Sepaton upgrades VTLs

By Kevin Komiega

—At this week's Gartner Data Center Conference in Las Vegas, virtual tape library (VTL) vendor Sepaton announced a doubling of the processing power in its S2100-ES2 disk-based backup appliances and an increase in the number of tape drives and libraries supported by each appliance.

Sepaton, which when spelled backwards outlines the company's philosophy in no uncertain terms, uses an architecture based on its Scalable Replication Engine (SRE) to reduce backup-and-restore windows by emulating tape drives/libraries. Each SRE node is a processing component that provides two Fibre Channel communication paths into the backup environment and memory subsystems.

With the latest release, users will be able to configure up to eight nodes in a single appliance, doubling the scalability and performance of the previous model. According to Sepaton officials, the improvements will increase throughput from 150MBps (0.54TB/hour) to 2,400MBps (8.6TB/hour). With the new implementation, the appliance scales to 32 nodes or 9,600MBps throughput with 2Gbps Fibre Channel technology.

Sepaton sees further speed and scalability advances as 4Gbps Fibre Channel becomes the prevalent plumbing for storage networks.

"Thirty-two nodes should be an adequate configuration for high-end users, but it is not the limit. Customers could scale to 64 nodes if they need to, and 4Gbps Fibre Channel will expand the options," says Linda Mentzer, Sepaton's vice president of marketing.

Sepaton's software emulates a variety of tape libraries, without the need for users to change their driver software or backup applications, policies, or procedures.

Also new with Sepaton's S2100-ES2 VTL is emulation support for IBM's TotalStorage 3592 tape drive and 3584 libraries, as well as support for up to 192 virtual LUNs of any mix of tape drives and libraries per node for a maximum of 1,536 in a single VTL appliance.

The previous version of the S2100-ES2 provided for a maximum of 64 tape drives and 16 libraries per node, or 256 drives and 64 libraries per VTL. Additionally, the number of virtual cartridges supported in the system increases from 5,000 to what the company calls a "virtually limitless" number.

Entry-level configurations of the S2100-ES2 are priced from approximately $45,000 with 4.8TB of capacity (0.54TB/hour throughput). A configuration with eight SRE nodes and 80TB is priced from less than $780,000 (8.6TB/hour throughput).

This article was originally published on December 05, 2005