Storage Soup

May 18 2011   1:01PM GMT

Quantum plans source-side dedupe for DXi, StorNext on appliance

Dave Raffo Dave Raffo Profile: Dave Raffo

Quantum is preparing to add source-side data deduplication to its DXi disk backup platform, which currently performs target-side dedupe. Adding source-side dedupe will help Quantum take on EMC, which sells separate products — Avamar and Data Domain – for source and target dedupe.

Quantum CEO Jon Gacek revealed details of the vendor’s product roadmap over the next year Tuesday during its quarterly earnings call. Along with source dedupe, Quantum will add a NAS interface to its DXi 6700 midrange backup system and enhance the DXi software’s capability for protecting data in virtualized environments. Gacek said Quantum is also planning to deliver its StorNext archiving software on appliances and upgrade its Scaler i6000 enterprise tape library with improvements for archiving, high availability and security.

After the earnings call, Gacek disclosed a little more about Quantum’s product plans to StorageSoup. He said the DXi source-based dedupe would consist of client software running on servers that would dedupe data over the wire to improve performance and require less bandwidth. “We have a competitor that sells that as two products,” Gacek said, referring to EMC. “We’ll sell it as an integrated solution. One product is better than two.”

Quantum’s source-side dedupe follows the EMC Avamar model. While EMC recently improved Avamar’s performance when used with its Data Domain target dedupe, customers still must buy both products to get source and target dedupe.

The inclusion of source and target dedupe in one product is not unique — most major backup software applications support both. But Quantum is most focused on competing with Data Domain, the giant in the disk backup market.

Quantum still lacks global deduplication, which dedupes across multiple nodes as if they were one node. Data Domain added that feature across two nodes last year with its Global Deduplication Array.

The midrange DXi 6700 is currently a Fibre Channel virtual tape library (VTL) interface device. Quantum will add multiprotocol support, just as it has for its enterprise DXi 8500 system that launched last year. The DXi 6700 will support VTL, NFS, CIFS, and Symantec OpenStorage (OST) interfaces. Quantum’s other midrange and SMB DXi devices are NAS-only.

With StorNext, Quantum is following the path Symantec recently set by offering its FileStor software on an appliance. But Gacek said Quantum will have several appliance choices for different markets and use cases. He said the goal is to make StorNext easier to implement than it is now as a software sale that requires customers to set up their hardware based on their workloads. “We’ll flavor the appliances to go after different types of customers,” Gacek said.

Gacek, who replaced Rick Belluzzo as Quantum CEO April 4, will also revamp the company’s sales force to assign sales teams based on customers’ size and industry instead of by geography and specific product.

Gacek said Quantum’s goal is to provide alternatives for customers and channel partners to EMC’s Data Domain disk backup and Oracle/Sun tape libraries.

EMC sold Quantum’s DXi software before acquiring Data Domain, and Quantum is still looking to recover from the revenue it lost when EMC dropped its OEM deal.

Quantum grew its branded disk and software revenue 38% to $113 million for the fiscal year that ended in March, yet its overall revenue of $672 million fell one percent because of the loss of OEM revenue. Its $165 million in sales last quarter was slightly up over the previous year, however.

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