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IBM Tivoli Storage Manager is IBM’s data protection solution that addresses customers’ needs for enterprise and application protection, SAN management, and storage resource management along with backup and restore. TSM has very powerful capabilities; but, as with any software, it also has a few functions that could be enhancement by complementary solutions. FalconStor VTL extends TSM capability by integrating with and strengthening some TSM elements. These include functions such as enhanced deduplication for space savings, replication for immediate disaster recovery, tape emulation for simplified disk-based data protection, and enhancements of key TSM functions such as reclamation and collocation.

The specifics are beyond the scope of this blog, but here are a couple of examples.

When FalconStor VTL is used in conjunction with IBM TSM, storage devices are treated as streaming devices, allowing for more sequential writes to a disk layer. This gives organizations the flexibility to substitute tier-one disk with lower cost disk. The result is higher performance TSM functionality, transparent to the TSM application, at a lower overall cost.

With FalconStor VTL, TSM treats virtual tape exactly as it does physical tape while minimizing load/unload operations during tape rotation. Because the tape life is now based on disk, FalconStor VTL extends the life expectancy of physical tape. The increased lifespan reduces the number of tapes needed for rotation.

Sound interesting and like to learn more? Check out FalconStor’s TSM solutions brief.

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Symantec’s OpenStorage Technology (OST) initiative helps their NetBackup data protection product take advantage of features found in enterprise storage devices such as FalconStor VTL. This was developed because customers asked for tighter integration between the backup software and disk-based appliances in order to increase the efficiency and performance of their existing assets.

FalconStor® Virtual Tape Library (VTL) OpenStorage Option is a plug-in component for NetBackup Media Servers that works with the OpenStorage API to integrate key FalconStor VTL functions with NetBackup operations. The specifics are beyond the scope of this blog, but a couple of examples of the way it supports OS include the following:

FalconStor VTL OST plug-in bridges the gap between disk and NetBackup, letting customers mix storage arrays in the same environment, allowing them to use whatever devices meet their performance and budget needs, such as using lower-cost disk in place of tier-one disk, without sacrificing performance.

The OpenStorage system further enhances disk utilization by making it easy to reclaim disk space that is no longer needed. Unlike a tape model, where all images on a tape must be expired before the tape can be deleted or scratched, OpenStorage treats backup images individually and therefore can be deleted independently. Disk space utilization is readily displayed in the NetBackup console.

Sound interesting and like to learn more? Check out the solution brief.
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In his recent Computerworld blog, Chris Poelker discusses the ongoing backup war between tape and disk. He highlights the discrepancies between how chief financial officers (CFOs) and IT managers understand backup and disaster recovery (DR). CFOs look to the least expensive method, while IT managers push for the strongest solutions that ensure the smooth operation, recovery and security of the data and applications that keep businesses running. In the end, the CFO tends to win the argument, so it is clear that cost is at the forefront of this decision. Therefore Chris chooses to focus the disk-versus-tape battle on price and performance, rather than on the technical aspects.

In his web research, Chris found that tape tends to be a better option for smaller IT shops, where performance requirements are lower. For those larger organizations with higher performance and capacity requirements, disk-based solutions with deduplication are a better choice. Of course, results can differ due to various vendor prices.

Chris goes on to highlight both sides of the argument, charting the price and performance of the various infrastructures. He makes the case for both tape and disk-based solutions as it relates to the size of the environment. He also goes on to state that tape is not dead, because it can be used for backup in smaller environments or as the archival system for larger environments. To get the full story on the backup debate check out Chris’ post “Tape versus disk: The backup war exposed.”
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In Chris Poelker’s latest Computerworld blog post, he explains how to leverage backups for useful information. If you’re a backup guy, you are probably eagerly waiting to learn how. Chris points out that the combination of disk-based backup with data deduplication results in a single source of all of the valuable data in an organization – the perfect source for data mining.

Armed with the right tools, the backup team can analyze all types of useful information that can benefit the organization. In addition, the business value is captivating, since the data is already there and the storage cost has already been paid. The deduplication repository includes a single instance of all the data, as well as an index of what is being stored and how many copies are being backed up.

Chris makes the prediction that data mining may become a standard feature of backup in the near future. This is because there is a strong business use case to mine information from the data that is already being stored. It surely would be a shame to let that data just waste away there until there is a need for a restore.

To learn more about the benefits of using backups as a source for data mining, check out Chris’ full Computerworld post.
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FalconStor solutions have been recognized by two leading industry publications. The FalconStor® VTL earned the top spot in the Best Backup & Recovery Solution category at the 2012 the Network World Asia (NWA) Information Management Awards. In addition, FalconStor was recently recognized in CRN’s 2012 Virtualization List as a top 100 vendor.

NWA_LogoThe NWA Information Management Awards recognize Asia’s leaders in the Information Security, Storage, and Data Management industry. NWA selects award winners based on marketplace reputation, product features, technology/brand acceptance, user feedback, and contributing factors such as durability, scalability, and quality of services.

CRN100_2012The annual CRN Virtualization 100 List is comprised of vendors with the most innovative and forward-thinking approaches to selling products and services through the IT channel. Featuring the top vendors in the virtualization space, the 100 List assists solution providers in evaluating products and programs that help organizations take advantage of the ease, flexibility, scalability, elasticity and cost savings that virtualization has to offer. 

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