Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Data Protection Channel

Falconstor Software has added functionality to its Continuous Data Protector (CDP) and Network Storage Server (NSS) data replication products that make it easier for organizations to use those products for disaster recovery. Moreover, the RecoverTrac software is heterogeneous among platforms, networks, arrays and hypervisors, meaning that organizations would not need to have identical implementations in different parts of the company to be able to restore data, as is typically required today.

Data can also be recovered from physical to virtual, physical to physical, and physical to virtual infrastructures. In addition, there is no per-server or per-client charge for the functionality.

With the announcement, Falconstor is differentiating between disaster recovery and remote replication, says Bobby Crouch, product marketing manager for the Melville, N.Y., company. Remote replication is simply a remote copy of the data, without the application and the infrastructure that enables users in the organization to make use of the data.

"When there's a disaster, customers don't care that you have a remote copy," he says. "They can't access the application that uses that data." In addition to providing copies of data, the software enables users to resume servers, storage, networks and applications, and works with most operating systems, virtual machines and networks. This is required because business applications increasingly have an awareness of transaction integrity, with applications such as SAP behaving differently from applications such as Oracle, says Crouch.

The software has three modes: Recover, or recovering data; Test, or a non-disruptive testing function that lets users create recover jobs and refine them to ensure that they're correct; and Clone, which creates a tertiary copy of the data that can be used for functions such as data mining and analysis, Crouch says.
RecoverTrac means that the disaster recovery features in Falconstor's CDP and NSS products are now more practical and easier for organizations to use and implement because many disaster recovery solutions today are not really ready to do turn-key disaster recovery, but instead require testing or professional services to set up, says Jerome Wendt, president and lead analyst at the Datacenter Infrastructure Group, an Omaha, Neb., consultancy.

The product is particularly appropriate for two sets of users: existing FalconStor users who have already implemented Falconstor's CDP and NSS, as well as users who are willing to implement NSS and CDP in their environment to use RecoverTrac, he says. On the other hand, there is nothing to prevent FalconStor from taking and applying RecoverTrac's technology and using it to manage other storage vendors' storage virtualization and CDP/replication offerings to achieve the same thing, though Wendt was not aware of any plans on FalconStor's part to do so.

The RecoverTrac functionality is included in Falconstor's CDP and NSS products now for no additional charge. Those products range in price from $2,000 per terabyte to $6,000 per terabyte, depending on volume. RecoverTrac is integrated both with VMware's Site Recovery Manager and Microsoft's Cluster Adapter, and supports both the VMware and Microsoft Hyper-V hypervisors.

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