Quantum Dedupes, Goes Virtual for Cloud Backups

Posted on March 22, 2012 By Pedro Hernandez

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Quantum is taking a virtual approach to the sizzling cloud-based data protection market with the debut of its Quantum vmPRO platform and DXi V1000. The software represents a backup and disaster recovery strategy rooted in flexibility and data portability, said David Chapa, chief technology evangelist for Quantum.

Quantum's technology arrives at a frothy time in cloud storage, with no shortage of innovations bubbling to the surface. In recent months, cloud backup providers have been eyeing Amazon's new AWS Storage Gateway. Fujitsu teamed with Crossroads Systems to bring LTFS-based storage to the cloud and IBM has enlisted startup Actifio to help streamline cloud backup management.

Yet, this newfound wealth of options can be overwhelming. While there are many compelling reasons for businesses to park their backups in the cloud, Chapa noticed that "customers were a little gun shy."

Complexity and vendor lock-in are the hallmarks of backup management, he said. "For so many years, backup applications have been very sticky." Why complicate things further by bringing the cloud into the mix?

Chapa said his company has solved that dilemma with a combination of its new Quantum vmPRO platform and the DXi V1000. His firm is operating under the notion that when it comes to backing up data efficiently -- and when necessary, recovering it -- the sweet spot for many businesses is a hybrid cloud model.

Driving Hybrids, Destination: Cloud

Describing hybrid clouds as a "significant opportunity," Chapa has observed that organizations are seeking cloud alternatives but have little incentive to take on the effort and cost of disrupting their on-site IT assets. "Customers are looking at this with a keen sense of how to take advantage of this infrastructure," he said.

That's where the company's "cloud-optimized software platform" comes in. Staying true to its branding, Quantum vmPRO is virtualization friendly, both in terms of a native platform and as the sorts of backups that it can handle.

The software makes it possible to quickly restore virtual machines and their data and as well as the ability to "bring up full VM images in the cloud," according to the company. And since it's a virtual system, storage admins can piggyback the functionality on their existing server investments or redeploy with relative ease. It also offers optimized replication over a WAN and security-enhanced, multi-tenant cloud support.

DXi V1000 brings the functionality of the company's DXi-Series line of deduplication appliances into an agentless, virtual machine-based solution. By trimming the data bloat before backups hit the cloud, businesses stand to save on bandwidth and online storage capacity costs.

The DXi V1000 protects physical and virtual servers, with each instance handling 20 TB to 40 TB factoring in deduplication, according to company estimates. It can backup to any cloud protection service or tape, and of course, other DXi-Series appliances. DXi V1000 boasts compatibility with popular backup software suites.

And backups handled by Quantum's platform remains portable. "We're not encapsulating these in a tarball or a proprietary format," said Chapa. These features, and the fact that is a "100 percent software play," are the reasons why Quantum's tech underpins Xerox's new cloud backup and disaster recovery services.

Jason Buffington, a senior analyst for the Enterprise Strategy Group sees options opening up for cloud storage providers.

Buffington said, "The combination of vmPRO and new DXi V1000 software in a highly efficient and integrated platform opens up new solution possibilities not only for customers looking to innovate differently but also for cloud providers who are ready to offer new storage services to their clientele." He added, "The partnership and shared architecture with Xerox provides a strong validation of what should be an interesting solution to watch moving forward."

Quantum's DXi V1000 is available in April and costs $2,250 per TB.

Pedro Hernandez is a contributor to the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals. Previously, he served as a managing editor for the Internet.com network of IT-related websites and as the Green IT curator for GigaOM Pro. Follow him on Twitter @ecoINSITE.

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