Quantum to Offer De-Dupe Duo

Unveils DXi7500 device, unifying twin de-dupe processes, to tap enterprise demand

June 26, 2007

3 Min Read
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Backup vendor Quantum today unveiled a high-end disk storage device, which it is touting as a way for users to mix and match data de-duplication efforts. (See Quantum Intros DXi7500.)

Data de-duplication, which aims to reduce the bulk of backed-up data by ensuring that the same information is not stored in two places, is gaining momentum amongst users. (See Top Storage Predictions for 2007 and Insider: De-Dupe Demystified.) De-dupe has already been highlighted as one of this year's hottest technologies, buoyed by a frenzy of marketing spiel from vendors. (See Symantec Bolsters Backup, Symantec Dips Into De-Dupe, Data Domain Prices $78M IPO, RoboBak Locks Onto SMBs, and EMC Talks Disk & De-Dupe.)

Quantum is the latest firm to crank up its efforts in this space, unveiling the DXi7500, a 12-rack-unit-high disk backup system which it claims can scale from 24 Tbytes to 240 Tbytes. The system, which fleshes out the high end of Quantum's DXi family of products, also combines two versions of de-dupe.

There are currently a couple of approaches to de-duplication: inline processing, which is offered by the likes of Data Domain and Diligent, among others; and post-processing, which is offered by Sepaton and others. (See Data Domain Unveils DD580, Diligent Breaks Record, and Sepaton, Hifn Partner.)

Inline processing takes place as data is being received from the backup servers and before it is stored to disk, skipping a final step. Post-processing, as its name suggests, occurs after the backup, thus avoiding any interference with it. (See Sepaton Adds De-Dupe to VTL.)Since acquiring de-dupe specialist Rocksoft last year, Quantum has been slowly adding flesh to the bones of its data reduction strategy, unveiling its 6-Tbyte DXi3500 and 16-Tbyte DXi5500 in late 2006, and inking a deal to avoid future patent problems with Data Domain. (See ADIC in De-Dupe Deal, Quantum Leaps Into De-Duplication, Quantum Takes Tape Rival ADIC, and De-Dupe Vendors Shake Hands.)

Rocksoft offered both inline and post-processing de-duplication. By using the Rocksoft technology on the DXi7500, the vendor claims to be the first vendor to offer a choice on the same box.

The dual option will prove useful for firms struggling with the realities of de-duplication, according to Mike Sparkes, product manager for Quantum's disk systems. "If you have got a critical production system that you can't afford to have much downtime on, you could opt for post-processing," he says.

Enterprise Strategy Group analyst Brian Garrett tells Byte and Switch that Quantum is the first vendor he is aware of to go down this route. Post-processing is better suited to larger firms with extra disk capacity to store the data until it is de-duped, he explains. "As you move into larger environments that were early adopters of backup-to-disk technology, this really fits well."

Users nonetheless need to do their homework before they consider de-duplication, according to the analyst. "With de-dupe, the real challenge is planning and working out that you have the right amount of capacity and how it will work with existing and future backups."Quantum is also working closely with Symantec to integrate NetBackup 6.5's "Direct to Tape" feature onto the DXi7500, enabling the system to create backup tapes via a connected library. "It allows the backup software to command that tapes be created. What the 7500 is doing can all be monitored from within the backup software," says Sparkes.

The vendor says that specific pricing details for the DXi7500 will not be revealed until the product's launch sometime in the fall.

James Rogers, Senior Editor Byte and Switch

  • Data Domain Inc. (Nasdaq: DDUP)

  • Diligent Technologies Corp.

  • Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG)

  • Sepaton Inc.

  • Symantec Corp. (Nasdaq: SYMC)

  • Quantum Corp.

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