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Sepaton sets its sights on Big Data

By Sonia R. Lelii, Senior News Writer

Sepaton is looking to move beyond its data protection specialty into Big Data.

At Storage Networking World in Orlando, Fla., this week, new Sepaton CTO Jeffrey Tofano offered a broad description of where the vendor plans to go within the next five years. Tofano didn’t offer too many technology specifics, but said Sepaton’s plan is to position itself for the broader Big Data market.

The idea is to expand its use of NAS protocols to its backup products within the next year, then over the subsequent two years provide “solution stacks” for snapshot archiving, specialized archiving and data protection environments.The goal is to use all of that technology for nearline storage and big data. “Our technology is skating where the buck will be, and that’s Big Data,” said Tofano, who was previously CTO of Quantum Corp.

There still is a lot of marketing hype around the term Big Data, but Tofano puts it into two buckets: either large data sets or analytics of petabytes of data for business intelligence. Sepaton will be targeting both, he said, by using the company’s technology to “bring specialized processors closer to the storage to do clickstreaming, web logs or email logs.

“It turns out that Big Data is a perfect fit for our [technology] core, which is a scalable grid, content-aware deduplication and replication technology,” Tofano said. “Our technology is not the limiting factor. We have a lot of the pieces in place. We are not building a new box. We are refining a box to get into the Big Data market. Right now, we have a scalable repository bundled behind a Virtual Tape Library [VTL] personality.”

Tofano said the VTL market is mature, and this new direction does not mean Sepaton will get out of the  backup space. Obviously, he said, it depends on revenues. “We will become more general purpose over time. We will do storage and support loads outside of data protection,” Tofano said.

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