Quantum takes new tack for disk-based backup

Quantum has launched a new technology platform that uses hard disks for backup/restore operations. Quantum says its new system emulates a tape library and brings disk speeds to the world of backup.

Tape is not dead -- far from it. But Quantum Corp. believes putting a disk-based backup system in front of a tape library can make backup and restore operations faster and more reliable.

On Monday, Milpitas, Calif.-based Quantum unveiled the DX30, a new product for backup-intensive users aimed at reducing the time required for backup and the lag associated with restoring data.

There has been a hierarchy in storage since the mid --> 80's. Disk has traditionally been used for primary storage, tape automation has served backup operations and tape vaulting has been used for archiving data. But the gap between performance requirements of backup and restore operations and the cost of disk versus tape-based backup systems is closing fast.

"For the first time the low cost standard components differ enough in price to make a significant difference between high-performance disk and tape," said John McArthur, group vice president for storage research for International Data Corp., Framingham, Mass.

But McArthur said one size does not fit all and users should look closely at their backup requirements before considering a disk-based backup system like the DX30.

The Quantum DX30 is a dense disk-based enhanced backup system that packs 3T Bytes of capacity in two rack units of space.

Quantum said because it emulates a tape library, the Quantum DX30 can be implemented quickly and managed with no changes required to the end-users infrastructure or backup policies.

"Disk to disk copy requires a complete change of the backup process," said Michael Brown, chairman and CEO of Quantum. "The DX30 emulates a tape library."

The Quantum DX30 product, as well as future products to be offered as part of the family, is based upon Quantum's unique Adaptive Disk Array Management Technology platform (ADAM). Quantum said ADAM enables high density and large data transfers without significant power consumption or additional management.

The DX30 can backup data at a rate of 140GB/hour. Quantum said these speeds are possible because the DX30 does not use an operating system, which makes it possible to backup large blocks of data.

"It's hard to push backup data through a file system," said Kevin Daly, senior vice president and chief technology officer for Quantum's Storage Solutions Group. "

The DX30 is currently in beta testing and will be available in the second half of 2002 for a cost of approximately $15 per G Byte.

Let us know what you think about the story, e-mail Kevin Komiega, assistant news editor

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