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Quantum improves enterprise disk and tape data backup systems

Quantum gives DXi8500 disk backup system better dedupe and scalabilty, adds dual robotics and dynamic provisioning to Scalar i6000 tape library.

Quantum Corp. announced new data backup system enhancements today for the company’s DXi8500 disk device and Scalar i6000 tape library products. 

The DXi8500 enterprise disk library now scales from 40 TB to 320 TB of usable capacity compared to 20 TB to 200 TB in the most recent version. Quantum claims it improved the data ingest rate from 6.5 TB per hour to 8.8 TB per hour. Scott Hamilton, senior director for Quantum disk products, said the improved ingest rate for data deduplication was accomplished with a combination of new data flow in the DXi 2.1 software and better use of disk tiers.

The DXi8500 uses fast SAS disk for indexing and metadata and stores data on high capacity SATA drives. “We are using different tiers of storage and leveraging economies of storage in our architecture,” said Hamilton.

Enhancements to DXi 2.1 enable the new tiering functions, said Hamilton. The upgraded software also includes a new scheduler and policy engine that consolidates management of replication, space reclamation and health check interfaces. Previously, those tasks were managed through separate interfaces.

“Quantum is always talking about edge to core data protection. This upgrade is important to managing all these tasks,” said Jeff Boles, a senior analyst at Taneja Group. “Ultimately, you don’t want to be doing something that is going to impact health checks or space growth.”

Dual robotics, active archiving for tape

Quantum also added dual robotics to the Scalar i6000 tape library for high availability, a feature that is often included in enterprise systems that scale into petabytes of storage space (the Scalar i600 holds 15.6 PB with LTO-5 tape). Each of the device’s two robotic arms has full access to the library’s tape drives, and can operate on a single arm if the other one fails.

The Scalar i6000 also has software enhancements that add an active archive feature and dynamic provisioning. The active vault lets administrators create a separate partitioning for shelf space for archived tapes. Previously, archived tapes were stored externally and handled manually. Dynamic provisioning creates a pool of slots that is available to any partition in order to reduce wasted space caused by over-provisioning partitions.

“It’s kind of like thin provisioning,” Boles said. “You have a total capacity pool and several partitions. You can allocate space from the space pool to create more partitions.”

The upgraded products are scheduled for general availability in December.

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