By Kevin Komiega
—Just a few months after completing the acquisition of rival ADIC, Quantum is rolling out a new family of disk-based backup and replication appliances with more horsepower, memory, and software features than previous systems, as well as the added benefit of data de-duplication technology.
Quantum claims the new DXi3500 and DXi5500 backup appliances eliminate redundant data, allowing companies to retain 10x to 50x more backup data on disk and to store data for months instead of days.
The DXi Series appliances promise performance of up to 800GB per hour and interface flexibility between NAS and virtual tape libraries (VTLs). The de-duplication technology also allows Quantum's appliances to provide WAN-based remote replication of backup data as a tool for disaster recovery between distributed sites such as data centers and regional offices.
The appliances are available in a range of capacities aimed at protecting data sets from 250GB to 11TB. Quantum officials claim the appliances can offer up to 216TB of disk-based retention capacity assuming an average 20:1 de-duplication ratio, or enough capacity to retain months of backups on disk for an 11TB primary data set.
The DXi3500 and DXi5500 can be presented to backup software as a NAS mount point or as a VTL with either a Fibre Channel or iSCSI interconnect and are compatible with popular backup applications.
Quantum's director of enterprise marketing, Shane Jackson, says the DXi3500 and DXi5500 represent the first integrated product borne of combined technologies resulting from the recent acquisitions of ADIC and Rocksoft.
"We took the de-duplication technology from Rocksoft and ADIC's embedded file system technology and combined it with compression, diagnostics, and tiering technology from Quantum," says Jackson. "The DXi Series is a stronger growth platform with scale and scope beyond that of tape and moves us into an area where it can provide tape devices, disk-based backup, and software solutions."
The launch of Quantum's new generation of disk-based backup appliances, though key to the company's product road map, does not mean that tape will take a backseat in terms of importance.
"The new de-duplication product will be a flagship product for the new Quantum-ADIC. However, this doesn't mean that they'll abandon tape. Quantum sees backup, archive, and recovery as requiring multiple storage tiers," says Dianne McAdam, director of enterprise information assurance at The Clipper Group consulting firm. "A disk-based product with integrated de-duplication holds the current copies of backup data. Older versions of backups are migrated to physical tape for off-site storage."
There is good news and bad news for current Quantum customers using the previous generation of disk-based backup appliances: the DX3000 and DX5000 midrange VTL family. The bad news is that data cannot be replicated between legacy DX systems and the new DXi models. The good news is that Quantum is preparing a conversion process for DX3000 and DX5000 customers who want to incorporate the de-duplication feature into their systems.
Quantum plans to begin shipping DXi3500 and DXi5500 units early in the first quarter of 2007. Pricing begins at $24,000 for an entry-level appliance and scales across eight different models.