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SEPATON: Playing A Key Role In Enterprise-Class Disaster Recovery

One of the significant technologies for improving data protection for basic risk management that has emerged and evolved during the past decade is disk-based backup. At the enterprise-level especially, disk-based backup is typically represented by virtual tape libraries (VTLs).While smaller companies have been able to use disk-to-disk and some limited-capacity VTLs, only a few VTL technologies provide the performance and scalability that enterprise organizations need. One of the companies to leverage this enterprise market demand that has become an established market leader in the VTL space is SEPATON.

SEPATON has made its mark with S2100-ES2 VTL, a data protection appliance designed with enterprise-class scalability and performance in mind. On top of that, SEPATON's core VTL technology is designed to enable the addition of software modules that are fully integrated into its operation. One such module provides a strong data deduplication capability, another provides bandwidth-optimized remote replication.

The initial use of VTLs was primarily in operational recovery, or recovery that occurs at a local site. Although that process could be required due to a physical failure (such as two nearly simultaneous disk failures in a RAID-protected disk array), the more likely trigger event is a logical failure, such as one due to a hacker, virus, database corruption or simply an inadvertent deletion of a file. In addition to its main purpose as an operational recovery technology, a VTL provides some additional benefits, such as reducing the time of a backup window.

VTL vendors have now turned their attention to providing broader disaster recovery support and SEPATON is no exception to that trend. Essentially, data at a local site also has to be available at a remote location designated as a disaster recovery (DR) site. The DR site springs into action when the local site is unable to perform its basic functions for an extended period of time and assumes the responsibility for running production applications.

One of the traditional methods of protecting data at a DR site has been remote mirroring. This is useful for restarting critical applications at the DR site if downtime is critical for a business such as a Web-based retailer that needs to be up and running all the time. However, due to the high cost of remote mirroring, it is hard to justify for an application that really doesn't require such high availability. Even for those applications that might benefit, remote mirroring only offers protection from physical problems, as logical problems would be quickly propagated from the local site to the remote site. Every time they backup data, enterprises face the challenge of moving large volumes of data over their network to their remote site. For most organizations, remote replication is too slow and too costly to be feasible. As a result, most continue to backup data to physical tapes and truck them to an off-site location. This process is highly manual, risky and slow.

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