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Quantum brings data deduplication into StorNext management software

Quantum adds data deduplication and replication to its StorNext data management software, enabling data reduction for archiving and primary storage – although the performance hit may be too great for most primary data.

Quantum Corp. is adding data deduplication to its StorNext data management software, giving customers the ability to reduce capacity of archived and in some cases primary data.

StorNext 4, which will be available next month, will deduplicate data natively in the file system. It uses the same deduplication IP as Quantum's DXi disk-backup systems, StorNext product manager Chris Duffy said. Like with the DXi platform, StorNext's deduplication will find redundant blocks of data across files and only store the unique data. StorNext 4 also supports replication, so customers can move deduplicated files offsite for disaster recovery.

StorNext lets customers share files across storage systems and tiers. Quantum claims it has more than 4,000 StorNext customers, largely in the media and entertainment, high performance computing and CAD/CAM markets.

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Unlike vendors such as NetApp Inc., Ocarina Networks Inc., and Storwize Inc., that market their dedupe or compression as a solution for primary storage, Quantum positions StorNext as for nearline – or archived -- data. It takes a similar approach as Permabit Technologies Corp., which also targets its dedupe at archiving but claims some customers use it for primary storage.

Quantum's Duffy says deduplication brings too much of a performance hit to be useful with most primary data.

"If you call it primary dedupe, it's accurate, but there's a performance drag on there," he said.

StorNext lets customers dedupe within their primary storage tier to reduce capacity or keep files on primary and replicate a deduped copy to a separate repository. Deduping files on the primary tier providers greater reduction but brings more of a negative performance impact, Duffy says.

Taneja Group analyst Jeff Boles says you can consider StorNext as dedupe for primary data, depending on what you consider primary data.

"While StoreNext doesn't usually directly compete in the general storage market with vendors like NetApp or even Ocarina or Storwize, I think StorNext's dedupe can absolutely be considered primary for customers using it for large files and in industries such as high performance computing, and other shared data access, data intensive environments," Boles says.

StorNext's new file-based asynchronous replication supports replication from five remote sites into the data center or up to three remote sites from the data center. The host-based replication can use Fibre Channel, iSCSI or Ethernet connections.

Quantum also added a Distributed Data Mover to enhance storage tiering by moving data to an archive tier while providing fast access to a copy of the same data on primary disk and a Web-based Management Console that uses an XML-based GUI. StorNext also includes a timecode-based Partial File Retrieval feature that segments large media files – instead of the entire file -- for quick retrieval based on timecode parameters.

A deduplication license for StorNext costs $1,000 per TB for usable capacity of the deduplication repository. Replication and the Distributed Data Mover cost $15,000 each, and Partial File Retrieval is $36,000. The StorNext Storage Manager – part of the core product used to provide automated data movement – costs $35,000.

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