Crunch time is approaching for FalconStor Software Inc.
and DataCore Software, two of the leading suppliers of software solutions for virtualization of storage networks -- the pooling of storage so that it can be shared among multiple applications and multiple servers.
Both companies are striving to outgun each other by lining up OEM deals with industry heavyweights. And guess what? Both companies appear to be targeting exactly the same list, namely: Hewlett-Packard Co. (NYSE: HWP), IBM Corp. (NYSE: IBM), and Hitachi Data Systems.
At present, DataCore appears to have stolen an early lead. Its SANsymphony virtualization software is already being sold by HP and Fujitsu Ltd. (KLS: FUJI.KL). FalconStor, on the other hand, has got an impending reverse merger to contend with, which might become a distraction.
Still, its very early days. FalconStors IPStor software has some attractive technical credentials that might stand it in good stead in its battles with DataCore.
In the long run, however, its far from clear whether either company will win. Other, larger players, such as
Compaq Computer Corp., have already got their oars in the water (see Compaq Gains on Virtualization). And the heavyweights that decide to resell DataCore or FalconStor products are quite likely to view this as a stopgap measure -- a way of jumping onto the virtualization bandwagon while they figure out which way the market is evolving.