RealTime IT News

Sepaton Juices Up Tape Library

With data protection a primary concern for many corporations trading information, Sepaton has added greater power to its tape library appliance.

The Marlborough, Mass., company plans to announce at the Gartner Data Center conference next week that the S2100-ES2 Virtual Tape Library (VTL) appliance now boasts double the processing power in a single device.

VTLs are disk-based systems that function the way tape systems do, but they back up data faster without the regular breakdowns. Sepaton's combination of VTL software and hardware lets disks emulate tape by creating separate libraries for each host while sharing the same physical entity.

Sepaton said it made the upgrade possible courtesy of its new Scalable Replication Engine Technology (SRE), where each SRE node is a processing element that provides two Fibre Channel paths into the backup environment and memory subsystems.

The result is that the SRE architecture reduces backup and restore windows up to 10 times faster than tape. The SREs also make it possible for customers to support more tape drives and libraries in each appliance.

Sepaton said the technology will allow customers to configure up to eight nodes in a single appliance, doubling the scalability and performance of the previous S2100-ES2 to scale from 150MB per second to 2,400MB per second.

Such scalability is crucial at a time when enterprise data volume is growing exponentially and companies are struggling to keep up with the growing data glut.

FalconStor, Copan Systems, NearTek and Network Appliance also offer VTL solutions, but Sepaton likes to think its software is the game changer.

Sepaton software emulates a variety of tape libraries without forcing customers to change their driver software, backup application, backup policies or procedures, saving them time and employee-management costs.

In other specs, S2100-ES2 will support IBM 3592 drive and 3584 library emulations and up to 192 virtual Logical Unit Numbers (LUNs) of any mix of tape drives and libraries per node for a maximum of 1536 in a single VTL appliance.

The previous version allowed for a maximum of 64 tape drives and 16 libraries per node or a limit of 256 tape drives and 64 libraries per VTL. The new box can also support a virtually endless supply of virtual cartridges.

Customers can start with an entry-level configuration priced at under $45,000 with 4.8 terabytes of storage. An S2100-ES2 with eight SRE nodes starts around $780,000 and handles up to 80 terabytes of storage.

The upgraded systems will begin shipping next month.

Sepaton has attracted investors in the last couple of years, securing a $15 million funding round earlier this month from Jerusalem Ventures Partners, Menlo Ventures and Valhalla Partners.

That followed the $23.5 million round from the same lot in March 2004.