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Hitachi Buys Sepaton

Hitachi Data Systems is a storage, software and services provider that was founded in 1989 and is based in California, United States. With over 5900 employees in more than 100 countries and regions, Hitachi is a big player when it comes to data storage.

The firm announced earlier in August that they have acquired Sepaton, a business that creates purpose built backup appliances that are scalable and cost effective. The firm aims their products at enterprises that have vast requirements for data storage. Interestingly, their company name backwards is ‘no tapes’.

Sepaton, based in Marlborough, Massachusetts, have long been a partner of Hitachi and the move has made the firm an independent subsidiary of Hitachi Data Systems. As is usually the case with business acquirements, this allows Hitachi to make full use of Sepaton’s client base and industry knowledge. Sepaton also own a number of patents, including one that was filed in 2014 for dynamic deduplication. Hitachi will be keen to capitalise on all the elements that make Sepaton appealing.

It’s not known how much Sepaton was acquired for, but such a deal is never going to be cheap. Whether it was a cost effective move, however, remains to be seen. Sepaton is venture funded and over the past 14 years has received over $98 million in funding.

“With the addition of Sepaton, HDS customers have access to one of the broadest portfolios of data protection solutions in the industry,” said Sean Moser, vice president, Software Platforms Product Management at Hitachi Data Systems. “HDS can address customer pain points with the most effective technology; whether disk-based deduplication or data instance management, HDS has a solution that best solves the customer’s problem.”

Sepaton is perhaps best known for their S2100-ES3 modular backup platform. The acquisition will allow Hitachi to offer their customers better integration between their business and tech needs, which the firm is calling “Business Defined IT”. The aim is to let customers deploy continuous infrastructure for their data and, as a result, keep costs down and offer better flexibility on data protection.

“Customers will now have access to the combined strength of HDS’ market-leading solutions and services with Sepaton’s enterprise proven data protection – giving IT organizations peace of mind that their most valuable asset (their data) will be stored, protected and managed on the best infrastructure on the planet,” said Moser in a blog post.

According to Data Center Knowledge, this acquisition places Hitachi in direct competition with rivals in the purpose built data backup appliance market, like EMC and IBM. HP used to sell their own branded versions of Sepaton appliances, but this was phased out to make way for their own StoreOnce line.

It has been estimated by IDC that the purpose built data backup appliance market will grow 19.2 percent to around $5.3 billion in 2015. Hitachi’s Moser has claimed that the firm would merge Sepaton’s strategy into their own in order to create a unified vision of where the companies will go. It’s not known whether all employees were retained during the acquisition.


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