FalconStor FDS SA101

FalconStor’s latest FDS SA101 data deduplication appliance has a range of unusual data reduction features. It performed very well in our lab tests but is expensive so read this review before buying to find out if it’s worth the extra cash.

Price
£8,665

Data storage growth is now one of the biggest IT challenges to businesses large and small. Deduplication is an increasingly popular data reduction technology that can keep it under control. It has been gradually filtering down to SMBs and FalconStor's latest FDS (file-interface deduplication system) appliances have some unusual features.

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The FDS SA101 on review is an entry-level rack mount appliance. FalconStor's choice of hardware platform gets our vote of confidence as it is a well specified Dell PowerEdge R710.

Storage is presented as CIFS and NFS network shares so deployment is simple. Data reduction is carried out locally so it has the advantage of working with any backup software and you can run drag and drop copies to deduplicated shares as well.

FalconStor aims the SA100 series of appliances specifically as replacements for tape based backup at remote sites and branch offices. Encrypted replication is included as standard and made all the more valuable as a single appliance supports up to 150 sources.

The appliance has four 1TB SATA hard disks preconfigured as a RAID-5 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 you with a 1TB repository and FalconStor's claimed deduplication ratio of 20:1 increases this to a logical 20TB. If you need more physical capacity, then consider the SA102 model which has a 2TB repository that can be upgraded via a license to 4TB.

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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 Ethernet ports. The interface also provides access for adding licenses, viewing documentation and bonding the network ports into load-balanced teams.

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