The FalconStorFDS SA101 is the entry member of a family of disk-to-disk CIFS/NFS/OST preconfigured deduplication target appliances that scale from 1 TB to over 70 TB of useable storage, offering the flexibility of local deduplication and as indicated in the article “… has the advantage of working with any backup software and you can run drag and drop copies to deduplicated shares.” With replication included in the base configuration at no additional cost, the article quickly identifies an important use case for this entry appliance, replacing tape at remote sites and branch offices, especially since data is securing encrypted in flight over the WAN.
Beyond ease of use and performance, the analyst was particularly intrigued with the flexible policy based deduplication options included with the appliance “FalconStor has a lot more deduplication options making the SA101 very flexible.” Policies are configured at the appliance level with three options, they can run automatically as data is being received, deduplication can be scheduled using a powerful wizard based scheduler, or a user can “take full manual control and fire up deduplication tasks on demand.” Equal to “when” deduplication occurs, the author notes the importance of “what” is deduplicated, “Policies include file exclusions with a list of file extensions that you don’t want deduplicated. You can also exclude files …” Deduplication options and policies can be configured on a file-by-file or job-by-job bases. The combination of “when” deduplication occurs combined with “what” data is deduplicated provides a level of flexibility and improved deduplication efficiency typically not found in any deduplication appliance and definitely not in entry level appliances.
Compared to Quantum’s entry target deduplication appliance, IT Pro tests shows that ”FalconStor uses more efficient deduplication algorithms than Quantum and is faster for backup operations”, “provides versatile policy-based deduplication and superior remote site replication features”. The full package – all the right stuff!
The only shortcoming in an otherwise inspiring article was reference to Quantum’s lower price point. Although, a qualified statement regarding lower cost “if you’re prepared to accept slower performance for data reduction and backup operations then Quantum…” While I accept the comparison, I also understand I can’t purchase BMW performance and functionality at a Yugo price. Ultimately it will be up to each customer to decide if versatile policy-based deduplication and superior remote site replication features, higher backup speeds and better deduplication ratios justifies a higher price – just ask the driver of the BMW.