Future Evolution of Data Protection is Data Retention and Preservation Cloud, Says Sepaton CEO

An interview with Mike Worhach, CEO of Data Specialist Sepaton, helps us delve deeper in the complex world of data integrity and casts some light on what awaits the storage industry in a near future.

1. Let's start off with an overview of Sepaton and your role within the company?

I am the president and CEO of SEPATON and am responsible for responsible for management, execution and strategic direction of the company.

SEPATON helps enterprises reduce risk and improve operational efficiency in the data center with the industry's fastest, most scalable virtual tape library and data deduplication solution.

Built on our patented ContentAware architecture, SEPATON products enable enterprises to consolidate and protect information by deduplicating, backing up and restoring petabytes of data at wire speed without disruption to their existing infrastructure.

We combine these products with proven methodologies and in-depth services expertise to deliver a measurable return on investment.

2. Can you provide us with some figures on Sepaton's business worldwide?

SEPATON is a private company and does not disclose financials. However, I can tell you that we have nearly doubled our revenues year-over-year for the past 3 years running, secured significant business with global 2000 customers in North America, EMEA and APAC.

We sell direct and through indirect channels, including our OEM relationship with Hewlett-Packard.

3. Data deduplication is becoming a very commonly-heard buzzword in the storage sector, tell us more about this concept and where the focus lies?

Data deduplication is a very key component to the future of data storage. Simply put deduplication provides a reduction in disk footprint. SEPATON uses ContentAware technology for our deduplication product which enables much more granular data reduction.

Deduplication solutions should have an inherent understanding of the data that is being stored, including the application type, and enable the ability to turn deduplication on or off depending on business and regulatory requirements.

In addition, metadata about the content should also be stored, enabling much more efficient content indexing and search, and therefore the ability to meet discovery requests.

Deduplication solutions should not simply perpetuate the notion that we want to get as much data into a space as possible.

Though this is an important element of deduplication, SEPATON’s dedupe products enable much higher value functions for IT and the business to leverage.

4. What are currently your most popular products and why do you think this is so?

Our biggest selling solution is our ES2 enterprise class virtual tape library platform. This is the foundation from which we offer our value added capabilities such as DeltaStor deduplication and remote replication.

What makes our solution so compelling is that it can scale seamlessly in any direction (performance or capacity) based on business need, and has the inherent ability to support deduplication within the same system.

Our fastest growing product is DeltaStor deduplication, for the reasons noted above. No other company can do what we do.

5. What differentiates Sepaton from other Data Protection Vendors on the market?

SEPATON has a vision beyond the VTL and deduplication solutions offered today. We are focused on enabling the enterprise data center of the future and specifically related to long term storage.

We see a convergence between backup, archive and disaster recovery storage requirements and technologies, and have designed a platorm and roadmap that enables enterprises to evolve nondisruptively over time based on business need.

This vision and investment protection in today's SEPATON technology differentiates us in the market.

6. One of the highlights of the year for Sepaton was the fact that it renewed its OEM pact with HP; could you tell us more about that?

SEPATON and HP signed a new OEM agreement where SEPATON provides HP enterprise data deduplication and virtual tape library technology.

HP will continue to develop a virtual tape library system integrated with SEPATON’s data protection platform and has also begun marketing SEPATON’s ContentAware® DeltaStor® data deduplication software that offers customers optimal performance, flexibility and scalability, while lowering disk-related backup costs.

HP selected SEPATON over multiple vendors to be its only VTL provider. A major factor in HP’s decision was SEPATON’s ContentAware platform.

It differentiates HP’s solution as an enterprise-class product and enables innovative, new applications to be developed, improving disk-based data protection far beyond traditional approaches

7. What technology, service or product has impressed you the most in the past few months?

The Xiotech ISE (Intelligent Storage Element) is very impressive. The ability to condense footprint to that extent at the hardware level is important complementary technology to deduplication in enabling the green data center.

8. What websites/tools are essential for your work?
I am avid reader of CIO.com and The 451 Group. One provides important perspective on challenges within the enterprise data center from a user perspective, and the other is useful to me in keeping up with other vendors and technologies in mine and other markets.

9. What's the next big thing coming up in the storage sector, generally speaking?
The future evolution of data protection is the cloud of data retention and preservation - a shared services model applied to long term storage that is implemented within the enterprise.

Data protection is currently driven by a need from compliance standards (SEC 17A, Sarbanes Ox, etc.), on consequence of jailtime. Moving forward, more sophistication and flexibility will be required.

Business leaders should be able to decide “I want to keep my email for a year, this for 3 years, that for 10, etc.” Right now it’s difficult to do that as there are no globalized systems.

The data preservation cloud is going to be next big thing and data deduplication helps to make this possible.

10. How do you envision Sepaton's future in the next few years?

We are laser focused on solving real world data storage problems for customers. As a result we expect our revenues to continue growing and for us to continue expanding our business worldwide.