More consolidation happening in the storage industry, as Hitachi Data Systems acquires Sepaton. George Crump, an IT analyst whose firm focuses on data storage and virtualization, wrote an interesting article outlining why he believes this is a win-win for both sides:
Hitachi Data Systems (HDS) announced they had acquired Massachusetts-based Sepaton, an established manufacturer of purpose built backup appliances (PBBAs) that use advanced de-duplication to shorten backup times and minimize backup appliance “sprawl”. The company will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hitachi Data Systems, which is a division of Hitachi Ltd, of Japan.
Who is Sepaton?
Founded in 2001, Sepaton was one of the early entrants into the disk-based, de-duplication backup market and originally focused on replacing tape-based backup systems (Sepaton’s name is actually “No Tapes” spelled backwards). But as disk backup and de-deduplication became more mainstream, Sepaton rightly shifted their focus to the advantages of their data reduction technology, building a base of some 3000 customers.
Leveraging their ‘DeltaScale’ technology, Sepaton’s PBBAs deliver some of the fastest backup and recovery performance on the market (up to 80TB per hour) in a modular, scalable, architecture. Using byte-level de-duplication Sepaton’s systems provide some of the highest, most consistent data reduction ratios regardless of data type, enabling multiple-PB, single-system capacities.
Did Sepaton need to do this?
Sepaton participates in the fiercely competitive purpose-built backup appliance market. They have had the advantage of focusing on enterprise-level customers with a highly scalable, high performance feature set that typically appeals to that market. Their challenge, similar to any startup or small company selling to the enterprise, is building the credibility to effectively compete. While they may have had a product that some considered better suited to the enterprise, they were at a distinct disadvantage when going up against the likes of EMC.
They also faced the reality that many of their partners eventually became competitors. For example, HP was an early advocate and OEM of Sepaton’s, but now competes directly with their StoreOnce technology. The advantage of being part of HDS is that Sepaton gets instant credibility in the market and access to HDS’s resources, channel and sales organization.
Why did HDS do this?
For their part, HDS had no serious offering in the disk backup appliance market while most of their competitors did; including HP, IBM, EMC, Dell and even Oracle. HDS does have an enterprise sales organization and providing them with a quality disk backup appliance that is differentiated from their competition should be an immediate benefit. And Sepaton does create some synergies with HDS’s existing product line. HDS has also been providing the hardware platform for Sepaton’s S2100, with their AMS2100 SAS RAID-6 based storage system.