Virtual Instruments SANInsight TAP Patch Panel System

Backup hardware

Bronze Award:

Quantum DXi7500

If 2008's theme was ever more data growth, some storage vendors responded to the challenge by offering greater efficiency and more flexibility in their products. The Quantum Corp. DXi7500 data deduplication device was the first to offer users a choice between "in-line" and "post-process" data deduplication approaches. While other vendors bicker over the relative merits of the two methods, Quantum lets users decide which one works best for them.

The DXi7500 also allows both approaches to be used simultaneously for different backup jobs. If users don't want to get so granular with policy settings, the product's "adaptive mode" can automatically adjust the data deduplication process based on the data ingest rate.

The product gives users a choice when it comes to integrating physical tape into backup schemes, neutralizing another frequent bone of contention in the market for deduplicating virtual tape libraries (VTLs). Backup software certified with the device can initiate, track and control all writes to tape, or the DXi7500 can manage copies to tape with shadow tape creation. It can also write copies of backup files to a directly connected tape library, minimizing the overhead on the rest of the environment when creating tape copies.

The DXi7500 scales from 9 TB to 180 TB usable, and offers up to 4 TB per hour compressed throughput, according to Quantum. It can be used with the smaller models in the DXi product line to transmit backup data from remote sites to a central location. Replication is asynchronous, automated, encrypted and operates as a background process.

The influence of the DXi line extended well beyond Quantum in 2008. With vendors like Data Domain and Riverbed Technology Inc. having signed licensing agreements on data deduplication with Quantum (based on a patent portfolio it bought with ADIC subsidiary Rocksoft in 2006), DXi was also picked up by EMC Corp. as the basis of a new data deduplication product line in May.

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