Sepaton delivers faster deduplication VTL with OST support

Sepaton gives its virtual tape libraries a hardware and software makeover, with faster processors, support for Symantec OpenStorage (OST) and better integration with IBM TSM backup software.

Sepaton today rolled out a new scale-out S2100-ES2 modular virtual tape library (VTL) with data deduplication, adding Ethernet support along with Fibre Channel, and doubling the ingest speed of its previous model due to a processor and software upgrade.

By upgrading to Intel's Westmere chipset and version 6.0 of Sepaton's operating system with 64-bit support throughout the software stack, Sepaton claims its new deduplication VTL can deduplicate at a rate of 42.3 TB per hour. That speed includes 10 Gigabit Ethernet and the Symantec NetBackup OpenStorage (OST) protocol, which Sepaton is supporting for the first time with this release.

The new Sepaton platform supports 8 Gbps Fibre Channel and 10 Gigabit Ethernet simultaneously, although it only supports Ethernet with OST. Until now, Sepaton systems have been Fibre Channel-only. Sepaton executives said they expect to add broader Ethernet support in future releases. Sepaton's enterprise deduplication backup competitors -- EMC Corp. Data Domain, IBM Corp. ProtecTIER, and Quantum Corp. DXi8500 -- support OST, network-attached storage (NAS) interfaces and Fibre Channel.

"Each node on our product does load balancing between the protocols," said Linda Mentzer, vice president of product management at Sepaton. "We ingest the highest priority. We can run [Fibre Channel and Ethernet] simultaneously and concurrently, and we do the dynamic load balancing across all nodes and within the nodes."

The S2100-ES2 Series has two models. The 1910 uses 1 TB drives and the 2910 supports 2 TB drives. Pricing starts at $257,500 for a single-node appliance and 12 TB of storage. The system scales to eight nodes. Version 6.0 software is a free upgrade for current Sepaton customers. However, they cannot upgrade individual hardware nodes in current systems to the S2100-ES2.

"To guarantee performance, customers need to upgrade all nodes in the system," Mentzer said.

Sepaton claims the new system can achieve a 34.6 TB per hour throughput with Fibre Channel connectivity, and consumes 72% less power than its predecessor. Customers can purchase one, two or eight nodes with up to 1.6 PB of storage.

"With only one node, you can get 1.6 petabytes," Mentzer said. "The number of nodes and capacity scale independently."

Sepaton deduplication VTL gets more support for IBM TSM

Sepaton also enhanced its DeltaStor deduplication software to work better with IBM Tivoli Storage Manager (TSM) backup software. DeltaStor now supports TSM's progressive incremental TSM backups and multi-streamed database backup. TSM's "incrementals forever" backup is different than the method other backup software applications use. With incremental forever, only the backups of the changed files are sent through and that makes it more difficult to find matched data for deduplication.

"TSM sends only the changed data rather than a full backup," said Russ Fellows, a senior partner at Evaluator Group. "They almost never do a full backup. What Sepaton is doing helps with data protection. And it doubles the performance bump on the current generation hardware."

Fellows said Sepaton's grid system and scalability can make its systems easier to match than competitors. He compared it to EMC's Data Domain, which only scales to two nodes with its Global Deduplication Array (GDA). Other Data Domain devices are one-node systems.

"Sepaton has a more scale out, grid architecture," Fellows said. "It's more modular. The advantage with Sepaton is you have fewer systems to manage because you have one total grid."

With the upgrade, Sepaton continues to use Hitachi Data Systems AMS 2100 disk arrays as the storage back end. Sepaton began using HDS storage last April.

Sepaton claims 99.999% data availability and has high-reliability enhancements, including automatic snapshots of the DeltaStor database, a more streamlined software installation process, automatic verification of software versions on all nodes, intelligent handling of full storage pools, and redundant links between nodes.

"It's fast, it's scalable and they are more than a VTL company. They are in data protection now," said David Hill, founder and analyst at the Masabi Group.


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