Quantum Pushes Disk Backup

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Quantum is expanding its disk-based backup offerings to include a compression technology that can double storage capacity and increase performance.

The DX30 and the new enterprise-class DX100 offer greater functionality and scalability, and also include a unique embedded OS that emulates a tape library.

“We have designed the embedded OS in our DX products to emulate a tape library,” a Quantum spokesman says. “One of the primary benefits to users is that, because of this tape emulation, DX products can be easily configured and managed through a user’s existing backup software package such as Veritas, Legato, or CA. The backup software sees the DX30 or DX100 as another tape library.”

“Quantum has taken a unique approach to disk-based backup with their emulated tape library technology that will benefit many customers who may be considering the purchase of disk arrays as part of their overall backup strategy,” observes Steve Kenniston, technology analyst at Enterprise Storage Group. “Quantum’s strategy hits home with IT professionals and their thought process around enhanced backup technology. We see a number of IT administrators beginning to embrace backup to disk as a means to solve backup challenges in the enterprise.”

Quantum says its DX products address backup needs faced by companies of all sizes, including the ability to complete backups within available backup windows and to meet the challenges associated with restoring data to meet demanding service level agreements. The DX series also blends key innovations of tape drive technology and the benefits of optimized disk backup, the company says.

The DX100 is designed for data centers running mission-critical database, CRM, and ERP applications. The DX100 includes a state-of-the-art controller for data management with multiple optimized disk arrays that allow for initial native capacity scalable from roughly 6 to 50 terabytes (TB). The DX100 will ship with high-availability hardware features, including redundant hot swap fans, power supplies, dual redundant Fibre Channel ports, and RAID protection. Added software benefits include operational management through SNMP, performance monitoring, and remote replication.

Like the DX30, Quantum says the DX100 will be optimized for backup, providing customers with management and performance benefits not found in standard ATA disk arrays used for backup. Emulating a tape library preserves customers’ existing investments in their current backup processes and infrastructure, the company says. Customers can set the preferred size and number of emulated tape cartridges to adapt DX products for their specific data protection policies and to increase backup performance by multiplexing simultaneous backup jobs and sharing backups from a single DX product to multiple tape devices.

The DX series can also be augmented with Quantum’s hardware compression technology. Compression will allow customers to double the available capacity of the DX products and will provide additional I/O off-load for performance benefits. The technology can be added as an upgrade to any DX Series product already in use or factory-installed on new products. By adding compression, customers get a reduced cost per gigabyte of storage while the system performs at a level associated with primary arrays, according to Quantum.

With the availability of additional expansion arrays, customers can scale the DX30 from 3.4 TB to 12.4 TB.

The Quantum DX100 is expected to be available in the third quarter, and the compression technology is scheduled to be available this summer for DX30 customers. The DX30 is currently available at an MSRP of $55,000. Expansion arrays and the associated mounting kits for the DX30 are expected to be available in June 2003. The DX series is targeted at a price per gigabyte of between $9 and $14 for most configurations.

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Paul Shread
Paul Shread
eSecurity Editor Paul Shread has covered nearly every aspect of enterprise technology in his 20+ years in IT journalism, including an award-winning series on software-defined data centers. He wrote a column on small business technology for Time.com, and covered financial markets for 10 years, from the dot-com boom and bust to the 2007-2009 financial crisis. He holds a market analyst certification.

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