The DXi7500 is the first to use what San Jose, Calif.-based Quantum calls "policy-based deduplication," which allows management in various sectors of a company more control to fine-tune exactly which data to retain at which storage tier, on which media (disk or tape), and at what time of day to perform various backup and archiving operations.
Deduplication, or deduping, is a method by which redundant files are eliminated to improve data accessibility, which can drive down operational costs. This process can happen at several points in the information-gathering process: as data enters the system, at the server level or at the storage level.
Like its 2006 cousins, the DXi3500 and DXi5500 appliances, the new DXi7500 eliminates redundant data early in the process, allowing users to retain 10 to 50 times more backup data on fast recovery disk and cost-effectively store data for months instead of days, Quantum marketing manager Mike Sparkes told eWEEK.
Data deduplication also allows the DXi7500 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.
"Other suppliers have chosen to provide either in-line deduplication, which is slower and minimizes disk capacity requirements, or post-processing, which maximizes data ingest rates prior to deduplication," Sparkes said. "Quantums new policy-based deduplication offers both options, allowing customers to determine the most appropriate approach to best suit each application."
The DXi7500 is designed to connect backup, restore and disaster-recovery protection across the enterprise and keep redundant data blocks from slowing down the system and taking up unnecessary space.
"This new system also has an easy path to tape storage, if thats the media desired," Sparkes told eWEEK. "More than 75 percent of all corporate date is still archived or backed up on tape, so its still a very important choice."
In the DXi7500, tape creation maintains full bar-code tracking with the backup application, Sparkes said.
Quantum is also working closely with Symantec to support its Direct to Tape feature in Veritas NetBackup 6.5, Sparkes said. The products Direct to Tape feature support will provide the first direct tape creation capability to be both fully automated and under the direct control of a backup software application, Sparkes said.
The DXi7500 provides disk backup capabilities of up to 240TB, performance of up to 8 TB per hour and a high-availability architecture, Sparkes said.
The DXi7500 can be presented to the backup software as a NAS mount point (CIFS/NFS), as a VTL with either Fibre Channel or iSCSI connectivity, or across all presentations simultaneously. The DXi-Series is compatible with most name-brand backup applications and does not require that users change their existing backup methodology or infrastructure, Sparkes said.
Analyst Greg Schultz of Storage I/O told eWEEK that deduping or single-instancing is in its infancy, and in order for it as a technique to become more widely adopted, it needs to become more flexible and adaptable to different workload and application scenarios, of which one of those scenarios is to address scalability concerns.
"Quantum is taking a step in the right direction with adaptable de-duplication that can be configured to operate in different modes at different times of the day or week, depending on service requirements and data volumes," Schultz said.
"Certainly to support enterprise class data volumes, flexibility and adaptability are essential to be able to capture and ingest data as rapidly as possible where you may have only one window of opportunity to protect the data, so your data protection needs to be ready and able to scale and capture the data," Schultz added.
The value propositions of data deduplication are abundantly clear, and the technology is fast becoming a requisite for customers investing in disk-based backup solutions, said Arun Taneja, founder and consulting analyst for Taneja Group.
"Just when the debate between in-line and post-processing was getting interesting, Quantum introduces the DXi7500, a data de-duplication product that allows the user to choose the method based on policy—once again letting the customer call the shots. I think the IT industry will love this flexibility."
For more information on Quantums disk backup and replication portfolio, visit the companys Web site.