Quantum Rolls Back CDP Project

Jettisons development effort that began with $8.5 million SANlight acquisition

April 2, 2005

2 Min Read
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While the ranks of companies embracing continuous data protection (CDP) technology swells, one of the early proponents of disk backup has put its CDP plans on ice for now.

Quantum Corp. (NYSE: DSS), which added disk backup to complement its tape libraries in 2002, killed a CDP project that 10 engineers were working on last month. The CDP team mostly comprised engineers from SANlight, the startup Quantum acquired for $8.5 million two years ago (see Quantum Buys Backup Bunch).

Analysts consider CDP the next evolutionary step in disk backup. CDP software continually records data changes and stores only the changes instead of the entire files or databases. CDP also allows recovery from any point in the past instead of only at fixed intervals.

CDP appears a good fit for Quantum, which joins other tape vendors, Advanced Digital Information Corp. (Nasdaq: ADIC), Overland Storage Inc. (Nasdaq: OVRL), and Storage Technology Corp. (StorageTek) (NYSE: STK), in shipping disk-based backup systems (see Quantum Digs Into Disk Backup, Quantum Ships Disk Backup, and Quantum Slips Disks Into Backup).

SANlight was mum on its technology before Quantum acquired it, saying only that it was developing backup software. One of its engineers who joined Quantum says the startup was already deep into a CDP project called Excalibur before the sale. The engineer says the project continued at Quantum under the direction of CTO Michael Del Rosso but remained unfinished when the team members got their pink slips.A Quantum spokesman confirmed 10 people on the team were laid off as a cost-cutting measure. He says the company still expects to develop a CDP product, although it has no timetable.

There was a small R&D effort around CDP, and we rolled that into our storage systems engineering group,” Quantum PR rep Sean Lamb says. “We’re still looking at delivering CDP.”

The clock is ticking. The technology is still new, but startups such as Alacritus Software Inc., Mendocino Software, TimeSpring Software Corp., Revivio Inc., and XOsoft

are shipping CDP products. Established storage software backup players EMC Corp. (NYSE: EMC) and Veritas Software Corp. (Nasdaq: VRTS) are working on CDP projects, and last month joined a Storage Networking Industry Association (SNIA) CDP special interest group (see CDP Gets SNIA'd).

— Dave Raffo, Senior Editor, Byte and Switch

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