I’ve heard about FalconStor as a storage virtualization platform for a while. I also think that we will see more products that virtualize clouds for mobility in the near(ish) future. The vision that FalconStor lays out is one where data can move freely between clouds. On-premises clouds, managed private clouds, and various public clouds. I definitely see that as a destination that customers will want to get to, but most are nowhere near ready. This is good for FalconStor as they have not yet delivered on their vision, more product development is underway.
What can FalconStor deliver today? Virtualization of your existing iSCSI and Fibre Channel block storage. Replication between dissimilar storage and between sites. Deduplication to reduce WAN costs and public cloud egress costs too. Physical appliances, virtual appliances, and virtual appliances on public cloud. Multi-tenancy for service providers, including authentication integrated with Active Directory or other LDAP. Analytics from the block storage to the application performance. A unified user interface and API across multiple locations for the virtualized storage.
My thoughts on gaps. First, it is block storage-centered. No object or file storage built into the storage virtualization. Next, to use FalconStor for mobility you will be replicating whole operating systems. And application sets within those OSs. I think the future multi-cloud mobility needs to be application centered. Moving only the application and its data without all the re-creatable dependencies. The issue with this vision is that it requires applications to be redeveloped, a very slow and expensive process. For the near future, there will be a need to replicate or transfer whole VMs.
FalconStor has a good vision of multi-cloud data portability and they are executing on making the vision into a product. What I don’t know is whether enterprises see enough value in the current product to provide the income that will be needed to fund developing the vision.
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