Rather than thinking of data protection as a broad range of recovery options, consider it as the umbrella term for the spectrum of activities and initiatives that enable organizations to be agile in their protection, preservation, and delivery of production data, suggests Enterprise Strategy Group’s Jason Buffington. Even better, why not think of it as a single element, the proverbial one-throat-to-choke super solution the industry often talks about but rarely delivers?
That’s where embattled disk-based data protection vendor FalconStor Software is looking to play a bigger role with its latest announcements, said Ralph Wynn, Technical Director, Product Marketing, FalconStor. “When we talk to our installed base and new customers, they’re looking to move more to a single platform.” Most data protection are about feeds and speeds, and not talking to customers about the challenges and problems they’re trying to solve, he said.
This is where we’re starting to get the message out that we are a true problem solver with better ROI, said Wynn. “We want to be the onramp vendor… to cloud, between clouds, big data analytics… [to] allow you to solve the problem without needing that extra investment.”
FalconStor, which just reported a 15% decline in year-over-year revenues and named a new president and CEO after the previous exec resigned, has announced a new release of its Continuous Data Protector (CDP) and Network Storage Server (NSS) data protection solutions with RecoverTrac disaster recovery (DR) automation technology. Due to ship October 8, they will offer enhanced features for moving, storing, protecting and analyzing data without burdening production resources, while the RecoverTrac tool now provides additional flexibility to automate failover and failback with greater accuracy in any physical, virtual or hybrid environment, including VMware and Hyper-V deployments, said the company.
“They all play together in our data mobility strategy (simple yet powerful data mobility solutions that enable business agility and maximum uptime with minimum effort),” said Wynn. “Our customers want to be sure we have what they need to be protected.”
Symantec owns 31.6% of the backup/recovery software market, followed by EMC and IBM, 17.3% and 17.2% market share, respectively (Gartner Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Backup/Recovery Software). Like the majority of the 15 vendors included in the report, FalconStor was relegated to the Niche Player segment.
Still, this market is expanding, with the amount of data to be stored increasing at a CAGR of 53% between 2011 and 2016, and protecting that data a major area of concern. Enterprise Strategy Group reports that three of the top-ten IT priorities for 2013 are data protection related (27% data backup and recovery; 20% regulatory compliance; 20% business continuity and disaster recovery). Over a third (39%) of storage professionals view data protection as a storage challenge, with 11% saying data protection is their primary storage challenge.
Wynn said the initial focus will be on the IBM and HP customer bases because they are looking for management capabilities that neither vendor offers. These capabilities may be powered by FalconStor, but they will still show up as IBM or HP-branded, so customers won’t have to worry about bringing in another vendor, he said.
As for the future of FalconStor, the company said it is now determining where the business should go, and expects to disclose those directions in the fourth quarter. In the meantime, Wynn said “we’re alive and kicking.”
Backup is a commodity that you use for only reason, that your data is always available, he said. “With RecoverTrac we give you true failover.”
Feeds, Speeds & Pricing
The FalconStor CDP and FalconStor NSS software appliance kits start at $10,000; the CDP appliance starts at $11,300; and the NSS gateway starts at $12,300. The RecoverTrac enhanced CDP and NSS capabilities include:
-minimal impact on production data, eliminating the need for dedicated storage for business intelligence;
-customizable service awareness for accurate recovery, VMware vSphere 5.5 support, networking support for recovery with jumbo frames, and failback accuracy with prepare to failback;
-protection and recovery of physical and virtual machines running Windows 2012 and any virtual machine running on Microsoft Hyper-V 3.0 environments;
-secure replication of multiple data types, each with its own encryption format.
-NSS Enhancements include a stretch cluster configurator, storage-agnostic data migration for cloud deployments, Microsoft Windows 2012 storage management support, further VMware integration, and a single plane of glass for managing storage and server operations.