FalconStor is a storage software provider specialising in a set of offerings around smarter storage management and data protection. It built practices around 3 main offerings: storage hypervisors, virtual tape and data protection. Interestingly, the company’s offerings all center around the same core software engine.

The company’s focus on delivering own branded solutions to customers has increased, because its OEM business proportion went from more than 40% to 20% in 2010 (2011 results will be announced by mid March). The company was founded in 2000 and its main offering was then its storage virtualisation software. FalconStor enjoyed subsequent success through its virtual tape library (VTL) offerings which gained traction with IT departments in the mid-2000s. The VTL IP also became popular with other storage vendors who became OEM customers of FalconStor. The company also benefited from customer demand for de-duplication in order to minimise the storage footprint by eliminating data redundancy.

FalconStor is revisiting its roots as storage hypervisors are gaining in popularity. In this piece: storage-hypervisor-market-essentials, we discussed the different locations where storage hypervisors can reside. The FalconStor version was originally focused in the software layer, even though it was originally promoted as a SAN enabling and an IP-storage solution. More recently the company is also developing its software to tap into VMware’s modules and can thus be argued to fit into two of the corners of our storage hypervisor chart. FalconStor also provides pre-configured turnkey hardware appliances.

Customers should first of all consider how a software based approach to virtualising their storage tiers enables them to manage solutions from various hardware providers. But also how their VMware based workloads stand to benefit. As control of the server hypervisor layer is getting ever more sophisiticated, the storage layer has relatively speaking lagged behind in orchestrating overall workloads.

The IT industry should pay attention to how FalconStor’ storage hypervisor proposition has retained its validity and how customers explore how to embrace their storage pool with a common set of tools. As customers not only elevate their storage considerations across the entire storage tier, they are now also looking for ways to predictably orchestrate workloads. Solutions with the potential to efficiently implement multi-tenancy management have the potential to disrupt what hardware and software, customers build their future infrastructure on.
Image credit: Annie in Beziers

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