Sepaton Expands VTL, Dedupe Offerings


Sepaton introduced the new S2100-ES2 Series 1000 VTL, which now scales from 3.5 Tbytes to 1.6 Pbytes of raw storage capacity, said Miki Sandorfi, CTO for the Marlborough, Mass.-based vendor.

Virtual tape libraries, or VTLs, are disk arrays configured to look to the host server and the backup software as if they are physical tape libraries. Data is streamed to and recovered from the VTL as if it were tape, so no changes are needed to the backup process. However, because they use hard drives, the backup and recover speed is much higher than when using tape drives. Data backed up to a VTL can also be backed up to a physical tape for archiving or off-site storage.

Deduplication, also called "dedupe," removes duplicate information as data is backed up or archived. It can be done on the file level, where duplicate files are replaced with a marker pointing to one copy of the file, and/or at the sub-file or byte level, where duplicate bytes of data are removed, resulting in a significant decrease in storage capacity requirements.

The S2100-ES2 Series 1000 VTL features 1-Tbyte hard drives and up to 16 processing nodes, giving it a backup and restore throughput of up to 34.5 Tbytes per hour, Sandorfi said.

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It also includes the company's hardware-based data compression and data deduplication. Previous versions of the VTL allowed dedupe across a single node, but with the introduction of the S2100-ES2 Series 1000 VTL, dedupe can be done across four nodes, Sandorfi said. That capability will be increased to up to eight nodes by September, he said.

Also new is version 5 of Sepaton's DeltaStor dedupe software. DeltaStor is a grid-based application which allows dedupe performance to increase as nodes are added, Sandorfi said.

It features forward differencing, a technology to increase the performance related to restoring deduped data. With forward differencing, older versions of data point forward to more recent revisions of that data, Sandorfi said.

New For DeltaStor version 5 is tunable dedupe algorithms to optimize performance based on data types and applications, custom reporting capabilities featuring different views of dedupe performance, and detailed system capacity information for use in capacity planning, he said.

Paul Collins, vice president of technology and CTO of TotalTek Systems, an Edison, N.J.-based solution provider and Sepaton partner focusing on Fortune-2000 customers, said the ability to back up a customer data set of 100 Tbytes in three hours is pretty significant.

"Obviously, you have to make a pretty good investment to get to that kind of performance," Collins said. "But I think that's a pretty meaningful message."

Collins said his company works with both Sepaton and FalconStor Software, Melville, N.Y., for data dedupe technology. Colins said he uses FalconStor software on a ProLiant server for customers who have relatively small data structures with capacities of between 5 Tbytes and 20 Tbytes. For larger customers, his company uses the Sepaton technology.

Don James, CEO of Bear Data Systems, a Belmont, Calif.-based solution provider, said his company has already closed a couple deals with Sepaton in the six months it has been working with the vendor.

"Their new big iron products will be well received in the enterprise market," James said.

Sepaton has proven to be a channel-friendly vendor, and a way to open doors for customers who might otherwise be hard to reach, James said.

"They're partner-friendly, and will partner with us in big accounts," he said. "If you are a newer reseller trying to break into Fortune-500 accounts, you need some niche offering to get you in the door. Sepaton is a Trojan Horse to get you in."

About 75 percent of Sepaton's sales go through the channel, said Jay Livens, director of the vendor's channel marketing. The company recently started a channel advisory council to advise Sandorfi on product development, he said.

Going forward, Sepaton plans to introduce full content search and retrieval as well as archiving, compliance, and legal discovery capabilities to its product line, said Asim Zaheer, vice president of marketing for the vendor.

The S2100-ES2 Series 1000 VTL is now shipping, with a starting price of $69,000 for 10 Tbytes of usable storage capacity. With a rack and switches, the starting price is about $113,000. The new version of DeltaStor is expected to ship on June 27 with a price of $2,500 per usable Tbyte of capacity.