FalconStor Offers ProtecTIER Migration Deal to IBM i Shops
October 28, 2020 Alex Woodie
FalconStor Software is ramping up a new program to help IBM i shops migrate away from their IBM ProtecTIER virtual tape library (VTL) devices, which IBM has killed. The migration program essentially provides an extra 12 months of support for ProtecTIER devices for $999 per month, giving IBM i shops more time to make the switch to FalconStor’s own StorSafe offering.
On February 13, 2018, IBM announced a statement of direction to cease support for various ProtecTIER hardware devices and the software that runs on them. IBM’s plan called for it to stop selling the devices in in June 2018, with all support for the devices ending by November 2020.
IBM’s line of ProtecTIER VTLs were technically capable, but never gained the foothold in the IBM i market that IBM had hoped. For many IBM i customers, the devices were too complex, too expensive, and generally overkill for their backup needs.
Two weeks ago, FalconStor announced the launch of a support and migration program for ProtecTIER customers. As part of the program, FalconStor is offering up to 12 months of continued support for the ProtecTIER offerings. The Austin, Texas, company says customer will have access to “experienced IBM ProtecTIER support staff,” to answer questions or resolve issues with existing ProtecTIER installations.
The goal is to give IBM i customers a lifeline to keep their ProtecTIER investments functional during the coronavirus pandemic, with the eventual goal of planning and executing a migration to a suitable replacement, which is the StorSafe offering, in FalconStor’s case, the company says.
“With COVID-19, the normal orderly end-of-life retirement of IBM ProtecTIER has been significantly complicated,” FalconStor CEO Todd Brooks says in a press release. “There can be practical and legal issues for customers if IBM i data is not consistently backed up and archived. FalconStor has experience of more than 20 years with the IBM platform and has experienced IBM service and support staff to help these customers.”
FalconStor is positioning its StorSafe software as a suitable replacement for the ProtecTIER VTLs installed by IBM i shops. StorSafe is a container-based storage offering that allows users to archive data on their choice of cloud environments or on-premise hardware, including regular spinning disk or SSD.
With StorSafe, data is stored in what FalconStor calls a “virtual storage container” that can be deployed in a cloud object store, such as AWS, Microsoft Azure, or IBM’s Cloud, or with an on-prem device.
The software features de-duplication and compression capabilities to reduce the amount of data stored. Encryption helps protects the integrity of data, while erasure coding bolsters the availability of data stored in cloud-based object stores. When deployed across clouds in a “redundant array of independent clouds” (RAIC) formation, FalconStor claims that StorSafe delivers 10 nines of availability.
Like its VTL offering, FalconStor’s StorSafe software emulates LTO tape drives. It also integrates with BRMS to streamline backup, recovery, and archive operations in IBM i shops. StorSafe also integrates with backup solutions from other vendors, including Veeam, Veritas, Commvault, arcserve, HPE, Oracle, and Microsoft.
FalconStor is charging $999 per month per ProtecTIER installation for its migration program. For more info, see the company’s website at www.falconstor.com.