Quantum is aiming for the enterprise with its deduplication technology and looks to make a serious run at the enterprise datacenter with its DXi7500. Designed to anchor Quantum’s deduplication strategy, companies can use the scalable DXi7500 when it is receiving replicated data from Quantum’s DXi3500 or DXi5500 appliances in remote offices; replicating to disaster recovery site(s); or deduplicating terabytes of data during nightly backup jobs in the datacenter. To accomplish this, Quantum designed the DXi7500 to become the focal point for its DXi portfolio.
Though Quantum announced the DXi7500 some time ago, today marks general availability of the DXi7500 that it views as meeting today’s enterprise concerns. There are a number of features that Quantum includes within the DXi7500 to scale into the enterprise including:
- Unique options for either policy-based adaptive or fully deferred deduplication
- Replication for remote offices and disaster recovery
- High availability and reliability
- Better performance for shorter backup and restore windows
One of the more innovative features of the DXi7500 is its adaptive approach to deduplication. It appears that when Quantum was looking at how to best approach deduplication for the enterprise, it did not to take sides in the “inline” versus “post- processing” deduplication debate and instead gave the customer the flexibility to choose which approach best suits their needs.
This is particularly valuable to companies that have a mix of backup jobs with both low and high performance characteristics and that need more than one alternative when deduplicating backup data. Other products only offer one choice for deduplicating data – “inline” or “post-processing” – but not both. Using Quantum’s adaptive deduplication approach, however, companies can match the form of deduplication to the characteristics of their backup job or even the nature of the data contained in the backup jobs. Configured this way, the DXi7500 can match the deduplication approach to the requirements of specific backup jobs.
Matching the deduplication approach to the type of backup job, or even data within the backup job, delivers faster ingest speeds during the backup window. However, because the DXi7500 also gives companies the option to create partitions and assign specific deduplication methods to these partitions, companies can designate which partitions use what specific type of deduplication. In those circumstances where companies expect moving backup data to tape immediately or backups contain a high percentage of new data, companies can take advantage of its “fully deferred” deduplication policy that postpones the deduplication until the backup is fully complete.
Quantum also looks to give companies a compelling reason to use the DXi7500 as the target for receiving replicating data from DXi3500s and DXi5500s as well as using the DXi7500 as a foundation in building a company’s disaster recovery (DR) strategy. By deploying DXi3500s or DXi5500s at remote offices, companies can replicate data from these appliances back to a central DXi7500 in their primary data center. Once the data is replicated and centrally stored on the DXi7500, companies can then optionally place a DXi7500 at their disaster recovery site and then replicate data from the DXi7500 in their home office to this secondary site.
The DXi7500 also provides a mechanism to copy data to removable media (tape) for those companies that do not plan to replicate data to a remote site or have long term archiving or compliance requirements. The DXi7500 can either use its own software to copy data from disk on tape or companies can optionally use Symantec’s NetBackup 6.5 that recognizes the DXi7500 and can manage the migration of data from disk to tape.
Of course, a final prerequisite when positioning a storage system like the DXi7500 at the enterprise core is to address enterprise concerns about high availability and reliability. The DXi7500 provides dual RAID controllers, dual redundant power and cooling, and hot replaceable components. Dual-node DXi7500 systems eliminate all single points of failure by using dual DXi controllers, active-active failover for all hardware, and cluster-aware software components that fail-over as needed.
Quantum is one of the first deduplication vendors to make the jump from the midrange market with its DXi3500 and DXi5500 backup appliances into the enterprise space with its DXi7500. On the surface, Quantum appears to have put all of the features into the DXi7500 in order to succeed: a highly available and reliable system, careful navigation of the deduplication debate through adaptive and fully deferred duplication and the use of the same replication software across its midrange and enterprise appliances.
This should work in Quantum’s favor near and long term. Despite the fact that the Quantum is somewhat late to market with an enterprise level deduplication system, deduplication is still just getting started, not tailing off. By introducing one of the first core-to-edge global deduplication and replication schemes in the market, Quantum should find ample opportunities for companies that are eagerly looking for a single vendor to meet all of their disk-based data protection and disaster recovery needs.