FalconStor offers blizzard of announcements
By Alan Earls
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If press releases are any measure of a company's fortunes, things ought to be looking up for FalconStor Software, Inc. Over a two-day period, the Melville, N.Y.-based start-up company offered seven separate announcements. The most significant of these was the fact that the company planned to merge with Network Peripherals, Inc., a storage industry veteran that had already invested in FalconStor earlier in the year.
In an interview with Wayne Lam, FalconStor's vice president for marketing, he stressed that the merger news should be viewed in conjunction with the various alliances and enhancements. He indicated that when viewed in total, the merger news demonstrates how rapidly the company has progressed on all fronts and proves the strategy behind the merger.
By way of review, FalconStor has gotten some good press in the past. Enterprise Storage Group Analyst Steve Duplessie hailed the firm for pioneering "hybrid" storage virtualization that will support Ethernet storage networks, and he predicted these will, in turn, allow customers to create robust, secure, and easily managed storage networks.
Now, in support of that vision, the company has made a series of announcements, including the following:
* FalconStor has partnered with QLogic Corp., to build support for Fibre Channel in IPStor, FalconStor's IP storage networking software. FalconStor will also continue to collaborate to extend IPStor's iSCSI support to include QLogic's iSCSI HBA.
* ECCS, Inc., a maker of fault-tolerant data storage solutions, will offer a custom version of FalconStor's IPStor software product. ECCS will also be an authorized reseller of the standard IPStor product line.
* FalconStor will make the same capabilities available to both Fibre Channel and IP/iSCSI.
* FalconStor's IPStor was a winner at the annual Long Island Software Association (LISA) Awards 2001 event, judged with help from Computer Reseller News. IPStor started shipping April 30, 2001.
* FalconStor will partner with Solution-Soft Systems, Inc. The latter's SafeCapacity will be integrated with FalconStor's IPStor to provide virtual storage to application servers.
* FalconStor has certified security appliances from RapidStream, a developer of scalable, integrated high-performance virtual private networking (VPN) and firewall appliances, for encrypting storage traffic over IP.
* FalconStor has integrated Emulex Corporation's (NASDAQ:EMLX) new Giganet GN9000/SI iSCSI host bus adapter (HBA) to showcase interoperable IP-based storage networking solutions.
Arun Taneja, another Enterprise Storage Group analyst, calls the series of announcements "very impressive," especially considering the company is barely a year old.
"FalconStor seems to be coming on the scene like a storm," he says. "We like the fact that they are taking a protocol-agnostic approach to managing storage and building partnerships to cover the holes. The reality is a typical enterprise customer will have iSCSCI and FC SANs and IP-based NAS (and soon, InfiniBand ) and they only care to solve a business problem -- these type of products help ease the pain."
Lam says that the merged company will be known as FalconStor Software, Inc. "If this is consummated, as we expect it will be, some of NPI's assets may be sold off," he says. "We don't want to be a hardware company any more."
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About the author: Alan Earls is a freelance writer in Franklin, MA.