FalconStor Software Product Summary

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As part of FalconStor’s new initiatives, we are committed to continually informing you about our latest engineering activities and providing insight about our product evolution.

During the past few months, the FalconStor Engineering department has been actively working to provide updates to our products to improve quality, security, performance, and usability, so that we can continue to provide the innovative, enterprise-level products that you have come to expect from us.

FalconStor offers a variety of products and data services. Storage servers and host agents provide data protection, recovery, management, and mobility. Backup and deduplication servers provide virtual tape library (VTL) emulation, backup, and data deduplication using a single instance repository. The FreeStor Management Server (FMS) provides a Web portal for a consolidated view and management of storage server, agents, and VTL backup servers.

In this communication, we are highlighting some of the major enhancements and updates that have been recently delivered for our products and data services in the following areas: competitive certification, performance, quality and security, and usability.

Competitive Certification

FalconStor prides itself in always following the market evolution of third-party hardware and software products to ensure that our products can support the latest updates. Support for the latest operating systems and hardware allows us to continually stay in line with market trends.

– Support Windows 2016 for DiskSafe, RecoverTrac, VSS HyperTrac, SAN Disk Manager

– Support Windows 2016 Hyper-V for RecoverTrac and HyperTrac

– Support VMware ESXi6 for RecoverTrac

– Support Microsoft SQL Server 2016 for MSSQL snapshot agent

– Support XEN and Hyper-V hypervisors for virtual appliances running storage and VTL backup services

– Support updated IBM Dynamic System Analysis (DSA) and HP System Health Application and Command Line Utilities on physical appliances

– Enhance and expand QLogic support with firmware updates and 16 Gb Fibre Channel HBA support

– Update network bonding and alert logic, and LSI MPT SAS drivers for Linux 7 changes

– Support Veritas NetBackup 8.0/8.1 with FalconStor OpenStorage option (FSOST)

– Support VTL parallel replication for NetBackup Auto Image Replication (AIR)

– Rebrand storage servers for new OEM versions

Performance

– FalconStor consistently strives to reduce limits, increase scalability, and improve speed in all of our products.

– Allow the size of OST LSUs to be increased on VTL backup servers

– Reduce takeover time when the IO module fails on a storage server

– Improve data pattern checking on thin devices to reduce CPU usage

– Improve transaction lock management in an IO Cluster to accelerate group TimeViews

– Give a lower priority to the email alert process in order to provide enough system resources for IO handling in an IO Cluster

– Improve TimeMark status checking to reduce CPU usage during replication of a large consistency group

– Enhance performance of random small I/O to a device with a CDR resource for continuous data replication

– Enhance mirror synchronization when the mirror was marked as in-sync when it was created for a brand new device

– Improve mirror performance for random I/O on large devices of 2 TB

Quality and Security
As part of FalconStor’s commitment to product quality and reliability, we continually review customer feedback and product concerns discovered in the field along with regularly monitoring of the list of security vulnerabilities detected in the operating systems and third-party software used with our products.

Address security vulnerabilities:

– More than 100 Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVEs)

– Spectre and Meltdown hardware issues on Linux 6 kernels

– Samba security vulnerability

– Multiple Apache Tomcat security vulnerabilitiesProvide updates for storage servers:
Enhance IO Cluster:

– Manage device path switching and preferred node changes for a device with Instant TimeView Copy or when data is being written to a TimeView

– Add error handling for commands coming from a client cluster to both active and stand-by paths

– Revise memory allocation to handle heavy large I/O

– Perform connection status check only for relevant nodes in an IO Multi-Cluster

– Remove a race condition that occurred when rescan was performed while there were pending I/O commands

– Maintain continuous data replication for a virtual device assigned to an ESX client

– Ensure thin disk data consistency when there are overlapping sectors with all-zero data sectors and automatic expansion after creation of a new device

– Ensure TimeView creation after resuming the associated CDP journal and fix formatting to ensure data availability of a VSS TimeView after restarting the server

– Revise QLogic Fibre Channel target to reduce the maximum number of requests to avoid a full queue situation and reset the number of pending commands when I/O stops

– Ensure validity of physical segment layout for a service-enabled device (SED) with a mirror

– Validate client IDs when creating a client group

– Update REST APIs for snapshot resource policy changes on replica devices and communication with the failover partner server using all available network devices

– Update the CLI commands for TimeView creation using the first available TimeMark and CDR mirror creation using valid resource IDs and manage

– Web portal operations for a mirror device created by a CLI command

– Update SNMP to ensure correct disk pool size, used size, and available size are returned for storage pools and release SNMP AgentX cache when a timeout occurs

– Differentiate between OS and server patches in order to report the correct server patch level

– Purge old records in server event logs

– Offer the option to overwrite the OS disk during system recovery

– Maintain Storage Cluster Interlink (SCI) bonding configuration during upgrade

– Update DiskSafe Windows to ensure disk analysis is paused during snapshot operationProvide updates for VTL backup servers:

– Revise transaction lock and timeout settings to ensure remote tape copy operation in different conditions

– Handle race conditions for memory access between tape operation jobs

– Handle encryption keys while deduplication data disks are being loaded

– Check replication window for unique data replication and support tape replication from previous builds

– Ensure stacked tape information is retrieved correctly

– Validate OST backup requests from Solaris clients and OST authentication when strong password and encryption options are enabled

– Update the FUSE library to handle the deletion of files with hard links on NFS shares

– Handle escape characters in the configuration file when adding a VTL server to FreeStor

– Update that the CLI command to promote a replica from replica servers

– Ensure that the VTL check utility can handle a large number of tapesProvide updates for the FreeStor Management Server:

– Remove all obsolete login sessions when one login fails

– Display the correct serial number and GUID for a device when an Instant TimeView Copy is in progress

Usability
FalconStor continually looks to improve the ease of use and customer experience with all of our products.

Provide updates for the FreeStor Web Portal:

– Allow group replication to be disabled even when the target server cannot be reached

– Allow forceful removal of a virtual device from a group on the replica server when the source server is not available

– Manage hostname resolution for emailing alerts

– Do not generate daily alerts for a near-expiration license

– Revise the physical device update tab to offer valid options

– Ensure only TimeMarks belonging to a host client are displayed in the client monitor view

– Allow update of a general rule for a network device for the administrator of an exclusive server

– Update Java Management Console to process the snapshot notification option for a consistency group, check patch order during rollback, and apply an OS patch

– Update DiskSafe Windows to allow selection of thin mirrors for protection of multiple devices

– Provide migration from legacy VTL backup servers to FreeStor backup servers

– Add Fibre Channel target group information in X-rays of storage servers

– Add installation and database log files in the FMS X-ray