FalconStor adds VirtualTape capabilities

FalconStor Software Inc. has expanded the enterprise edition of its VirtualTape Library (VTL) solution to include support for failover clustering data back up and compatibility with a number of leading storage vendors' products, and has introduced a new all-in-one low-cost package.

VTL speeds up the tape backup process by emulating well-known tape library formats on disk. Data back up is first carried out at disk drive speeds and the data is then transferred to physical tape drives as a secondary task at a time when application performance won't be affected.

This all leads to a much faster method of data back up because the initial tape process is done at hard drive speeds and there's no need to queue the backup sequences, said Li Lin, FalconStor's VTL product manager. It's also more reliable because, among other things, there's no mechanical steps involved such as with robotic arms needed to manipulate physical tapes, he said.

"It all simplifies [backup] management because everything is done so much faster and overhead is greatly reduced on the backup server," Lin said.

The new generation of VTL products includes certified interoperability with tape libraries solutions from Sony Corp., Hewlett-Packard Co., Legato Systems Inc. and Veritas Software Corp., as well as expanded support for network-attached storage (NAS) and IBM Corp. iSeries systems.

They also allow for active-active clustering by configuring two VTL devices for back up. If either device fails then the other will seamlessly pickup the rest of the backup job, Lin said. He added that the backup process has been made even more efficient by enabling policy-based delta replication over an IP network, which calls for recording only changes to the data are noted rather than continually backing up the entire volume.

FalconStor has also introduced a turnkey Network Storage Server (NSS) solution aimed at smaller organizations that have no need for a full-scale enterprise product. It comes with a fixed amount of internal storage and works either over Fibre Channel or IP/iSCSI connections.

Prices start at just below $15,000 for the NSS solution and go up to around $50,000 for the enterprise product.

Brian Robinson is a freelance journalist based in Portland, Ore. He can be reached at hullite@mindspring.com.

About the Author

Brian Robinson is a freelance writer based in Portland, Ore.

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