In the closed world of IBM's iSeries market, alternatives to IBM-sanctioned, FICON-connected storage are practically non-existent. "There's very little available to them," says John Lallier, VP of technology at FalconStor Software.
Many of these iSeries customers have complained to their suppliers about the lack of access to cheap, open-systems disk, Lallier says. They also want greater access to storage services like snapshot and replication. "The gap between what they [iSeries users] can do and what we can do has become much greater," Lallier says.
FalconStor, in partnership with the British IT solutions provider ICM, has developed a Storage GateWay Appliance for IBM iSeries, the Nexus Storage Gateway, which allows iSeries users to use open-systems storage. The FalconStor gateway does this by "speaking" iSeries' idiosyncratic version of Fibre Channel and, in general, compensating for the iSeries platform's decidedly non-open-systems approach to storage.
Today, ICM is the only provider selling FalconStor's iSeries gateway but, according to Lallier, this isn't an exclusive relationship, and other vendors may soon follow suit.