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FalconStor executives interviewed!

· Please tell us briefly about yourselves.

FalconStor Software was founded in 2000 by a team of experts in data protection software solutions. They originally joined forces at Cheyenne Software, where ReiJane Huai, now FalconStor CEO, was chief architect of ARCserve, the industry’s first backup server. Cheyenne Software was later acquired by Computer Associates International, Inc., which still sells and supports ARCserve to this day.

FalconStor’s integrated suite of data protection solutions gives businesses a competitive advantage by maximizing data availability and system uptime, ensuring nonstop business productivity, improving efficiency and reducing operational costs. FalconStor’s TOTALLY Open data protection solutions reduce vendor lock-in and give organizations the freedom to choose the applications and hardware components that make the best sense for their business, now and as they grow into the future. FalconStor's TOTALLY Open approach enables customers to reduce dependency on proprietary systems and helps to future-proof them against costly technology changes down the road.

FalconStor's award-winning solutions – Continuous Data Protector™ (CDP), Virtual Tape Library (VTL) with deduplication, and Network Storage Server (NSS) are deployed by international Fortune 1000 enterprises, including leaders in financial services, telecommunications, aerospace, manufacturing, law, energy production, government, healthcare and higher education.

FalconStor solutions are sold and supported by major OEMs, leading system integrators, and value-added resellers worldwide.

· What are you announcing?

On September 15, 2008, at VMworld Las Vegas, we are announcing (1) that the FalconStor Network Storage Server (NSS) Gateway is now a VMware-certified storage virtualization device and (2) the new FalconStor NSS Virtual Appliance for VMware ESX.

1. VMware Certifies FalconStor NSS Gateway as a Storage Virtualization Device

- The first software solution to be certified as a storage virtualization device (SVD) for VMware

- The first SVD to be integrated with VMware Site Recovery Manager (SRM)

- Increases storage array flexibility for VMware SRM and enables open storage virtualization and provisioning for fast, reliable data recovery

2. FalconStor Launches Enterprise-Class Virtual SAN Appliance for VMware

- The first iSCSI SAN virtual appliance to have VMware ESX and application-level integration

- FalconStor NSS Virtual Appliance turns VMware ESX and ESXi into a full-featured virtual SAN, accelerating affordable server virtualization adoption – a free limited version extends virtualization benefits to the broader market

· Why the need for a SAN Virtual Appliance?

A SAN virtual appliance addresses the need for data protection and shared storage in the SMB and ROBO environment. This market segment has the same data availability needs as the enterprise but is cost sensitive and does not have the same caliber of IT expertise on site. Among the SMB and ROBO is a need for an inexpensive yet robust virtual storage solution that can support the full deployment of virtual servers, which help control costs and improve operational efficiency.

FalconStor NSS Virtual Appliance addresses these needs by transforming internal disk storage into an iSCSI SAN, turning a physical server into shared virtual storage that enables all of VMware’s advanced features. It serves the need of the SMB and ROBO for a cost effective, highly available and effective infrastructure.

· Do you have any customers who have done Site Recovery Manager with FalconStor?

Yes, we do. We have a number of customers who have implemented FalconStor NSS Gateway in a VMware Infrastructure environment. We allow VMware virtual machines to be replicated to a remote DR site using the FalconStor NSS Application Snapshot Director, which replicates application-aware snapshots to a remote location. In a VMware environment, Application Snapshot Director complements VMware Site Recovery Manager to ensure active application data can be replicated with full transactional integrity, allowing for fast recovery from server failure.

· What about a customer case where Primary and DR sites were geographically separated, for instance one in US and other in Asia? Any use cases there?

I know of at least one instance of a multinational company replicating between its offices in the United States, the UK and Japan. There are also other examples of long-distance DR within the continental United States, which often involves a company’s headquarters in one state replicating with our WAN optimization feature to a DR site several states away. This is a common practice that we readily enable.

