By Kevin Komiega
-- In an effort to stake its claim to a piece of the backup software market, Quantum is now shipping the esXpress software module, a new product for backing up and restoring VMware ESX virtual servers on the DXi-Series of disk backup and replication systems.
Quantum's esXpress software, which is OEM'd from PHD Virtual Technologies, creates virtual backup appliances within physical VMware servers, effectively eliminating the need for physical servers to kick off a backup job.
The virtual appliances created by esXpress are small virtual machines (VMs) that operate outside of the VMware ESX console and perform block-level backups across virtual disks.
Quantum's DXi-Series already supports a wide range of backup software applications, but the esXpress software module is tuned to optimize backups for VMware servers on the DXi platform, according to Mike Sparkes, marketing manager for Quantum's Enterprise Disk Group.
Selling backup software is a departure from the norm for Quantum, but a necessary one, according to Sparkes. More than 80% of Quantum's customers are running virtualization in their data centers. Taking advantage of that market by making the DXi-Series "VM-ready" was a no-brainer.
"It's a bit of a change for Quantum to be introducing backup software. We're typically software-agnostic and we still have full support for our partners, but we wanted to package something with the DXi systems because the benefits of data deduplication in VMware environments are huge," says Sparkes.
Quantum and its reseller partners are offering two versions of the esXpress software module: the Professional and Enterprise editions. Every DXi2500-D, DXi3500, DXi7500 Express and DXi7500 customer now has the right to a license for a free copy of esXpress Professional software for one physical VMware ESX server.
The esXpress Professional license is included at no additional cost, and phone-based installation is provided free of charge. Additional esXpress Professional licenses cost $950 each and support up to four virtual backup appliances. Users can upgrade to esXpress Enterprise, which supports up to 16 backup appliances per ESX server, for an additional $950.
In conjunction with the launch of esXpress, Quantum announced the availability of the Scalar Key Manager Appliance, a new device designed to generate, maintain and synchronize encryption keys for LTO-4 tapes.
The Scalar Key Manager Appliance can manage encryption across multiple Quantum tape libraries in multiple locations. Customers can use the Key Manager appliance to set initial encryption policies through a Scalar tape library. All of the Key Manager's functions can be administered directly from the tape library.
Todd Farley, marketing manager for Quantum's Tape Automation Group, says the Scalar Key Manager ships in a dual-appliance, high availability configuration and pricing for the appliances are tied to that of the Scalar tape libraries. The retail price for the Key Manager is just under $12,000.