Quantum Launches Midrange Data De-Duplication Appliances
October 27, 2009 Alex Woodie
Storage giant Quantum last week launched a new line of data de-duplication appliances called the DXi6500. Based on the same core technology as its enterprise-level DXi7500 series, the new family of appliances is aimed at medium sized organizations that don’t need the extensive configurability of more complicated disk-based backup appliances, and instead are looking for a “set it and forget it” storage solution, company officials say.
Quantum will start shipping the first two members of the DXi6500 family in November. This includes the DXi6510, which offers a fixed 8 TB of usable disk, and the DXi6520, which scales from 8 TB to 32 TB of usable disk. Eventually, the company will roll out additional members, the DXi6530, DXi6540, and DXi6550, which will add more capacity, as well as Fibre Channel connectivity for hooking tape drives off the backend.
Quantum is positioning the DXi6500 series as a network-attached storage (NAS)-based backup disk appliance with built-in data de-duplication and data replication capabilities. It will fill a gap between the company’s recently announced DXi7500 series, which Quantum is marketing as an enterprise-level virtual tape library (VTL) appliance, and the DXi3500 and DXi2500-D series, which can’t scale above 3TB.
The DXi6500 will have all the de-duplication capabilities of its bigger brother, the DXi7500 series, but without all the muss and fuss, and also without the DXi7500’s enormous scalability beyond 100 TB, according to Janae Lee, senior vice president of marketing at Quantum.
“Midrange customers have the same requirements as larger customers, but they can’t take brand new technologies that, as an industry, we throw at the market with a lot of features and a lot of options,” Lee says. “Frankly, frequently, the first products they put out are confusing, complicated, and not as affordable as they need to be. It’s a recurring theme in how we release technology to market.
“Our customers told us the same thing. They’re not using de-duplication because the perception is it’s confusing, there are too many options, and it’s too expensive. This product announcement is about giving them something less confusing and much more simple and affordable.”
Quantum is one of the original developers of data de-duplication technology. It received one of the original de-duplication patents for its variable hash algorithm, which can reduce the size of data sets by up to 90 percent, according to Quantum. But now the company is facing much more competition as the market heats up, most notably from EMC‘s Data Domain, which has established itself as a de-duplication leader.
System i shops will be able to take advantage of the DXi6500 series soon. Quantum works with an independent VTL software and appliance developer, Gresham Enterprise Storage of Austin, Texas, to serve the System i market. The two companies have worked to certify the interface between the Gresham’s Clareti Storage Director (CSD) software, and Quantum’s DXi7500 series hardware for the explicit purpose of providing data de-duplication capabilities to Gresham’s System i customers.
While the DXi7500 and DXi6500 use the same underlying interface, the partners still need to test it. “There’s no reason why it shouldn’t work, because the foundation software that we’re using for this product is the same software that we use for our DXi7500, which has been certified with Gresham,” Lee says. “But we have a little work to do first, in terms of the certification” of the DXi6500.
Quantum is also offering deep integration with Symantec‘s OpenStorage (OST) file format with the DXi6500 series, as it does with the DXi7500 series. Symantec introduced the OST format a couple of years ago with its popular NetBackup backup software for open systems. The OST format gives NetBackup more control over disk-based backup and VTL appliances such as Quantum’s products, which traditionally have emulated tape drives.
Because DXi6500 attaches over IP as a NAS device, it does not emulate tape, and is therefore not a VTL appliance. However, the DXi6500 still takes advantage of the OST format, particularly for outputting data to tape libraries on the backend, which Quantum considers a big advantage over Data Domain.
The DXi6510 starts at $64,000 and will ship in November. For more information visit www.quantum.com.
This article was corrected. The list price for the DXi6510 starts at $64,000, not $6,400. Also, it is the DXi2500-D that cannot scale above 3TB, not the DXi2500. IT Jungle regrets the errors.