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I saw this television commercial recently, by CarMax, called ‘Doors’; http://www.carmax.com/enus/why-carmax-commercials/default.html
So what’s the relation to data protection?  Most storage hardware, and even backup software, vendors offer many different functions, or types, of data protection; disk mirror volumes, point-in-time snapshots, remote replication, application-specific protection and management tools.  Each of these functions is considered a ‘product’ and sold accordingly. 

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With 2011 around the corner and new budgets being built, IT is looking at how to effectively deal with the rising amount of data that needs to be effectively stored and in the event of a disaster, available for quickly recovery. In my earlier blog (http://tinyurl.com/2atf4h6), I examined the pressures faced by IT and provided two reasons why disk-based data protection is becoming immensely popular in the data center specifically around how it eliminates the backup window and how companies may still create tape backups using continuous data protection (CDP).

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With data growing at unprecedented rates and IT budgets stuck at pre-2008 levels, deduplication is growing in popularity for companies of all sizes.  IT Pro recently reviewed the FalconStor FDS entry target appliance, the SA101 and found it has the right stuff “…performed exceptionally well in our lab tests showing it was capable of providing higher backup speeds and better deduplication ratios than much of the competition at this level of the market.” 

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If you’re in charge of back-up and recovery at your organization, you likely have a lot on your mind these days.  Budget freezes.  New eDiscovery requirements.  Unabated year-over-year storage requirement growth.  And internal expectation for immediate return on investment.

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Let’s do a little word association, shall we?  When I say, “tape-based data protection,” what comes to mind?  Anxiety! Pain!  For many data center managers – particularly those working in virtualized environments – “backup” “pain” and anxiety are words that go together far too easily.

In a world hurtling towards the virtual, tape is a relic.  Consider the evidence: tape cannot deliver on-the-spot data recovery.  It demands a back-up process that taxes the CPU and network resources already allocated in a virtualized environment, making a lengthy process even slower.   And its failures have been well documented; most recent studies find that as much as 40 percent of all backups to tape are unrecoverable. 

The Cloud Means Business Featured

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I just spent an informative week traveling in Europe and speaking with analysts and journalists in London, Paris, Amsterdam, and Munich. First of all, let me remind our EU friends that the outlook for cloud services in the U.S. is not as clear as we are leading you to believe; in fact it is, well, still a little cloudy. I received a number of comments around this subject, and the general view was that the U.S. was well on the way to implementing cloud solutions across the modern enterprise. The reality is we in the U.S. are still working to figure it out. 

Most of our conversations revolved around explaining our ideas about service-oriented data protection. I was excited to learn that the EU gets it. They understand that the first step to organizing IT and moving to a cloud-enabled architecture is to become service oriented. The idea is quite simple and can be organized as follows:

1.  Identify the key and discrete functions you must deliver through IT
2.  Determine which services are specific to your competitive advantage and which are fungible and can be delivered using best of breed
3.  Push the non-strategic functions into the cloud

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When we talk with customers and partners about why they chose FalconStor to backup and protect data in their VMware environments, their answers are strikingly similar: FalconStor offers the highest possible availability at a price point that is comfortable for large enterprises and small businesses alike.

Our partner, Managed Service Provider 3t Systems, works with companies that have as few as 20 end users and as many as 1,500. For all of those customers, 3t Systems relies on FalconStor® Network Storage Server (NSS) and FalconStor® Continuous Data Protector (CDP) in its two data centers where it hosts virtualized client infrastructures.

The most important thing for 3t Systems was providing a service in a very cost effective manner. They were able to get the features that they need at the right price, which allows them to continue to deliver on their promise of providing enterprise-class infrastructure at SMB prices.

Similar reasons were behind Rug Doctor’s decision to adopt FalconStor CDP six months after it deployed VMware. The manufacturer and renter of carpet cleaning solutions went almost completely virtual in its data center after outgrowing its backup window and suffering through restore times as long as 24 hours for a single file.

It wasn’t until they had a better understanding of how VMware worked and the possibility of better backup and DR solutions that they began looking around and found FalconStor. They ended up with a very easy implementation, up and running fully within two weeks.

We’ve seen a steady influx of business from VMware shops lately, and most of the inquiries cite similar issues. These enterprises and the MSPs that serve them want higher reliability, faster backups and restores, and seamless integration with existing technology.

 

Orbiting Our Customer Featured

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Excellence can be obtained if you… care more than others think is wise... risk more than others think is safe… dream more than others think is practical... expect more than others think is possible.

We at FalconStor believe that our commitment to deliver effective and reliable data protection can only be achieved by constantly striving for excellence. However, excellence in product development, channel business processes, and customer experience cannot be achieved in a vacuum. We need you.

 
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Many IT vendors promise cost savings when you purchase their products, can these claims possibly be true; or just more BS?

 
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Now that server virtualization technologies have been proven in many environments, more people are looking at virtualization to improve the efficiency of their primary workloads in the data center. Despite the realized benefits from virtualizing non-mission-critical applications, two questions remain on the minds of IT professionals. One, since traditional backup doesn’t work in virtual environments, how can I effectively protect virtualized workloads? We are talking mission-critical applications here! Two, I know how I reduced my server infrastructure with virtualization, but I also know how my storage cost went way up as a result. So how can I reduce my storage costs while implementing server virtualization?

In a recent report from ESG on the “Impact of Server Virtualization on Data Protection,” when asked about top server virtualization initiatives for 2010, most respondents placed backup, recovery, and replication right after virtualizing more workloads. It is very well understood that server virtualization breaks traditional backup processes. The consolidation of servers and workloads is leaving very little resources for backup applications to perform data copies. In virtual server environments, CPU utilization climbs to more than 60 to 70 percent, up from an average of 20 percent in physical environments, leaving very little for the most demanding job of them all, backup. In addition network resource utilization is increased to such a degree that very little bandwidth remains for massive data transfers required by backup operations.

 

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