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FalconStor Offers More Tape Goodies

FalconStor Software's new version of its Virtual Tape Library software, 7.5, provides more options in deduplication, improves performance, takes up less space by offering the ability to compress metadata, and supports features that make the product more attractive to users in the federal government. Other features include improved scalability and performance with the Symantec Open Storage Technology platform that gives users access to years of data, as well as the ability to scale by adding nodes, adding storage or expanding data repository nodes. In addition, the software replicates only unique data, reducing its memory requirements and improving efficiency.

Pundits, and competitors, have been predicting the end of tape as a storage medium for decades, but while it can’t provide random I/O performance, tape is still the least-expensive media for capacity. To keep disk density rising at 40% a year, by 2015 disk heads will need to have smaller features than semiconductor chips, making it unlikely that disks will continue to grow in density at that rate. Tape bits are 100,000 times larger than disk bits, meaning tape heads can follow, rather than lead, the related industries.

"FalconStor continues to innovate in the data protection and recovery market, particularly for disk-based backup and recovery," says Robert Amatruda, research director, data protection and recovery, at IDC. This version provides users with more flexibility with data deduplication: the new post-process in-line capability, concurrent or none at all, he says.

Greater optimization with industry-standard OST support provides customers much more scale in their backup environments, Amatruda says. Finally, the new version offers enhanced security options with support for the extended Advanced Encryption Standard, tape-shredding functionality, replication encryption and support for the Federal Information Processing Standards, which makes the product more attractive to government agencies, he says: "These enhancements make FalconStor's VTL much more flexible, scalable and secure."

The support for inline deduplication decreases storage requirements by up to 40%, which reduces costs and improves efficiency, says FalconStor. Support for inline deduplication also gives users more flexibility in the type of deduplication used--inline, concurrent, post-processing or none--and the software supports the ability to deploy it in multiple configurations, depending on the type of data and available storage. Post- and concurrent processing also support a Turbo feature that can increase performance by up to 300%, twice as fast as inline deduplication, the company says. It adds that deduplication performance is twice the rate of competing products.

The software now also supports OST Next, which uses platform application programming interfaces, offers catalog consistency and provides a single point of management, the company says. It also retains data longer on fast disk. The result is that, for example, in a cluster of up to eight nodes, a user organization could store up to 2 million backups. Other ways in which the product is flexible is that there are no fixed sizes, meaning that any number of disks can be added to the system, says FalconStor. The product also uses Single Instant Repository to make it easier to expand the number of nodes.

The product is available now and costs from $2,500 to $4,500 per terabyte, depending on configuration. It is available in three versions: as software only, as a configured appliance that runs on a Linux kernel or as a virtual machine.

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