Intel to sell FalconStor-based appliances

Making further moves into storage, Intel plans to sell appliances based on software from FalconStor.

CHICAGO -- Intel Corp. will next month announce three appliances: one for virtual tape, another for continuous data protection (CDP) and a third for iSCSI based on technology from FalconStor Software Inc., according to industry sources attending Storage Decisions this week.

FalconStor already embeds a customized version of its IPStor software in Intel's Xscale processors that support small office/home office applications, but the two companies have been hard at work on further integration.

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"New SATA appliances [from Intel] are a move up market but are still aimed at the channel and the sub-$20,000 price point," said a source familiar with the plans, who requested anonymity.

While the price might be attractive, users were wary of the idea of managing lots of appliances. "We're a smaller shop, we wouldn't want the hassle of single appliances," said John Christopher Dick, SAN administrator for Centene Corp., which has 50 terabytes of data on a Hewlett-Packard Co. storage array.

Arun Taneja, founder and consulting analyst with the Taneja Group added that software products like CDP rotection are probably not ready to be shipped in volume through the channel.

"We're not at that stage of development yet with products like CDP, which needs a lot more explaining before people get it." He added that appliances must be plug-and-play and can't require any tweaking.

"Network Appliance Inc.'s original thesis was that you could be in production in 20 minutes. That's obviously no longer true, but there were 20 Unix-like commands, and you could be up and running on one of their appliances very quickly."

Still, Intel's latest move with FalconStor is another sign that the company is stepping up its focus on storage. In April, the chip giant announced a worldwide reseller deal with EMC Corp., to push the AX150 low-end storage array through Intel's channel partners in Europe and Asia.

Intel's not the only one looking at building appliances to provide a single storage function, like replication or archiving. EMC recently announced an appliance specifically for application discovery and already sells a file virtualization appliance based on its acquisition of Rainfinity Inc..

Intel and FalconStor could not be reached for comment by press time.

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