Eager to establish its dominance in the emerging enhanced backup sector, Quantum has launched a disk-based backup system, the DX30, which for all intents and purposes appears to the network as a tape library.
With 3.8 terabytes of native capacity in 4U and a transfer rate of 80MB per second, the library emulation allows the DX30 to be installed in half an hour with minimal interruption to a customer's existing procedures, according to the vendor.
It is the first in Quantum's enhanced backup range, targeted at small-to-medium organisations that manage between one and three terabytes of data -- what IDC storage analyst Graham Penn calls Australia's sweet spot.
Mike Sparkes, Quantum's product marketing manager, Asia-Pacific storage solutions group, said scalable versions will be available in March in addition to a "big brother" product.
According to Sparkes, the fact that the DX30 doesn't introduce new operating systems to the network means the customer's previous investments in backup hardware, software and staff training are protected. The existing backup software continues to process the data, only it moves it to the enhanced backup device rather than the tape library.
"The DX30 lowers the total cost of ownership because the customer doesn't have to retrain staff and doesn't have to purchase new software," said Sparkes. The box appears to the network as a P1000 running four DLT7000 tape drives, although it is not restricted to just the DLT7000's functionality. "We chose that configuration because it is supported by every software manufacturer," he said.
Designed to transfer block sizes 4 to 12 times larger than most file systems, the DX30's disk technology increases the speed of backup as well as reducing data restoration times. These factors form the two primary drivers for the emerging enhanced backup sector, which has an 80 per cent growth rate according to IDC, while the general storage market plods along at 6.2 per cent.
Because of its ability to slot into any network environment, Quantum expects the DX30 to be picked up by resellers of rival vendors' products, such as StorageTek and even EMC's high-end TimeFinder and Centera solutions, Network Appliance's R100 and IBM's Virtual Tape technology.
"For the channel it's such an easy position to determine," said Quantum marketing manager Rob Stirling. "There are so many businesses out there with this problem."
According to Sparkes, the enhanced backup sector is being driven by the rapidly increasing amount of company data requiring protection and the fact that the window in which backups can be done is shrinking.
The technology has also reached a critical juncture, with disk reaching an affordable price point for data protection and backup. Quantum claims disk density is improving at a rate of roughly 85 per cent per year and the cost-versus-performance ratio makes disk an economically viable solution for backup. "Disk has finally been bought into the realm where we can do something with it," Sparkes said.