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Disaster recovery in the cloud

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Quantum DXi and vmPRO

Quantum Corp.’s DXi deduplication appliance is well established, competing in the midmarket-to-enterprise space

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with products like EMC Corp.’s Data Domain appliances for a number of years. Recently, Quantum released vmPRO, a software product that installs as a virtual machine in VMware ESXi 4.1+ environments and backs up to Quantum’s DXi V1000, a virtual machine instance of the DXi appliance. Together, they provide a scalable, enterprise-level version of the hybrid cloud appliance.

The vmPRO application takes a snapshot of VMs and writes them to the DXi V1000. Working in conjunction with VMware’s Changed Block Tracking (CBT), vmPRO reduces the size of the backup set by as much as 75%. vmPRO can also copy VMs in their native format to the DXi appliances where DXi applies its variable-length deduplication to achieve a total data reduction of up to 95%. Leveraging its partnership with Xerox, VM images are then sent to Xerox’s cloud data center where they’re stored on virtualization hosts, ready to be restored and run until the primary site is returned to service.

Quantum targets midmarket-to-larger companies, typically those running an enterprise backup application often using a disk-based, deduplication appliance. The vmPRO-DXi solution provides an affordable disaster recovery alternative for these companies with the ability to handle data sets into the hundreds of terabytes.

Backup’s easy; restoring is hard

In data protection circles, conventional wisdom states that “it’s all about the restore.” That simply means backups aren’t of any real use if they can’t be restored to the computers they were taken from in a reasonable time frame. Cloud backup is an excellent example of this concept, one that hybrid cloud backup solutions were developed to address by providing a local copy of backed up data.

In DR circles, the same can be said about recovery. If critical servers can’t be restarted within an acceptable window, then getting data off-site with a cloud DR solution only provides a false sense of security. Hybrid cloud DR services are now available to host VM images being stored in the cloud data center, providing an effective and affordable solution.

BIO: Eric Slack is a senior analyst at Storage Switzerland.

This was first published in August 2012

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