In a move that reinforces the connection between server and storage virtualisation, Virtual Iron has announced a global alliance with Falconstor. Each company will reference-sell the other's products.

FalconStor is a supplier of storage virtualisation and data protection products. Its Network Storage Server NSS) delivers iSCSI, Fibre Channel (FC), or NAS storage with enterprise-class virtualisation, provisioning, and heterogeneous storage management. It also has a continuous data protector (CDP) product protecting every change to disk-stored data.

Virtual Iron provides VMware-like virtual server facilities, based on the open source Xen code, at a claimed one fifth of the cost of VMware.

"The combination of capabilities from Virtual Iron and FalconStor will help customers streamline virtual infrastructure deployments, improve overall resource utilisation and implement robust business continuity solutions," said Mark Bowker, an ESG senior analyst.

For Virtual Iron customers FalconStor's NSS and CDP provides:

- virtual machine storage migration,
- continuous data protection,
- built-in mirroring and replication,
- heterogeneous storage array support,
- application-aware snapshot agents providing transactionally-consistent snapshots of data for Exchange, SQL, SharePoint, SAP, and Oracle running in virtual machines,
- thin provisioning for virtual machines which optimises disk capacity use.

These enable similar facilities to those provided by VMware's Storage VMotion.

"The combined FalconStor and Virtual Iron virtualisation capabilities fully optimise user business continuity goals by streamlining live migration of virtual machine disks from one data storage system to another," said Bernie Wu, FalconStor's business development VP.

"Virtual Iron's LiveMigration provides transparent virtual machine mobility that allows us to perform no-downtime maintenance," said Mike Kelson, hosting service provider at Atlanta Technology's technical director.

"FalconStor's equivalent storage migration capabilities allow simple and seamless movement of virtual machines between storage platforms," he added. "The combined efficiencies and advantages translate directly into increased flexibility and better performance for our customers."

FalconStor products are also certified with VMware.

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