· Who are your immediate competitors and how do you differentiate from them?

FalconStor competes with vendors that provide data protection, disaster recovery and business continuity solutions. Most often, because of the completeness and enterprise-class nature of our solutions, we compete with EMC, Network Appliance, IBM, HP and Quantum.

Sometimes we run into LeftHand Networks, which has a similar software-based model, but is not as complete or robust in data protection as FalconStor’s solutions.

We differentiate from every storage solution vendor in the industry with our TOTALLY Open software model, which allows our OEMs, channel partners, and customers to choose the hardware they want to use. FalconStor offers a complete line of integrated, totally open, data protection solutions based on a common software platform called IPStor. No one can match the level of integration of our solutions, which provide a complete array of data services, including storage virtualization, continuous data protection, data deduplication, and WAN optimization. In addition, our solutions are fully application aware and integrated at the application level for the highest level of data availability and quickest time to recovery.

We have the most extensive application integration with our snapshot feature in order to ensure the fastest recovery time. For example, FalconStor’s Application Snapshot Director for VMware ESX complements VMware Site Recovery Manager to ensure active application data can be replicated with full transactional integrity to remote DR sites, including these major enterprise applications: Microsoft SQL Server, Sharepoint and Exchange; Oracle Database; Lotus Notes; Sybase Database Management; and IBM DB2.

For a complete list of applications that are certified for operation with our data protection software, go to this page on our website: http://www.falconstor.com/en/pages/?pn=MatrixApps

· Any forward looking statements you would like to share with us?

We will continue to raise the bar for application integration to continually improve the efficiency, cost effectiveness and time to recovery of data protection. Our goal is to provide customers continuous access to mission critical data and seamless transition to full operation in the event of a disaster.

· Do you plan to strengthen your EMEA and APAC presence? How do you plan to do that?

We already have a strong presence in EMEA and Asia-Pacific, and we are continually increasing our marketing and sales activity overseas.

In Europe, we have offices in: France, the location of our European headquarters and our VTL competence centre; London, home of our Northern Europe operations; Munich, for Central Europe; Austria; Barcelona, covering Spain, Portugal, and Italy; Belgium, home of our Benelux sales office; Switzerland; and Sweden, our Scandinavian office. We sell into all of Western Europe, including the Nordics, Eastern Europe, the Middle East and South Africa.

Our APAC headquarters are in Taiwan, where we have sales, marketing and engineering functions. We have sales offices in China (Beijing and Shanghai), Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, Singapore, Malaysia and Australia.

· We are presuming that you will be at VMworld in Vegas? Do you have a session as well there?

We are exhibiting at VMworld in booth #1328, and we have several scheduled activities at the show:

  • Peter Eicher, manager of product marketing for FalconStor Software, is presenting on “Best Practices for VMware Disaster Recovery in Hybrid Environments” at the VMworld Solutions Exchange Theater on Sept. 16, 2008, at 3:30 p.m. PT.
  • Mike Norby, director of business development for FalconStor Software, is presenting on how to “Segway to FalconStor® TOTALLY OpenTM Intelligent Storage Virtualization” at the Mellanox Technologies booth (#1139) from Sept. 16-18, 2008, at 1:30 p.m. PT each day.
  • Demonstration of the new FalconStor® Network Storage Server (NSS) Virtual Appliance at the VMware booth – in the virtual appliance area in Pod 2 – on Sept. 18, 2008, from 12:30 to 4:00 p.m. PT.
  • Demonstration of the newly certified FalconStor® NSS Gateway storage virtualization device and FalconStor NSS Virtual Appliance for VMware Infrastructure at the FalconStor Software booth (#1328) during exhibit hours from Sept. 15-18, 2008.
  • FalconStor Software will give away a Segway® PT in a drawing at its booth on Thursday, Sept. 18, 2008, at 2:00 p.m. PT. Visit the FalconStor booth (#1328) at VMworld 2008 for more information.

Read the original blog entry...

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