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Quantum StorNext adds Q-Cloud as AWS archiving tier

Built into its StorNext file system, Quantum's Q-Cloud Archive and Vault use Amazon Web Services for active archiving and cold-storage tiering.

Quantum Corp. this week built cloud tiers into its StorNext file system, allowing customers to move active and cold-archived storage into Amazon's public cloud.

Quantum StorNext is commonly used as primary file storage for media and entertainment, and customers often need to retain projects after completion.

Quantum's Q-Cloud Archive and Q-Cloud Vault can move data to Amazon Web Services (AWS). Q-Cloud Archive uses Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3) for data that needs to be accessed, and Q-Cloud Vault puts rarely accessed files in Amazon Glacier.

Quantum is also adding a cloud backup option with Q-Cloud Protect for AWS, a subscription service purchased through the Amazon Marketplace. Q-Cloud Protect allows customers to replicate data from physical or virtual Quantum DXi backup targets to AWS.

Quantum has offered Q-Cloud for DXi since 2012, but that involved replicating data from an on-site DXi box to a second DXi off-site.

Q-Cloud maintains StorNext's workflow management and policy-based data movements and provides another storage tier without adding hardware.

Dave Frederick, Quantum's senior director of product marketing, said Q-Cloud lets customers move data to the most appropriate tier, whether that is on-premises or in a public cloud.

"The Q-Cloud archive is built into StorNext, customers just need to turn it on," he said. "We didn't change the way StorNext operates to incorporate the cloud. We couldn't just say 'go to the cloud when you want to' -- and take it out of StorNext -- because they'd lose the benefits of StorNext."

The Q-Cloud Archive and Vault services will be available with Quantum's Lattus object storage products that use the StorNext file system.

Q-Cloud Archive is available now, Q-Cloud Protect is expected around June and Q-Cloud Vault in the second half of 2014.

Quantum bills customers directly for Q-Cloud, so they do not have to subscribe to AWS. Pricing for Q-Cloud Archive starts at approximately $70 per TB each month, which includes cloud storage and the first 5% of data transferred out of the cloud in any given month. That is more than S3 charges, but includes StorNext policy-based management, all file put-and-get requests and support. Additional charges apply to transfer-out activity of more than 5% in a month.

Pricing for Q-Cloud Vault and Q-Cloud Protect will be provided as those offerings are made available, Quantum said. Q-Cloud Vault is expected to cost less than Q-Cloud Archive because it is based on the lower-cost Amazon Glacier service.

Q-Cloud gives StorNext customers functionality similar to what they would get from cloud gateways such as those sold by Microsoft StorSimple, Nasuni and Panzura. EMC acquired another gateway vendor, TwinStrata, last year and is adding that technology to its VMAX storage arrays as a cloud tier.

Taneja Group senior analyst Jeff Byrne said the cloud tier could come in handy for StorNext users who may have petabytes of data that is rarely used but must be retained.

"In a large file environment like StorNext, you have reams of data that is not needed over a long period of time," he said. "This is a lower-cost tier [than on-premises archives] that's easily accessible for that data to go to."

Next Steps

Quantum looks to upgrade StorNext file system

AWS upgrades help it hold first in the cloud race

Dig Deeper on Public cloud storage