Virtual tape libraries (VTLs) are gaining popularity for a variety of reasons. They offer faster backups and restores than traditional solutions, they're simple to implement, they practically eliminate the need for tape media handling (which reduces the chance of lost or damaged media), and they cost less than many other solutions.

SEPATON has offered VTLs and deduplication solutions for four years. I spoke to Asim Zaheer, SEPATON's vice president of marketing, and Jim Shocrylas, director of product management, about the company's next-generation enterprise-class VTL, the S2100-ES2 Series 750, announced on November 12. This VTL, at $102K, is 20 percent cheaper than SEPATON's previous series (i.e., the 500).

According to Shocrylas, the ES2 is also three times faster (34.5TB/hr) in performing backups relative to the nearest competition (i.e., EMC's DL series), and twice as scalable (1.2PB). Another distinguishing factor, says Shocrylas, is that unlike EMC, SEPATON uses a common array on the back end. Customer can easily upgrade VTLs, and moving data in place is a relatively simple operation.

In addition, implementing a deduplication application such as SEPATON's DeltaStor makes the product even more scalable. DeltaStor is content-aware software: Between backups, it looks for specific file types (e.g., Microsoft Exchange Server data sets, SQL Server data sets) and deduplicates directly against prior backups, which yields higher deduplication ratios than non-content-aware applications can provide.

Finally, SEPATON is introducing RAID 6 protection to provide customers with protection against double disk fault within the RAID shelf and to increase the Mean Time Between Failures (MTBF). For more information about the ES2, visit SEPATON's Web site.