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Seagate’s EVault joins the backup providers swarm

Welcome to a weird consolidation-free zone

+Comment Seagate has a new backup target appliance (BTA) that can shoot data to a private, public or partner cloud, as well as having 65TB of usable storage capacity. Why in a mature market are there so very many suppliers?

It announced 50TB (3U) and 100TB (4U) EBA (Enterprise Backup and recovery Appliances) appliances last September and these compress, dedupe and encrypt data before storing it and sending it on its way.

The latest product fits neatly between these two in usable capacity terms and is designed, Seagate said, for large enterprise companies and service providers looking to protect OSs and apps, including Oracle databases.

These earlier systems used 4TB drives – we wondered about that back in September. The new one has 6TB drives with 24-bays holding them in a RAID 1 configuration. That's 144TB of raw capacity. The compute side of the BTA has two servers setup as nodes in a failover cluster. They run Microsoft Windows Server 2012 R2 standard edition with Hyper-V.

Seagate claims it's built for DBAs to use; an Oracle admin can use RMAN to backup the Oracle database to the new EVault box.

As with the older 100TB product it fits into a 4U enclosure. It can replicate data to another EVault BTA or the cloud. Customers can optionally add EVault Director Backup and Recovery Software, which takes up some of the 65TB of usable capacity.

Seagate is looking to take on Asigra, Acronis, Veeam and other backup companies offering simple-to-use appliance type offerings. Will we see it grow the upper capacity limits of its offerings and add 200TB and 300TB of usable capacity, even more perhaps.

In a similar situation to the storage arrays, where Seagate is expanding into supplying enterprise arrays with its ClusterStor line, backup is another area where the company is encroaching onto market turf previously the preserve of its OEMs. Anything to sell more high-capacity disk drives seems to be its mantra.

By way of increasing its own capacity Seagate will invest $496.6m (THB15.3bn) over the next five years in Thailand with a new disk drive plant coming on stream in 2016. This will be at its facility in Nakhon Ratchasima province, claimed to be the largest disk drive campus in the world.


Interestingly, Western Digital and HGST don't have cloud-based backup operations such as Seagate's EVault. Could that change? Might one or both buy their way into this area?

The backup product market is so fractured into myriad supplier fiefdoms it's unreal. There must be more than 100 suppliers overall.

We at El Reg would like to ask "Why is that?"

Why hasn't industry consolidation taken place? Why isn't it taking place? How can companies such as EMC and Symantec have massive backup product revenues and huge channels and yet allow companies such as Acronis, Asigra, Code42, CommVault, Dell, EVault, etc, etc, through to Unitrends and Veeam to grow fast and big at the same time while they start flatlining (relatively speaking)?

There's just something about the data protection market which prevents consolidation, and Lord only knows what it is. Answers on a postcard please.

It's great from a wannabe supplier's point of view as there always seems to be room for a new one.

The 65TB EVault BTA is currently available in the US, Canada, Mexico and EU. Availability in other regions is planned for May 2015. Check out its datasheet here (PDF). ®

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