FalconStor Aims to Make Storage Less Taxing

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FalconStor is focusing on helping solution providers reclaim and reuse customers’ excess capacity with a unique Return of Assets (ROA) strategy, which can drive higher revenues, greater efficiencies and cost savings.

To paraphrase Benjamin Franklin, in this world, nothing’s for certain except death, taxes and, perhaps, storage. The inevitability of data growth and the very real possibility that they’ll outgrow capacity leads many organisations to consistently overestimate storage needs in annual budget. In the short term, this strategy makes sense, but long term, the results are an enormous amount of wasted capital and unused hardware.

FalconStor is focusing on helping solution providers reclaim and reuse customers’ excess capacity with a unique Return of Assets (ROA) strategy, which can drive higher revenues, greater efficiencies and cost savings.

“If a customer has estimated a 30 percent data growth year-over-year, they’re usually overestimating to make sure they have enough capacity,” says Fadi Albatal, director of marketing, FalconStor. By leveraging FalconStor’s virtual tape library (VTL) and file interface deduplication software, solution providers can increase utilisation rates of customers’ storage hardware and maximise their existing infrastructure, says Albatal.

“What this allows solution providers to do is go in and ‘reclaim’ unused portions of customers’ infrastructures,” he says. Doing so can increase ROI and extend the lifecycles of their existing hardware, while at the same time

“By reclaiming infrastructure they already have, many customers can push their hardware purchases off until the next year, when the technology will have evolved so it’s more reliable, faster and much more affordable,” he says.

FalconStor’s ROA strategy combined with its VTL and deduplication software gives solution providers the upper hand when purchasing from vendors, says Albatal.

“Solution providers also gain better negotiation power with their own hardware vendors because they can say, ‘I’m buying more basic, specific types of disks for their performance, I don’t need functionality like snapshots, for instance, because I can use my FalconStor software for that capability,’” he says.

As a software vendor, Albatal says FalconStor has a lot more flexibility to help customers optimise and extend the lifecycle and availability of their current infrastructure on multiple levels in the data centre, across storage, servers and applications, he says, whereas a hardware vendor might only focus on one particular piece of infrastructure.

Allowing for optimisation and also streamlined management of all infrastructures through one console helps maximise investment in personnel resources, he says.

“Our strategy also maximises return on your human assets – since there are fewer bodies that you must have in your IT shop managing the physical resources in your environment,” Albatal says.

FalconStor emphasises the importance of additional software that can optimise and streamline customers’ infrastructures, including file interface deduplication and virtual tape library technology.

And increasing ROI by leveraging an ROA strategy has paid off for FalconStor. While 2008’s third quarter saw a dip in demand for the vendor due to customers’ budget freezes, Albatal says demand increased by the end of 2008 and continues to climb in the early months of 2009.

“Storage really is like taxes,” he says. “No matter what, you have to pay them – and organisations have to have storage. So we’re just trying to help our customers pay ‘lower taxes,’” he says.