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Quantum Dedupes Data Before It Hits The Cloud

Quantum, a provider of data protection and big data management, has announced a software platform to help customers take advantage of cloud-based data protection, using its vmPro technology and newly launched virtual deduplication appliance, DXi V1000. The company has also partnered with Xerox, which will use its underlying technology for its cloud backup and disaster recovery services.

Quantum’s announcement is significant in terms of showing how the company is leveraging its acquisition of Pancetera for addressing server virtualization combined with its dedupe technology, and Xerox as a cloud storage destination, says analyst Greg Schultz, founder and senior adviser of StorageIO. "This puts Quantum on par with others such as EMC, who have server or source-side software for virtual servers, along with dedupe solutions that, in turn, can protect data locally or put a copy into the cloud," says Schultz, who is also author of the book Cloud and Virtual Data Storage Networking.

The traditional approach, which he says companies still use, is to get their backup or data protection software from one vendor and backup or data protection or storage from another, and then find a gateway to access a cloud provider. On top of that, they have to have someone integrate and glue all of those components together, he notes: "Part of becoming more efficient, cost-effective and flexible is removing complexity," and Quantum has melded together components that work with other vendors’ technologies.

"The benefits of cloud storage are well known, but storage architects are rightly concerned about back-end storage costs and data transmission costs," concurs Kevin Tolly, founder, The Tolly Group, a provider of independent IT testing and third-party validation services. "Quantum's new cloud service addresses these issues by providing sophisticated deduplication before the data hits the cloud. This provides the dual benefits of dramatically reducing the amount of data that must be transported to the cloud and, subsequently, stored in the cloud."

In a standard implementation, companies can store 10 to 20 times the amount of data normally stored if done on a mass file share, says Henrik Rosendahl, VP of virtualization solutions at Quantum. "The combination of being able to snapshot virtual machines while they’re running and compressing the data down to 5% of its real size is the technology behind Quantum. That’s the hidden sauce of what we’re doing here."

A virtual machine on average is about 50 Gbytes, he says. If a company has a dedicated T1 line, it will take up to two hours to move a single machine over the WAN. But for organizations with 100 VMs, that translates to about a week of download time without deduplication and compression technology, Rosendahl says. The new service will give midsize customers the ability to back up their data locally to the deduplication appliance, which will compress it and send it to the cloud more along the lines of five hours, although he adds that the compression ratio varies by customer. Xerox runs a cloud instance of that deduplicated data set in addition to what the customer stores onsite. Data recovery also happens quickly, he says.

Both enterprises and SMBs looking to rethink or rearchitect how they are doing data protection for physical and virtual environments will want to look at these types of services to see how they scale, as well as how they can be deployed for their situations, says Schultz.

The cost of the Xerox service is $2,000 per month.

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