC Corp. (NYSE: EMC) and Hitachi Data Systems (HDS). They're betting, however, that the majority of companies will opt for a little lower performance at a much lower cost."Our goal is to have a very aggressive solution," Seifert says. "We want to offer something that's very competitive."

The list price for the appliance, which is expected to start shipping in a couple of months, will be between $40,000 and $60,000, depending on what server is being used, he says.

Eugénie Larson, Reporter, Byte and Switch

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