For the past few years, many IT managers trying to satisfy insatiable demand for data storage have been investigating the concept information lifecycle management (ILM) – the proposed mechanism by which data is migrated to lower-cost storage media as its value to the organisation decreases. It is an approach that has won plaudits from analysts, although, as many observers have pointed out, the adoption of ILM is an enterprise-wide, multi-year undertaking.
Now a relative minnow of the sector hopes to apply that kind of data prioritisation to a single but vital strand of storage – back-up and recovery.
FalconStor Software, a six-year old storage specialist that has had considerable success selling virtual tape libraries (VTL), is proposing a radical overhaul of traditional back-up thinking through the application of ‘recovery lifecycle management’ (RLM).
ReiJane Huai, FalconStor
Traditionally, businesses back up the vast majority of their data in a single – if prolonged – batch, usually over night. However, ReiJane Huai, FalconStor’s CEO, argues that there is a pressing need for much more granularity in that approach: mission-critical data should be backed up almost continuously while the least important data can be left for, say, a week.
“With RLM you can tailor the granularity based on the importance of the application: email might be backed up every three hours, but mission critical data backed up every couple of minutes,” he says. By streaming different types of data at different times, he says, any necessary recovery process will be simpler, smoother and more rapid.
The RLM methodology, he argues, is a natural extension of FalconStor’s VTL pedigree. The company – founded by veterans from back-up software success story Cheyenne Software and its acquirer CA, has set “the market on fire in the past year with its VTL offering,” according to Arun Taneja, founder of storage market watcher the Taneja Group. The product, which is resold by several storage systems vendors, provides faster back-up and recovery by streaming data to disk in tape format.
That helped fuel revenue growth of 43% in 2005. And although business has cooled since, Huai is confident that FalconStor is “ready to change the way companies think about back-up.”