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Quantum adds ROBO backup dedupe with pay-as-you-go pricing

New Quantum DXi4610 remote office and branch office (ROBO) backup deduplication target lets customers add capacity without hardware upgrades.

Quantum Corp. today rolled out a new low-end data deduplication appliance for remote and branch office (ROBO) backup that lets customers scale capacity through a software license instead of adding hardware.

The 2U DXi4601 scales differently than Quantum’s other DXi low-end, midrange and enterprise systems that require customers to add nodes or expansion bays to expand capacity. The DXi4601 starts at 4 TB usable capacity, and customers can add 4 TB licenses to scale to 8 TB or 12 TB with the same hardware device.

Quantum positions this capacity-on-demand model as a cheaper and easier way to introduce deduplication to remote offices, departments and smaller companies.

The DXi4601 replaces the DXi4520x for ROBOs and departments. The new system uses the same software and is compatible with all of Quantum’s DXi products.

DXi 4601 pricing starts at $21,500 for 4 TB of usable storage. The base license includes deduplication, replication and the Symantec OpenStorage API (OST) interface. A 4TB  capacity upgrade costs $8,250.

The DXi4520 cost $22,500 for 4 TB usable, and customers had to buy a second DXi4520 to scale to 8 TB. That means the DXi4520 would cost $45,000 for 8 TB and $67,500, compared with $29,750 for 8 TB and $38,000 for 12 TB on the DXi4601. Quantum also has a DXi4510 that costs $12,500 for 2 TB usable, and that also requires new devices to scale.

Quantum claims the DXi4601 has an inline deduplication rate of up to 1.7 TB per hour with a NAS interface that supports CIFS and NFS. It uses RAID 6 for data protection on 2 TB drives.

“All the hardware you ever need is already in the box,” said Rob Clark, vice president of Quantum’s Disk and Tape Backup Product Group. “This gives an end-to-end story starting at 2 or 4 TB, and allows replication and deduplication right back through the enterprise.”

The new pricing model is unlikely to make it up to any larger Quantum dedupe appliances. The midrange DXi6000 family scales to 80 TB and the enterprise DXi8500 scales to 200 TB, so those systems require a lot more disk to grow into – making a similar model cost prohibitive.

“For now, it’s an entry-level ROBO play,” Clark said of the capacity-on-demand model. “As you get into larger (disk) systems, there is a cost penalty. We do this on the Scalar i500 midrange tape library. But here you have to deploy disk, and that is more expensive. We never say never, but for now it’s an entry-level ROBO play. It’s also easier to deploy disk in the data center to upgrade. On the edge, customers want non-disruptive upgrades.”

While Quantum considers its main DXi competitor in the enterprise and midrange to be EMC Corp.’s Data Domain systems, it positions the DXi4601 primarily against ExaGrid Systems on the low end. ExaGrid has several systems in this capacity range, but customers must add hardware to scale up. Another difference between the systems is that Quantum uses inline deduplication while ExaGrid does post-process dedupe.

Russell Fellows, senior partner for Evaluator Group, said the DXi4610 is not “a huge deal within itself” but it builds on Quantum’s story for its DXi product line. “This is one piece of a portfolio,” he said. “The old system was 2 TB, so this is a bit bigger and faster.”

And while Quantum aims the DXi4610 against ExaGrid, Clark couldn’t resist taking a shot at Data Domain. Quantum’s position is existing deduplication targets are too expensive, and blames Data Domain for using its dominant marketing position to drive up the cost.

“Frankly, we think dedupe is overpriced,” Clark said. “EMC is taking advantage of its market positioning and charging too much.” 

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