FalconStor’s skinny bird flies higher, faster

Thin provisioning all the way

FalconStor has enhanced the technology in its foundation IPStor platform with virtual storage appliances, and released significantly improved network storage server and continuous data protection products, extending thin provisioning to replication and disaster recovery. It can also accelerate storage performance through solid state disk (SD) appliances.

IPStor is a storage virtualisation platform which underlies FalconStor’s Network Storage Server (NSS), Continuous Data Protector (CDP and Virtual Tape Library (VTL) products. It now includes host-based data integrity agents for database and messaging plus a new Central Client Manager (CCM) for centralised client-side management and reporting.

The big IPStor development is its availability as a complete virtual storage appliance. The release enables the construction of disk-based, data protection storage appliances using off-the-shelf components to create a virtual appliance integrated with the VMware ESXi. Small to medium-sized businesses can now create a virtual backup server on the fly for instant data recovery and business continuity.

IPStor technology is easily embedded in a disk array system. With it implanted in a single, 20Gbit/s InfiniBand, 10Gbit/s Ethernet or 4Gbit/s Fibre Channel, fault tolerant, active-active, dual-controller appliance, the need for multiple server appliances is eliminated. FalconStor partner H3C is successfully using this model to capture market share lead in IP SANs in China.

FalconStor CDP is based on the virtual appliance concept of pre-built, pre-configured and ready-to-run software applications packaged with the O/S inside a virtual machine. This reduces product delivery time and effort for system integrators and VARs, who can combine it with VMware ESXi for an all-in-one solution architecture.

This single system, installable within 10 minutes, can be distributed to small to medium-sized businesses, enabling better data protection through instant recovery rather than data restore. It gives them business continuity and disaster recovery (DR) for both physical and virtual machines; possibly better DR than many larger enterprises currently enjoy.

Thin Disaster Recovery
FalconStor’s thin disaster recovery leverages thin provisioning, thin mirroring and thin replication volumes to deliver an industry-first thin, end-to-end disaster recovery infrastructure. With it storage allocations at the data center and the disaster recovery site no longer have to be identical.

It utilises the IPStor platform to deliver any-to-any heterogeneous storage replication, and MicroScan technology with built-in deduplication and compression to minimize the amount of data transferred at the granular disk-sector level. Customers can create a virtual volume to match the size of each data provisioning request, and allocate a smaller amount of actual physical disk space, assigning additional physical disk space automatically as needed.

Thin provisioning reduces storage costs; thin replication reduces bandwidth costs; and thin mirroring reduces wasteful over-provisioning of storage, all saving disk space and power consumption, helping to facilitate a substantially more efficient ‘green’ data center.

Accelerated NSS
FalconStor’s NSS is a SAN product that provisions virtual disks to hosts via Fibre Channel, iSCSI, and InfiniBand. It includes heterogeneous storage management. and built-in snapshot capability, thin provisioning and Capacity on Demand (COD) to avoid storage under-utilisation.

NSS can be combined with a memory appliance as an ultra-fast storage-on-demand facility or as a read/write cache device to accelerate key applications to the speed of SSD.

The Violin 1010 is the industry’s first Memory Appliance, capable of supporting both Scalable Memory (DRAM) or High Performance Storage (NAND Flash) or a mixture of the two. The first release of the Violin 1010 supports 504GB of DRAM in a 2U chassis.

If an NSS appliance is fronted by the Violin 1010 memory appliance, production performance of data-centric applications is accelerated. Such tier-0 memory enables faster processing of terabyte-scale datasets. Customers have on-demand provisioning of SSD capacity to any existing SAN volume. For applications heavily used at the end of a quarter, dynamic allocation of memory can turbo-charge these applications or hot data sectors.

Wayne Lam, co-founder and VP at FalconStor, said: “Our IPStor platform is the foundation for all of our … NSS, CDP and VTL solutions. Optimising this architecturally open virtualisation platform enables our strategic and solution provider partners to leverage our technology to intelligently manage data growth, control capacity demands, supercharge application performance, and take data protection to an entirely new level.”

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