From cloud and software-defined to Open Stack – Storage market perspectives from a vendors point of view

by Michael Ghezzo

With new and innovative products FalconStor takes its position in the storage market attacking several well established vendors with a StartUp attitude. Talking to EMEA Marketing Director Iris Hatzenbichler-Durchschlag about the award winning products, changes in the storage market, how the company itself changes and customer demands.

FalconStor launched the Freestor product suite/platform relatively recently. Please can you tell us about it?

FreeStor is the company’s new Software Defined Storage platform that addresses Migration, Continuous Availability, Recovery and Optimization.  We recently entered into an agreement with Cumulus Logic a start-up stealth company to provide Intelligent Analytics to the FreeStor platform that will be available at the end of Q1 2016.

With FreeStor we have also introduced a flexible model to use the product.  We have a subscription based offering that allows customers to only pay for what they use and throughout the year they can consume more capacity than they are licensed for without any additional costs.  At the end of each year the customer or, in the case of a service provider, at the end of each quarter, they will true-up looking forward with a predefined cost per terabyte.

And is it software-only, only available as an appliance, or are both options available?

The Freestor product is software-only.  We provide customers or partners an x86 Linux-based reference architecture to select the server that they are most comfortable in using or have a special arrangement with for purchasing.

The Freestor storage vendor support is probably the most comprehensive in the industry.  We believe we support almost all current primary, secondary and tertiary disk providers and in the case of all-flash arrays and hybrid arrays, we probably support most of the primary and secondary vendors.
Our goal is to give customers choice in everything they do related to storage for their business.

And how do you see the whole software-defined era developing over time?

For us at the moment we see two definitions of software-defined storage which is primarily being driven by the marketplace vendors and is only now coming into focus with the industry analysts beginning to develop a taxonomy that is their understanding and belief of what software-defined storage must contain. 

There are two approaches; decoupled and hyper converged. We at FalconStor are currently supporting the decoupled approach which is more of a build-it-yourself (BIY) and the reason is that it allows customers and service providers to choose the most economical approach to the service levels and performance they are looking to obtain.  We believe that hyper-converged is also a viable solution, but it does not do much for existing legacy environments which we call “brownfields” they are really for new environments, applications and services which are “greenfields”.  Both work depending on customer requirements.

We also believe that through an Intelligent Abstraction layer, combined with Intelligent Analytic information, ultimately then Intelligent Action can be delivered based upon: service levels, performance levels and economic requirements.

Moving on to migration challenges?
Customers and Service Providers find that the ability to move their data from one brand of disk to another, one brand of disk to an all-flash or hybrid array as well as from one location to another location is not easy.  Within storage hardware manufacturer families of product the ability may be provided by the vendor, but across vendors is very difficult.  The Freestor offering allows customer to move their data real-time or over time with our capabilities in the Always On pillar of Freestor as well as our Recovery and Protection pillar.  Because we have experience in many legacy data types as well as our “open” approach to data and the storage that it is residing upon, we are able to migrate a customer’s data quite easily.
And, of course, we can’t not mention the impact that the Cloud is having?!

If you look back at our industry – we have seen discussions about the Cloud a couple of times. The Cloud is a great opportunity for all types of customers; small and large.  At the moment we see the Cloud in need of a number of functional solutions which will evolve over time in Compute, Network, Storage and Security.  It has taken about five years from the beginning of talking about it until we have seen the first functional solutions.  From the FalconStor point of view, we can provide all the Data Services which are needed and here I’d rewrite the question: ‘It is not what impact the cloud has – it is more what benefits and capabilities we can add to make the cloud happen. And Data Services is the key to making it happen.

What can we expect from FalconStor during 2016?

FalconStor aims to become the de-facto standard for truly heterogeneous, enterprise class software-defined storage solutions.  We will continue to drive growth in all three major regions as well as continue our OEM and MSP partnerships.  With more and more organizations needing a way to non-disruptively modernize existing environments and incorporate new storage technologies such as flash, FreeStor is optimally positioned to deliver those capabilities with over 15 years of proven experience.  We are not a new start up, but we plan to operate and grow like one…!

FalconStor demonstrates its products as a partner at the 9th Confare CIO SUMMIT in Vienna on the 6th/7th April – www.ciosummit.at

About FalconStor:

FalconStor solutions give customers the power to seamlessly migrate, recover, protect, and deduplicate data—on or off the cloud without tying their business to specific hardware, networks, or protocols.

FalconStor gives customers the “Power to Be Free”, with True Software-Defined Storage. With FreeStor, customers are free to choose or leverage the right storage infrastructure to match their business, operations, and budget, free to innovate and focus on driving business, and free to do business in a way that makes sense for their business – not in a way that is dictated by vendors.
FreeStor breaks the cycle of storage vendor lock-in by eliminating outdated licensing models and shifting to a new pricing model. We believe our technology will allow customers to choose the right storage medium for the right service level they are trying to achieve, with the right performance and economic performance for them.
FalconStor Software GmbH, Landsbergerstr. 312, 80687 München, Tel:+49-89-41615321-10, www.falconstor.com

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1 comment

Shawn dell 4. März 2016 - 10:28

This is very educational blog. I really like reading this blog. This blog surly increase my knowledge a bit. Thank you so much for sharing this post. storage marketing materials


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