Quantum Adds Deduplication to Disk Backup

The new storage packages represent the first fruits of the $770 million Quantum-ADIC merger and puts the company into a whole new market segment.

Backup/recovery and archiving hardware and software provider Quantum on Dec. 11 introduced its first disk-based backup package that incorporates native data deduplication and replication software.

The new DXi3500 and DXi5500 appliances are the first products resulting from Quantums $770 million acquisition of ADIC (Advanced Digital Information Corp.) in August 2006, Quantum director of enterprise product marketing Shane Jackson told eWEEK.

Deduplication is a method by which all redundant copies of data and files are eliminated to improve overall data accessibility and drive down operational costs.

Deduplication can happen at several points in the information-gathering process: as data enters the system, at the server level or at the storage level.

By eliminating redundant data early in the process, the new DXi3500 and DXi5500 appliances allow users in midrange and data center environments to retain 10 to 50 times more backup data on fast recovery disk and cost-effectively store data for months instead of days, Jackson said.

Data de-duplication technology also allows Quantums appliances to provide WAN-based remote replication of backup data as a practical tool for disaster recovery between distributed sites such as data centers and regional offices, Jackson said.

"Since the acquisition, Quantum has combined key technologies from both companies in an integrated software layer that is part of the DXi-Series solution," Jackson said.

"This includes Quantums patented data deduplication technology and other enhanced functionality, providing such advantages as best-in-class performance of up to 800 GB/hour and flexibility between NAS and virtual tape library [VTL] network interfaces."

Quantum, based in San Jose, Calif., acquired the technology for deduplication in a "Pacman" approach, said David Hill, principal analyst at Mesabi Group in Westwood, Mass.

"ADIC swallowed up an [Australian] company called Rocksoft, and Quantum swallowed up ADIC," Hill said.

"Deduplication makes VTLs [virtual tape libraries] much more attractive. The obvious reason is that VTLs are now much more cost-effective than before, because fewer [physical] disks can be used for backup data."

The overall capacity that can be handled is also much higher, Hill added.

"So the first use case is as a local VTL," Hill said. "However, de-duplication also reduces the transmission requirements for sending backup data over a WAN. The other two use cases then are using a remote VTL for disaster recovery and being able to back up remote offices to a central VTL."

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Hill added that because de-duplication is fast becoming a mandatory technology for success in this market (for all three use cases cited) and Quantums business is to provide a target for backup data, both on disk and tape, this technology is absolutely critical to their continued success.

"Data deduplication is a powerful technology, bringing real and immediate value to end users," said Heidi Biggar, an analyst with the Enterprise Strategy Group. "Combine that with hardware compression, asynchronous replication and onboard monitoring and diagnostic tools, and Quantums got a powerful message."

Biggar added that the speed at which Quantum was able to bring this new product to market is no small feat, and is a testament to the direction and integration of the newly combined company.

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Chris Preimesberger

Chris Preimesberger

Chris Preimesberger is Editor of Features & Analysis at eWEEK, responsible in part for the publication's coverage areas. In his 10 years and more than 3,500 stories at eWEEK, he has distinguished...