Products of the Year 2006:

Backup hardware

Silver Award:

Sepaton S2100-ES2 Virtual Tape Appliance

As disk-to-disk backup grows more popular, disk targets are getting smarter. This hardware-based standout is the second version of Sepaton Inc.'s disk-only virtual tape library (VTL). The S2100-ES2 added online replication and rode the wave of data deduplication popularity with the release of Sepaton's DeltaStor software. An encryption option is also available via Sepaton's partnership with NeoScale Systems.

Sepaton's data deduplication approach is interesting. Most dedupe players do reverse referencing, which looks at a new block, compares it to data in the backup repository, and either keeps it or doesn't depending on whether it matches. But forward referencing, which is done only by Sepaton, saves the most recent blocks and then compares them to older data, a process Sepaton says improves restore times because the most recent backup version is kept the freshest.

Any firm offering a VTL with limited functionality could cease to exist within a few years. To ensure its survival, Sepaton has partnered with nearly every backup vendor and added new features. By making its VTL easier to manage and an essential part of the disk-to-disk backup process, Sepaton and its customers are ahead of the game.

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