The modern enterprise relies on data to differentiate itself from competitors, to innovate new products and services, to unlock new revenue opportunities, and to drive employee productivity. Consequently, IT organizations must deliver unprecedented levels of data agility and availability while also meeting increasingly stringent compliance requirements. This is no easy feat against a backdrop of increasing data silos and storage sprawl, rendering more effective data management a top priority for storage managers.
FalconStor Data Mastery Platform
Storage software vendor FalconStor has launched its Data Mastery software platform (a rebrand of its FreeStor product) to better help large enterprises such as financial institutions, healthcare organizations, and higher education institutions navigate their complex data management and protection needs.
The platform provides a holistic management console spanning infrastructure resources, data and applications. Meanwhile, it maintains flexibility to accommodate specific requirements. For instance, it supports a range of legacy and modern infrastructure resources, such as stand-alone storage arrays and hyperconverged infrastructures, to meet varying application needs, and it enables both archiving and real-time replication to meet varying recovery time objectives (RTOs) and strict zero recovery point objectives (RPOs).
FalconStor’s Data Mastery platform stands to cut costs through its API-driven and open, virtualized architecture that can help to optimize capacity and performance of new and existing storage resources, such as solid-state disk (SSD) media. The platform is infrastructure agnostic, meaning it supports heterogeneous pools of on and off premises storage systems and cloud storage services to avoid vendor lock in. This allows customers to leverage their existing investments and to tap innovations tailored to their particular workload requirements. The hardware independence coupled with capacity-based pricing further simplifies scalability and enhances cost-effectiveness. FalconStor’s platform furthermore drives utilization and performance through proprietary deduplication, compression and bandwidth reduction capabilities. Another valuable feature is the vendor’s SafeCache/HotZone technology, which helps to manage I/O peaks.
Full-spectrum and adaptive data protection coupled with fast and granular recovery are also areas of key emphasis for FalconStor. The vendor’s Data Mastery platform can protect all storage media types. It integrates FalconStor’s TimeMark snapshot and Adaptive Replication and Continuous Data Replication capabilities, to enable fast, consistent and reliable, application-aware replication – as well as ensuring that all data from the source production system can be recovered.
The platform automates recovery to point-in-time intervals that can be as granular as 1 micro-second, and it supports a range of use cases from single files to bare metal. Recovery speed is accelerated through FalconStor’s TimeView point-in-time recovery assistance software, which enables VMs’ applications and databases to be located instantaneously regardless of where the data is replicated to. Meanwhile, its MicroScan deduplication technology helps to mitigate storage capacity needs.
FalconStor’s Data Mastery platform applies policy-driven rules and alerts that are based on defined service level agreements (SLAs) to set the stage for more dynamic performance and cost optimization. Additionally, it has built-in predictive analytics to better forecast capacity requirements and plan for upgrades.
A key challenge for FalconStor is, ironically, the breadth of its capabilities. Its Data Mastery platform is a holistic solution to a variety of data management challenges. Generally, IT reacts to a specific data problem and looks for a specific solution to just that problem. From a positioning perspective, FalconStor needs to understand and message against these needs and narrow IT focus, to open the door with customers, while also helping storage planners to see the Data Mastery Platform as having the potential to solve other challenges in the future.
Large enterprises have robust existing infrastructure deployments that would be expensive and risky to rip and replace. They require a solution that enables them to mix and match and extend underlying hardware resources, while at the same time bringing mature and centralized management and data protection and recovery to these resources. FalconStor offers a unique value proposition to storage managers at large enterprises seeking a means of unifying fragmented infrastructure deployments and disaster recovery solutions, thus reducing complexity and cutting costs, while also speeding adoption of new technologies. The vendor has several disaster recovery-related sweet spots in which it can go deep, such as the ability to replicate mission-critical production databases in real time. It should also be considered as a potential partner in solving bigger-picture data management headaches.