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Q-Cloud Protect for AWS expands Quantum's cloud services

Quantum preannounced its cloud disaster recovery and cloud backup services last year. Q-Cloud Protect is now available, along with the Q-Cloud Archive and Q-Cloud Vault.

Quantum has made its Q-Cloud backup for Amazon Web Services available, nearly a year after its official launch and more than six months behind its original schedule.

Quantum Q-Cloud Protect for AWS is one of three Q-Cloud services the vendor preannounced in January 2015. The others were Q-Cloud Archive and Q-Cloud Vault.

Protect is a companion to Quantum's DXi disk backup library family, using DXi's data deduplication and replication software. Archive and Vault are part of Quantum's StorNext file management platform. Archive, which uses Amazon Simple Storage Service to store data that needs to be accessed occasionally, became available last spring. Vault, which puts rarely accessed cold data in Amazon Glacier, followed in November 2015.

Q-Cloud Protect was originally scheduled to launch around June 2015, but tweaking the deduplication to move data off to the cloud proved trickier than expected.

Q-Cloud Protect for AWS is a subscription-based service available through the Amazon Marketplace. Since 2012, Quantum has offered Q-Cloud for DXi, which replicates data between DXi appliances in different sites.

"We preannounced it because it was part of a larger cloud initiative," said Eric Bassier, Quantum's senior director of product management and product marketing. "Through the course of this past year, we have been dealing with the technology challenges of running deduplication in the Amazon cloud."

Q-Cloud Protect installs as a virtual appliance in AWS to store deduped data blocks in any Amazon data center. Data is replicated from either a physical or virtual DXi library at the customer's site, providing hybrid cloud backup and disaster recovery using variable-length deduplication. The on-premises appliance dedupes data before it is replicated and encrypts data in flight.

"This is a brand new virtual appliance that we created. It is different software architecture than the physical DXi," Bassier said. "We had to modify the architecture of our deduplication software to be able to run in the Amazon cloud environment.

"Everybody in the IT industry is trying to figure out what is the best way to use the cloud, and they think that off-site disaster recovery is the best way to dip their toes in the cloud."

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