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New Midrange SEPATON VTL Hits all of Today’s Enterprise Deduplication Hot Buttons

It is 2010 and time to deduplicate, at least that’s what 60% of the respondents in a recent IDC survey had to say. However once an enterprise has said it is going to deploy deduplication is the easy part. It gets a little tougher to find a deduplication solution that meets their diverse needs of affordability, high availability, scalability and simplicity. It is these enterprise hot buttons that the new SEPATON S2100-MS2 seeks to hit.

The fact that 60% of respondents said they are looking to deploy deduplication in 2010 indicates that the business case for deduplication has effectively been made at the executive level. Executives are now sufficiently convinced that:

  • Disk fixes current enterprise backup problems by shortening backup windows and ensuring successful backups which frees up staff time to focus on other tasks
  • Deduplication fixes the new problems that disk creates by minimizing backup data stores which keeps the cost of disk on par with tape
  • Deduplication enables them to cost-effectively replicate backup data offsite by keeping the size of WAN connections to a minimum

Now with the business case behind us, the real job of implementing deduplication begins. This is where it gets dicey. The evidence indicates that enterprise organizations are ready to adopt deduplication. But there is no evidence to suggest that they are ready to commit to it across their entire enterprise on a wholesale basis Day 1.
Rather they want a step-by-step deployment that gets them where they want to be without putting current operations at risk. Doing so requires enterprises identify a solution that:

  • Is simple and safe to deploy
  • Provides an affordable entry point
  • Scales to meet anticipated workloads and higher capacities
  • Works with their current backup software
  • Meets their high availability requirements

These are the challenges that the SEPATON S2100-MS2 meets. Prior to the release of the S2100-MS2, SEPATON had two products. Its high end S2100-ES2 VTL intended for use in enterprise data centers and its Rack Ready VTL for use in small environments. However these two products left a gap in its set of product offerings for a highly scalable midrange solution that delivered a multi-node configuration at a compelling price with a clear path for enterprises to scale up.

The SEPATON S2100-MS2 fills this gap by delivering a number of other features that should make it attractive for enterprises ready to begin a strategic deduplication initiative.

  • Simple and easy to deploy. The S2100-MS2 is configured and deployed as a VTL. This makes the MS2 relatively straightforward for enterprises to re-configure their existing backup software to discover and use the MS2 as a backup target in lieu of their existing physical tape library. Further, the S2100-MS2 is powered by the same software found on its enterprise S2100-ES2 that is already in production in hundreds of enterprise accounts. This should give IT managers a high level of assurance that the MS2’s software will work and perform as expected.
  • Enterprise solution without “bet the farm” pricing. Enterprises understand that they have to spend money to get an enterprise solution; they just as often do not want to spend all of their budgeted funds on a solution that only addresses their current needs and does not meet an attractive five year total cost of ownership (TCO).

I say five year TCO because with flat IT budgets and the need to backup and protect what Gartner Group projects to be 650% growth of data assets in the next five years has made it essential for IT to make prudent investments for the long haul.

The MS2 gives them a compelling entry point that allows the customer to flexibly pay as they go with modular upgrades of storage for capacity growth or additional nodes. This can then be upgraded into the ES2 family for accelerated performance and deliver on a compelling ROI along the way since all these upgrade options protect 100% of the existing investment in SEPATON product.

So at a starting price of just over $300,000, the MS2 gives them the enterprise solution that they need without forcing them to “bet the farm” on it.

  • Scalable. The MS2’s scalability is what should really grab the attention of enterprise IT managers. In its base configuration, it comes with two (2) nodes, supports 30 TBs of useable capacity and 1200 MBs/second of ingest performance. But what is more notable is that it can scale up to 160 TBs of usable capacity and provides a non-disruptive upgrade path to the enterprise S2100-ES2 so enterprise organizations can continue to leverage the investment that they make in the MS2 even as they grow the solution.

Further, when looking at the competitive landscape, there is a minefield of “gotchas” with systems that have no upgrade path, require forklift upgrades to grow or necessitate the purchase and management of a plethora of multiple boxes just to keep up with the data growth.

  • High availability. High availability is now a top priority in enterprise deduplication deployments for two reasons. First, more organizations are replicating data from remote sites back to their main data centers which increases the importance for highly available solutions that can receive this replicated backup data. Second, the backup of large production databases cannot withstand periods of downtime. The 2-node MS2 meets both of these emerging enterprise hot buttons.

However these issues are not the only enterprise hot buttons that SEPATON hits this week. SEPATON also announced new integrated deduplication support for EMC NetWorker as well as better deduplication support for very large databases.
Its new support for NetWorker across its entire product line gives SEPATON integrated deduplication with most of the major enterprise backup software products (HP Data Protector, IBM TSM and Symantec NetBackup). Further, it even gives SEPATON a competitive advantage over EMC’s own Data Domain product which, as of right now, does not have any specific integration with NetWorker.

The recent IDC survey indicates that 2010 will be “The Year” that enterprise organizations start down the deduplication path. However just because they are starting down this road does not mean that they are throwing caution and reason to the wind. They still need to exercise fiscal and operational restraint as they deploy deduplication.

The SEPATON S2100-MS2 gives them the opportunity to meet these sometimes competing objectives. The MS2 offers them the enterprise features and functions that they need to get started with deduplication while the MS2’s scalability enables them to grow the solution as their demands increase. This combination of features should hit all of the hot buttons that enterprise IT managers are anxious to push.


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