Quantum Storage Buying Guide - EnterpriseStorageForum.com

Quantum Storage Buying Guide

Quantum is a veteran of the storage community. With a long pedigree in tape automation, it has added a large disk-based portfolio to accommodate changing times.

"That makes Quantum the only company to bring disk, tape, and replication together for a complete, cost-effective solution across distributed sites," said Jeff Rector, Quantum's Marketing Director.

Disk-Based Deduplication and Backup

Quantum disk-based backup appliances are known as the DXi-Series. Each has built-in data deduplication to reduce disk requirements by 90 percent or more. The DXi-Series works with all major backup applications. This includes support for Symantec's OpenStorage (OST) API. They can be used for remote offices and/or large data centers. In addition to deduplication, they can deal with virtual tape, disaster recovery and replication.


The series consists of the DXi4000, DXi6700 and DXi8500. All Quantum appliances use a variable-length, block-based deduplication technology. Each one comes with all necessary licenses in the base price, including deduplication, replication, direct tape creation, OST, VTL, NAS and DXi Accent for what is known as hybrid mode deduplication.

"With the hybrid deduplication enabled by DXi Accent software, customers can distribute deduplication operations to media servers, reducing local area network or wide area network traffic for backup, disaster recovery and direct tape creation," said Rector.

The DXi4000 is the low end of the Quantum line and is intended for SMBs and remote/branch offices. The DXi4601 scales from 4 TB up to 12 TB of usable capacity. The DXi8500 is the high-end product that anchors enterprise-wide backup, DR and data protection. It comes with 40TB to 320TB usable capacity.

In the midrange sits the DXi6700, with 8 TB to 80 TB of usable capacity. It includes two models--the DXi6701 and DXi6702. DXi6701/02 appliances provide multi-protocol interfaces and deliver 5.8 TB/hour (1610 MB/sec) backup performance in target mode, using a VTL or OST interface, or 5.0 TB/hour (1389 MB/sec) in NAS environments.

"Leveraging Quantum's DXi 2.0 inline data flow, a DXi6700 runs at more than twice the speed of the leading competitive offering," said Rector.

The DXi6701 comes with 1GbE connectivity, while the DXi6702 comes with 10GbE. Both models scale easily from 8 TB to 80 TB. The price of the DXi6701 is $58,000.

Virtual Machine Backup

Quantum's vmPRO 4000 appliances and vmPRO software are designed to protect data on virtual servers. They accelerate virtual machine (VM) performance by filtering out unassigned, expired and inactive data to reduce overhead on servers, networks and storage.

There are two vmPRO 4000 appliance models. The vmPRO4510 has 2TB usable capacity and the vmPRO4601 has up to 12TB. Both support vSphere 5, the most recent version of VMware's offering. Pricing for the vmPRO 4601 starts at $24,250.

vmPRO software, on the other hand, works with DXi appliances and existing backup applications to integrate VM backup and recovery. This technology came to Quantum via the acquisition of Pancetera Software. The vmPRO software utilities present a file system view of VM files, automatically create native-format VM copies on secondary disk, reduce VM backup data by up to 75 percent and raise deduplication rates.

"All vmPRO utilities operate inside the virtual environment, eliminating the need for external servers, and they support third-party backup applications," said Rector.

Tape Libraries

While Quantum has a few products in the above categories, its richest product set remains in the tape library space. Its Scalar series of tape libraries deliver backup and archiving to midsize businesses, workgroups and large data centers.

"Tape will continue to have a role in long-term data protection and archiving," said Rector. "It is the most cost-effective means to maintain large amounts of data for long periods.

Making sense of the various Scalar products is simple. The higher numbers deal with larger environments. The Scalar i40/i80 is for SMB, Scalar i500 is for midrange, and the Scalar i6000 is for enterprise users.

Scalar i6000 libraries are designed for the archive and long-term data retention. They include features such as iLayer software, bulk load capabilities and Extended Data Life Management (EDLM). EDLM provides IT storage administrators with a mechanism to check the health of their data on tape over a long retention period. It is particularly useful for data that is no longer accessed. Since this data can sit untouched for years, storage administrators don't know if their data in long-term storage can be restored. EDLM ensures that the data can be restored or retrieved when needed.

The i6000 stores up to 16PB of data, with a starting price of $63.4K with no added features or drives.

StorNext

StorNext data management software lets users process, store and access digital assets from a shared storage pool that can extend across storage tiers. The StorNext family of appliances can deliver high-performance file sharing and archiving via metadata controllers, expansion appliances and disk, and archive enabled libraries.

The StorNext M330 metadata controller appliance serves as the "traffic cop" for managing data in a StorNext environment. This component includes StorNext File System SAN clients. The StorNext G300 is a gateway appliance that scales out StorNext environments across a LAN. The StorNext QS1200 is high speed, smaller capacity primary disk for StorNext environments. It supports up to 115TB. The StorNext QM1200 provides high-speed metadata disk for StorNext environments and supports up to 28.8TB. The StorNext QD6000 is a scalable, high-density disk for StorNext environments with room for up to 1PB. The StorNext Archive Enabled Library is an archiving appliance for StorNext environments that automates data integrity verification of tapes and data migration within a tape library.

"The StorNext M330 metadata controller appliance is ideal for rich media environments needing fast, sustained and reliable shared access to very large files across multiple platforms," said Rector. "It creates shared data pools, eliminating the need for multiple copies, reducing storage space, simplifying workflows and enabling faster project completion."

Pricing for the StorNext M330 begins at $75,000, which includes factory-installed and licensed software, two metadata controllers (one for failover) and a dedicated metadata array for optimal operation. Also included are 10 StorNext File System SAN clients that can be used on any operating system, two StorNext File System SAN clients for the metadata controllers, and the High Availability License Option, enabling automatic metadata controller failover. Additional StorNext File System SAN clients can be obtained separately, as can all the supported optional StorNext features, including Storage Manager's tiering and archiving features. The StorNext M330 is compatible with products from most disk and tape vendors.

Drew Robb is a freelance writer specializing in technology and engineering. Currently living in California, he is originally from Scotland, where he received a degree in geology and geography from the University of Strathclyde. He is the author of Server Disk Management in a Windows Environment (CRC Press).

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