Network Computing is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Quantum Pairs Virtualized Backup with its De-dup Solution

Quantum Corp unveiled their esXpress software module to specifically address the unique backup and restore needs of VMWare ESX virtual servers. The esXpress module itself runs within VMWare ESX as a virtual machine, known as a virtual backup appliance (VBA).  As a virtual machine, the VBA is able to leverage a number of the advantages of the virtualized environment.  The VBAs can be turned up and shut down on the same machines the application servers are running, as well as leverage the snapshot features within ESX.  Combined with the deduplication features of Quantum's DXi-Series disk backup and replication systems, esXpress can narrow backup windows while maintaining the file level restore that enterprises expect.

According to Quantum, 80% of their DXI customers are using some form of a virtualized environment.  In terms of backup and replication solutions, many of these customers are either running traditional file-based backup solutions within the virtual machines themselves or take an image-based approach, backing up the virtual machine image files.  Each of these methods have their drawbacks, however.  Running scheduled backups within virtual machines could cause a contention for physical backup devices or worse yet, the VM might not actually be active during the scheduled window. An image-based solution might grab a snapshot of the virtual machine, but could limit the ability to perform single file restores.

To entice customers to give esXpress a try, Quantum is including the Professional version of the software with new DXI hardware purchases.  While the included software has full functionality, it is limited to four VBAs running on a single server, instead of the 16 available on the Enterprise edition.  

Rob Slaughter, IT Director at J.R. Filanc Construction Company, Inc., and esXpress customer, is simply amazed with the performance of the esXpress solution, noting "We are now capable of a disaster-level recovery of our five ESX servers in a two hour backup window, with little to no impact on our LAN or SAN.  The solution is really making me change the way I think about backups."

Just as virtualization has changed the makeup of the modern data center, the processes for backups and disaster recovery must be updated to reflect the new architecture.  As enterprises adopt virtualization, they need to be prepared to rethink how that environment is protected from a disaster and business continuity standpoint, and in many cases, realize that "going back to the tape" is simply not going to cut it.