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Quantum unveils virtual backup platform based on DXi, vmPRO

Quantum Corp., said its virtual backup appliances built on its DXi and vmPRO software can reduce size of data sent to the cloud.

Quantum Corp., today unveiled its virtual backup platform built on its DXi and vmPRO appliances, which the vendor said can substantially reduce the size of data sets moved to the cloud.

The DXi V1000 is the first virtual backup appliance of the platform, which Quantum offers to partners building public cloud backup and disaster recovery services. Quantum also plans to offer its own branded cloud-based data protection services based on the platform.

The DXi V1000 uses DXi data deduplication software and works with Quantum’s vmPRO virtual machine backup. The vmPRO software is integrated with VMware vCenter software and the virtual appliances reside on a VMware hypervisor.

Using technology gained from Quantum’s 2010 Pancetera acquisition, vmPRO takes snapshots of data and works with changed block tracking (CBT) to reduce most of the virtual data stream. The DXi V1000 handles dedupe, compression, and encryption.

Quantum claims the DXi V1000 can create a 2 TB usable capacity pool of pre-deduped data that can protect between 20 TB to 40 TB of real data.  A copy of the data is held locally in the DXi V1000’s virtual index for fast restores, while another copy is saved to the cloud for disaster recovery.

“The architecture maintains two full data sets, one locally and one in the cloud,” said Henrik Rosendahl, Quantum’s vice president of virtualization solutions. “We do a massive data reduction so customers do not have to invest heavily in connectivity.”

Data can be replicated between the DXi V1000 and any of Quantum’s DXi systems. Also, the DXi V1000 and vmPro platform eliminates the need for third-party backup software.

“They do the initial full backup and then the incremental leveraging CBTs,” said Greg Schulz, founder of analyst firm StorageIO. “It’s similar to what all the backup vendors should [do] or are doing, so there is less overhead and impact to the appliance running on physical machines.”

The virtual appliance platform is a key part of the cloud strategy Quantum has teased. Quantum’s first partner for the cloud service is the Xerox-owned Affiliated Computer Services, which is already using the Quantum platform for backup and DR services.

Quantum will also sell the vmPRO and DXi V1000 as standalone products that customers can use to build private clouds for backup and DR. The DXi V1000 will be available next month for $2,250 per TB.

“This solution is 100% software, all based on virtual appliances. We are not going to stick any hardware in your data center and call it a cloud,” Rosendahl said. “Everybody seems to wonder what to use the cloud for. Backup is a good place to start.”

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