Sepaton Enhances VTL Software, Appliances

Sepaton on Monday unveiled a new version of its virtual tape library and dedupe software and appliances featuring grid scalability and a new partnership with Hitachi Data Systems.

Marlborough, Mass.-based Sepaton, whose name spelled backwards is "no tapes," was an early pioneer in the virtual tape library (VTL) and disk-based backup market.

On the software side, Sepaton unveiled version 6.0 of its data protection software, which for the first time offers a full 64-bit software stack from end-to-end, said Linda Mentzer, vice president of product and program management.

The new software also includes dedupe advancements for use in IBM Tivoli Storage Manager environments. TSM does incremental backups, which are instant backups as changes to data occur, forever, Mentzer said. "It's one of the hardest apps to get dedupe on," she said. "We have a large TSM installed base."

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It is also now certified to support Symantec's NetBackup OpenStorage (OST) protocol in 10-Gbit Ethernet environments, Mentzer said. OST, when used with Symantec's data protection software, allows storage devices to automate the backup of data between multiple appliances.

Also new with version 6.0 of the software is improved capacity reporting and management to the storage pool level, along with the ability to work in both Fibre Channel and 10-Gbit Ethernet environments.

Sepaton also develops appliances featuring its software combined with internal storage. The company on Monday enhanced its appliance line with new Intel Westmere six-core processors, 10-Gbit Ethernet connectivity, and more memory to take advantage of the new 64-bit software and new processors, Mentzer said.

The new S2100-ES2 series of storage appliances can ingest backup data at up to 1,500 MBs per second, per node, Mentzer said. In an eight-node system, the total ingest rate scales to 43.2 TBs per hour, with a maximum capacity of 1.6 petabytes, she said.

To handle enterprise customers' backup data, the S2100-ES2 now include an 8-Gbit Fibre Channel connection to the Hitachi Data Systems' AMS 2100 disk arrays, said Mike Thompson, Sepaton's executive vice president of worldwide sales and marketing.

The S2100-ES2 and the HDS AMS 2100 arrays are sold as an integrated bundle, Thompson said. "Our strategy is to offer a bundled solution, and customers appreciate it," he said.

Next: Focus On The Channel

Sepaton is also considering making the company's appliance available to be integrated with other vendors' storage arrays, Thompson said. "It's not a technical issue," he said. "But if we make it open, we would need a new support matrix. So it's a business decision for us...Other companies including HP OEM our software. So it's not something we can't do from a technical perspective."

Sepaton, which sells its products primarily through the channel, comps the HDS sales force 100 percent for sales of HDS storage with its appliances, Thompson said. "So we get great support from HDS in the field," he said.

Sepaton has proven itself to be a great partner when working with enterprise customers, said Dave Cerniglia, president of Consiliant Technologies, an Irvine, Calif.-based solution provider who has worked with Sepaton for nearly six years and with HDS with over eight years.

Cerniglia said Sepaton, with its newest software release and partnership with HDS, is talking about its technology in terms of a platform and not a product, a move he said meshes with customer requirements.

"As their storage grows, customers don't want a point product," he said. "They want technology that grows seamlessly as their data grows. Sepaton uses the term 'data platform.' That's a good message."

Consiliant has had a lot of success with Sepaton over the years, Cerniglia said.

"I've got nothing but good to say about them," he said. "Good engineering support, good sales support in the field. And they provide great feedback for us."

Sepaton currently has about 60 solution providers in the U.S., Thompson said. It is recruiting new partners slowly, and is looking especially to sign up HDS resellers, he said.

The new S2100-ES2 storage appliance with version 6.0 of the software is currently available with a starting list price of $257,500, which includes a single node and 12 TBs of useable capacity. Sepaton customers with current maintenance contracts will have access to a free update to the new software within the next 90 days.