Quantum Delves Deeper Into De-Dupe

Vendor outlines de-duplication roadmap and talks some trash about Sun's challenges

January 12, 2007

4 Min Read
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Quantum revealed plans to extend de-duplication technology across its product lines today, and hinted at ongoing integration problems with rival Sun's StorageTek acquisition.

Speaking at a financial conference in New York, Quantum CEO Rick Belluzzo identified de-duplication as one of the top priorities on the vendor's roadmap. "De-duplication technology is something that we believe is fundamental. It's important for us to move beyond traditional tape and deliver new solutions," he explained.

Rocksoft de-duplication software, which Quantum inherited as part of its recent ADIC acquisition, will form the basis of this effort. (See Quantum Takes Tape Rival ADIC and ADIC in De-Dupe Deal.) On this morning's call, Belluzzo revealed that Quantum's first de-duplication products, the DXi3500 and DXi5500 backup appliances, will be available this month, with more offerings to follow. (See Quantum Leaps Into De-Duplication.) "You will see this technology implemented in other products as we move forward," he said.

Next up will be Quantum's StorNext file system software. "We intend to take this product line and expand its market focus," explained Belluzzo. "We think that it can be a very important platform to build out data protection solutions," he said, although he did not reveal exactly when Quantum will add the de-dupe features.

De-dupe, which eliminates multiple copies of the same file and repeated blocks or segments of data within those files, is expected to be one of the hottest storage technologies in 2007. (See Top Storage Predictions for 2007, The Year of Data Protection, and Users Look Ahead to 2007.) The idea behind the technology, which is gaining more and more attention from users, is that it reduces disk consumption and bandwidth required for backups.Other de-duplication vendors include Data Domain, Asigra, EMC, Symantec, Diligent Technologies, and ExaGrid. (See EMC Picks Up Avamar and Symantec Dips Into De-Dupe.) VTL vendors FalconStor and Sepaton are beta testing de-duplication software and NetApp is also said to be readying a de-duplication offering, possibly for launch this quarter. (See FalconStor Plots De-Dupe Debut and Sepaton Readies De-Dupe.)

Quantum's Belluzzo also sees a big opening in the storage market thanks to Sun Microsystems' $4.1 billion acquisition of StorageTek. "They have struggled with the integration -- this puts us in a position to capitalize on the opportunity," he said.

It's not just vendors that are fanning the flames about Sun's integration challenges. "Channel contacts report substantial difficulty in trying to close business with Sun, particularly in legacy StorageTek opportunities," said Thomas Curlin, an analyst at RBC Capital Markets, in a guidance note this week. "Inflexibility and extraneous paperwork were referenced as the primary inhibitors."

Personnel issues may be posing further problems. "Sources have also witnessed the ongoing attrition of former StorageTek sales resources, citing increasing frustration in dealing with the Sun bureaucracy as the primary catalyst," said Curlin.

Industry sources have also claimed that Sun talked to partner Hitachi Data Systems and perhaps others about selling all of its storage, or either its tape, disk or select parts of its disk business. (See Sun, Hitachi Talk Storage.) Sun, for its part, recently dispelled this rumor, saying that it is committed to growing its own tape, NAS, and open systems businesses. (See Sun Storage Chief: We're Not for Sale.)A Sun spokewoman contacted by Byte and Switch today admitted that "there's always work to be done," in the aftermath of an acquisition of StorageTek's scale. The integration of the two companies, though, "is moving along quite well," she said, without going into details.

Sun is expected to give a detailed update on the progress of its StorageTek acquisition during its analyst day next month.

The Quantum CEO was keen to paint a rosy picture of his own firm's ADIC acquisition today. "We will have our channel programs fully integrated by the end of the month," he said, noting that the two firm's sales forces have already been brought together.

Quantum, according to Belluzzo, now has around 1,000 sales, marketing and services staff. at its disposal. "We have been able to expand our service capability with more feet on the street -- whether you're a Quantum or an ADIC sales person, you're selling that whole product line," he explained.

The vendor, though, still has some work to do with its OEM partners, which include HP, IBM, and Dell. "We're working to redefine our value to our OEMs," said Belluzzo, without explaining exactly what that meant.Long-term, Quantum aims to grow its disk and software revenues to between $30 million and $40 million a quarter, or roughly double its current levels, according to the CEO. Belluzzo also reiterated Quantum's financial guidance, predicting revenues around $300 million for its next two quarters. (See Quantum Announces Earnings.)

James Rogers, Senior Editor, Byte and Switch

  • Advanced Digital Information Corp. (Nasdaq: ADIC)

  • Asigra Inc.

  • Data Domain Inc. (Nasdaq: DDUP)

  • Diligent Technologies Corp.

  • Dell Inc. (Nasdaq: DELL)

  • EMC Corp. (NYSE: EMC)

  • ExaGrid Systems Inc.

  • FalconStor Software Inc. (Nasdaq: FALC)

  • Hewlett-Packard Co. (NYSE: HPQ)

  • Hitachi Data Systems (HDS)

  • IBM Corp. (NYSE: IBM)

  • Needham & Co.

  • Network Appliance Inc. (Nasdaq: NTAP)

  • Quantum Corp. (NYSE: QTM)

  • RBC Capital Markets

  • Sepaton Inc.

  • Storage Technology Corp. (StorageTek)

  • Sun Microsystems Inc. (Nasdaq: SUNW)

  • Symantec Corp.

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