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To paraphrase Benjamin Franklin, in this world, nothing’s for certain except
death, taxes and, perhaps, storage. The inevitability of data growth and the
very real possibility that they’ll outgrow capacity lead many organizations to
consistently overestimate storage needs in annual budgets. In the short term,
this strategy makes sense, but long term, the results are an enormous amount of
wasted capital and unused hardware.

FalconStor is focusing on helping solution providers reclaim and reuse
customers’ excess capacity with a unique Return of Assets (ROA) strategy, which
can drive higher revenues, greater efficiencies and cost savings.

“If a customer has estimated a 30 percent data growth year over year,
they’re usually overestimating to make sure they have enough capacity,” says
Fadi Albatal, director of marketing at FalconStor. By leveraging FalconStor’s
virtual tape library (VTL) and file interface deduplication software, solution
providers can increase utilization rates of customers’ storage hardware and maximize
their existing infrastructure, says Albatal.

“What this allows solution providers to do is go in and ‘reclaim’ unused
portions of customers’ infrastructures,” he says. Doing so can increase ROI and
extend the life cycles of their existing hardware.

“By reclaiming infrastructure they already have, many customers can push
their hardware purchases off until the next year, when the technology will have
evolved so it’s more reliable, faster and much more affordable,” he says.

FalconStor’s ROA strategy combined with its VTL and deduplication software
gives solution providers the upper hand when purchasing from vendors, says

“Solution providers also gain better negotiation power with their own
hardware vendors because they can say, ‘I’m buying more basic, specific types
of disks for their performance; I don’t need functionality like snapshots, for
instance, because I can use my FalconStor software for that capability,’” he

As a software vendor, Albatal says FalconStor has a lot more flexibility to
help customers optimize and extend the life cycle and availability of their
current infrastructure on multiple levels in the data center and across
storage, servers and applications, whereas a hardware vendor might only focus
on one particular piece of infrastructure.

Allowing for optimization and also streamlined management of all
infrastructures through one console helps maximize investment in personnel
resources, he says.

“Our strategy also maximizes return on your human assets—since there are
fewer bodies that you must have in your IT shop managing the physical resources
in your environment,” Albatal says.

FalconStor emphasizes the importance of additional software that can
optimize and streamline customers’ infrastructures, including file interface
deduplication and virtual tape library technology.

And increasing ROI by leveraging an ROA strategy has paid off for
FalconStor. While 2008’s third quarter saw a dip in demand for the vendor due
to customers’ budget freezes, Albatal says demand increased by the end of 2008
and continues to climb in the early months of 2009.

“Storage really is like taxes,” he says. “No matter what, you have to pay
them—and organizations have to have storage. So we’re just trying to help our
customers pay ‘lower taxes,’” he says.