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Copan Cops $17.5M

Copan Systems picked up $17.5 million in funding today to help expand its product line from virtual tape libraries (VTLs) to archiving.

Copan's third funding round brings the Longmont, Colo., startup's total backing to $56.5 million. Copan claims more than 30 customers and has shipped more than 40 Petabytes of its Revolution 200T VTL system since it launched in 2004. (See Copan Takes Aim at Tape and Copan Launches Disk Backup.)

Copan hopes those early customers could help it gain a foothold as it moves into archiving, particularly as the VTL and archiving markets are rapidly filling up. What's more, Copan's competitors are often eager, like Copan, to play in both fields.

In the past year, Hewlett-Packard, Network Appliance, and IBM moved into VTL. (See NetApp Readies Virtual Tape, HP Upgrade Features OEM Crowd, and IBM, MS in Virtualization Push.) They join EMC, tape vendors ADIC, Quantum, and StorageTek (now Sun), and other startups Diligent Technologies, Sepaton, and Neartek.

One key for Copan could be its MAID (Massive Array of Idle Disks) architecture, which makes it possible for disks to take up less space by rotating the order in which they are activated inside an array. Copan densely packs drives into its cabinets, placing 894 disks into a 10-square-foot package. (See Copan Gets New MAID and Copan Sweeps Up $25M.)

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