FalconStor in New OEM Deal with IBM for VTL Appliances
June 18, 2013 Alex Woodie
FalconStor is teaming up with IBM once again to get its virtual tape library (VTL) software preloaded onto IBM servers. The X64-based appliance, called the FalconStor VTL IBM Series, will be marketed heavily to IBM’s midrange customers, including IBM i shops who want a backup system that is faster and more reliable than tape, and which offers deep support for the IBM i OS.
Mellville, New York-based FalconStor previously had a distribution deal with IBM, but ended it several years ago after IBM launched its ProtecTIER family of data de-duplication appliances. However, ProtecTIER is simply too much tech and costs too much money for small and midsized companies, experts say.
In the ensuing years, many FalconStor customers who are IBM shops have been asking for an IBM-based appliance to run the VTL software on, says Ken Scott, director of storage sales for Cima Solutions Group, a FalconStor partner based in Texas.
“The FalconStor VTL IBM Series appliance addresses the needs of small to medium-size businesses for which IBM’s ProtecTIER is much more than they need,” Scott says in a press release. “With this new appliance, we can serve the IBM-based midmarket more effectively–shortening sales cycles and getting customers up and running faster.”
The new FalconStor VTL IBM Series appliance consists of FalconStor VTL software preloaded onto System x3650 M4 Express servers and System Storage EXP2512 Express Storage enclosures. According to the solutions spec sheet, the solutions will feature 14 hot-pluggable SAS hard drives, providing up to 12 TB of capacity, or 240 TB using FalconStor’s compression and data de-duplication routines.
The VTL IBM Series frames will include four 1 Gbps iSCSI ports and two 8 Gbps Fibre Channel ports, with room for three additional FC ports and one 10 Gbps iSCSI port. The devices will store 128 virtual tape libraries, with up to 1,024 drives and 250,000 cartridges. Additional options include support for IBM i, IBM 3494 tape drive connectivity, and ACSLS library support.
FalconStor has offered deep level of support for the IBM i server, and these capabilities will be available through the new VTL IBM Series device. According to a new IBM i solution brief (pdf format), the VTL can emulate more than 50 popular tape libraries and 30 tape-drive formats, along with IBM i-specific formats.
Perhaps most importantly, customers can perform a bare-metal recovery with a FalconStor VTL, eliminating the need to move the data to tape to recover an IBM i environment. The software works with backup products commonly used in the IBM i world, including BRMS, LXI‘s MMS, Tivoli Storage Manager, and save commands (along with products like Help/Systems Robot/SAVE, although that one wasn’t mentioned in the solution brief). Customers can store non IBM i-data on a FalconStor VTL as well, and de-dupe, encrypt, and replicate all that data to other VTLs over a WAN.
The appliances will be manufactured and quality-tested by Avnet Technology Solutions, and will become available in North America at the end of August, with availability to other parts of the world beginning next year.
FalconStor also announced this month that it’s working with Dell–again, via Avent–to build another line of VTL devices that are preloaded on servers from the Round Rock, Texas, company.