By Kevin Komiega
—Quantum plans to extend its family of disk-based backup-and-replication appliances this week by adding an enterprise-class version of its DXi system to the mix with more capacity, performance, and multiple options for policy-based data de-duplication.
The new DXi7500, which isn't due until "the fall," will boast a significant capacity jump over its predecessors (up to 240TB) and performance of up to 8TB per hour. And since the DXi7500 runs the same management software as the DXi3500 and DXi5500 backup appliances, it is capable of serving as a repository for centralizing backup and disaster recovery for other Quantum appliances at multiple distributed sites.
Mike Sparkes, product manager of disk systems for Quantum, says the other members of the DXi family work well in the midrange, but some customers are looking for bigger platforms with data-reduction capabilities.
"For the most part, the early adopters of data de-duplication technology have been smaller users, but we're seeing the beginning of a second wave of adoption among larger enterprises," says Sparkes. "Large customers are starting to eliminate tape at [remote and branch office sites] and moving data back over the WAN to large, enterprise-class repositories."
With the DXi7500, Quantum may become the first disk-based backup vendor to offer both inline and post-process de-duplication in a single system. The DXi7500 uses a policy-based approach to de-duplication, allowing users to choose when and how they eliminate redundant data.
"We found the performance of inline de-duplication was well-matched with our midrange appliances, but could not keep up with the capabilities and performance of the enterprise systems. Users typically opt for post-process de-dupe with the larger solutions so now we're providing the ability to choose," says Sparkes.
But the DXi7500 isn't all about de-duplication. Tape is still a top consideration at Quantum. To that end, the DXi7500 offers users the option of integrated tape creation, allowing removable media to be written outside the backup window without using the media server or the data center's SAN. In the DXi7500, integrated media creation maintains full bar-code tracking with the backup application. Quantum is also working with Symantec to support its Direct to Tape feature in Veritas NetBackup 6.5. The Direct to Tape feature support will allow direct tape creation to be both fully automated and under the direct control of the backup software.
The DXi7500 can be presented to the backup software as a NAS mount point (CIFS/NFS), as a virtual tape library (VTL) with either Fibre Channel or iSCSI connectivity, or across all presentations simultaneously. The DXi Series is compatible with all major backup applications and does not require users to change their existing backup methodology or infrastructure.
All the members of the DXi family feature data de-duplication technology acquired from software start-up Rocksoft combined with embedded file system technology from ADIC and Quantum's own compression and tiering technology. (ADIC acquired Rocksoft, and Quantum acquired ADIC.)
Pricing for the DXi7500 has yet to be finalized, but Sparkes says it will follow the same capacity-based pricing model used for the midrange DXi products. A base configuration of the DXi7500 supports 24TB of raw storage capacity.