FalconStor seems to be set on expanding the applicability of its virtual tape library (VTL) product and its de-duplication software. A recent event; Sun adding Diligent's de-duping VTL product to its re-seller roster, and various rumours about OEM difficulties have suggested that FalconStor's VTL product may be facing some obstacles.

Yet Sun's storage marketeer, Nigel Dessau, put out a blog statement saying that Sun was most definitely staying with FalconStor's roadmap.

Now Sun has introduced an X4500 (Thumper) VTL, the VTL V, for Value. Thumper has a lot of Opteron processing headroom. More could be done.

We're also seeing a rash of announcements about software products encapsulated as VMware virtual servers, for example, DataCore.

Falconstor OEMs its VTL software and other products, meaning they have to be fairly portable.

Vendors, such as DataCore, IBM, HP, Dell and Network Appliance are also aggressively targeting the mid-range and small business market.

These three trains of thought led to some ideas. Both Sun's Forum and SNW are coming up, favourite places for product announcements. So here are three predictions:-

1. Falconstor will integrate de-dupe with its VTL and introduce a medium and small business market product to be sold through the channel.

2. Falconstor will produce a version of its VTL packaged as VMware virtual machine, probably with a de-dupe version as well.

3. Sun will extend its VTL-V product by adding a FalconStor de-dupe capability. It might even be called the VTL-VE, for Value Extended, but this is pure guesswork.

No one can doubt that Falconstor more or less owns the VTL market and its technical prowess and OEM relationships are strong, notwithstanding rumours.

Let's wait and see if I get zero out of three, one, two or three out of three here.