Storage pools and why they matter

Today SEPATON announced the addition of Storage Pools to our data protection platform.  The technology marks a major step in the path to data protection lifecycle management, and I am excited about the new functionality and wanted share some brief thoughts.

To summarize, storage pooling allows data to be segmented into discrete pools that do not share deduplication.  Data sent to one pool will only be deduplicated against information in that pool and will not co-mingle with other data.  Additionally, pools provide configuration flexibility by supporting different types of disks with different performance profiles.  Pools also benefit from SEPATON’s DeltaScale architecture which allows for dynamic capacity and performance scalability.  Pools are a no-cost option with our latest software release and customers have the ability to implement them in the way that best meets their business requirements.  Some of the benefits include:

Service levels

The logical separation of pools enables end users to provide differing levels of service.  Pools can be configured with different node and storage configurations thus allowing an administrator to provide different ingest and density metrics for each pool.  However, the environment is still managed in one system image and can scale capacity or performance.  This prevents system sprawl as is common with many of our competitors.

Multi-tenancy

Pools prevent ingested data from comingling with data in other pools.  This is vital for those environments where data segregation is critical.  A classic example is a service provider who wants to offer accelerated backup as a service.  They must keep each customer’s data separate, and an S2100 with Storage Pools will cost effectively address this challenge and provide system scalability to meet future growth requirements.  With competing solutions, the service provider would need to implement separate systems for each customer.  The management complexity would increase rapidly and it gets even more difficult as data grows.

Another benefit of storage pooling is that it ensures that one pool’s capacity does not impact another’s.  If an appliance is segmented into pool A and B and A fills up, pool B will not be affected.  The benefit is that in a pooled system, the operator can provide consistent capacity and performance to each pool and not have to worry about how growth in one pool will impact another.  Of course, the rapid growth in the first pool may provide a revenue opportunity for the service provider and they can benefit from SEPATON’s dynamic capacity scalability.

Charge-back

Separating data is valuable, but it is critical to understand system utilization to enable effective chargeback.  The new release also provides capacity reporting to allow users to quantify the capacity used by each pool.  This allows for effective chargeback since you can clearly delineate storage usage.

Future Protection

Disk technology is always changing.  In the world of SATA, we continue to see increasing densities and new controller technologies.  For example, HDS recently announced an upgrade to their AMS series of disk arrays and SEPATON is shipping the new technology in our platform.  Inevitably, future innovations will occur and as they do, Storage Pools will allow the different disk technologies to co-exist in a transparent fashion and allow for data migration.

Single System Image

Most importantly, Storage Pool technology relies on SEPATON’s core appliance technology.  The ability to dynamically scale capacity and performance is a hallmark of SEPATON’s DeltaScale architecture.  The same functionality extends to Storage Pools thus allowing end users to grow the system as needs change while maintaining single system manageability and detailed reporting.

In summary, storage pools is a new technology that brings a range of new features to SEPATON’s platform.  The functionality is unique in the deduplication appliance space and when combined with SEPATON’s dynamic scalability can provide tremendous customer benefits.

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