Redesigned Appliances Rev Up Data Restoration

Sepaton and Unitrends redesigning their respective data protection appliances to boost data backup speed.

The geometric growth of stored data not only extends data backup times at many organizations but also lengthens the time needed to restore data after a system failure.

Sepaton Inc. and Unitrends Software Corp. are responding by redesigning their respective data protection appliances to enhance scalability and shrink restoration times.

"The restoration time is really what a lot of companies rely on. They dont realize how important it is until they have to restore something, and theyre watching the clock, waiting for the restore job to finish," said Henry Cano, vice president of Abbott Systems Inc., a supply chain management and IT consultancy company in Daphne, Ala. "It can actually be quite painful sometimes."

Sepaton, of Southboro, Mass., this week will unveil its S2100-DS virtual tape library appliance, a disk-based system that emulates any tape environment to improve backup and restoration operations. The appliance uses Fibre Channel and high-speed ATA RAID disk technologies to transfer data at 150M bps. A single appliance can hold up to 6 terabytes of data, and multiple boxes can be linked to accommodate 200TB, which is the capacity of Sepatons existing S2100-ES appliance, officials said.

Before installing an S2100-DS, Cano said, Abbott had outgrown its entry-level AIT (Advanced Intelligent Tape) library. Recurring bottlenecks resulted in backup and restore operations taking 28 to 30 hours, which affected customers SLAs (service-level agreements). With the virtual tape library, those processes have been cut to less than 6 hours, Cano said.

Sepaton is readying applications called Synthetic Backup, Instant Restore and Replication/Compression that will run on its appliances. The content-aware applications, due later this year, will let users speed and simplify incremental backups, as well as provide desktop icons that kick off a process to restore only data that has changed since the last backup, officials said.

Also this week, Unitrends will announce upgrades to its DPU (Data Protection Unit) appliances that will include the entry-level S Series, midrange 3000 Series and high-end 5000 Series devices. The products are as much as 50 percent faster than previous generations of the Columbia, S.C., companys DPU appliances, officials said. The appliances can be configured as a tapeless backup device, disk-to-disk nearline or offline storage device, or data vault solution.

DPU systems will scale from 250GB to 9.6TB for a rack-mounted system.


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