FalconStor FDS SA101 review
An inexorable demand for network storage is affecting businesses of all sizes, and because data deduplication can realise big savings, it’s becoming increasingly popular. FalconStor’s latest FDS (file-interface deduplication system) appliances aim to offer a solution with unique features.
The FDS SA101 represents the entry point of FalconStor’s rack-mount appliances, and we’re pleased to see that the well-specified Dell PowerEdge R710 is the hardware platform of choice.
Storage is presented as CIFS and NFS network shares, making for a simple deployment. Data reduction is carried out locally, and works with any backup software. You can run drag-and-drop copies to a deduplicated share as well.
The main focus of the 100 series of appliances is to replace tape-based backup at remote sites and branch offices. Encrypted replication is included as standard, and made all the more valuable since one appliance can support up to 150 sources.
The appliance has a quartet of 1TB SATA hard disks preconfigured as a RAID5 array. This is split into virtual volumes handling a variety of functions including the index, database, system applications, data cache and repository.
It uses an 820GB backup cache to store incoming data ready for deduplication. This leaves a repository of 1TB, and FalconStor’s claimed deduplication ratio of 20:1 increases this to 20TB.
The SA101 has a couple of spare bays, but no upgrade option is offered to increase physical capacity; the SA102 model starts with a 2TB repository and can be upgraded via a licence to 4TB.
Initial installation starts with the web browser interface and a quick setup page where you name the appliance and assign IP addresses to the four Gigabit ports. This interface also provides access for adding licences, viewing documentation, and bonding the network ports into load-balanced teams.
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