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Quantum updates StorNext architecture and appliance lineup

Quantum distilled its StorNext file system down to a single 2U appliance. The new H4000 promises easier deployment without losing StorNext's speed or data management capabilities.

Quantum is overhauling StorNext with a new converged architecture and a new line of 2U appliances.

The upcoming Quantum H4000 appliance series, slated for general availability in June, fits Quantum's StorNext file system in a 2U footprint. The new appliances use a "converged" infrastructure that runs file, block and client services virtually on a single box.

Previously, StorNext needed gateway nodes, metadata controllers and block storage on separate devices. The H4000 offering cuts the necessary rack space for StorNext in half, lowering power and cooling costs.

Quantum's StorNext file system and data management platform is designed for high-speed ingest, with claimed speeds of up to 25 GBps single-stream throughput. It can support thousands of parallel streams, making it ideal for video-related use cases such as media and entertainment, surveillance and autonomous vehicles.

StorNext's data management capabilities provide lifecycle management for data from its point of creation to when it is archived or permanently deleted. The platform provides continuous access to the data as it moves across various storage media over its life, ensuring that it is never lost, is correctly tagged and is in the correct tier of storage.

Due to the smaller form factor, the H4000 makes it easier to deploy StorNext at edge and remote locations. Increasingly, that's where data is being generated, said Eric Bassier, senior director of products at Quantum.

Video usage has increased across all industries, Bassier said, citing a Quantum customer -- a hospital in South Korea -- that captures videos of operations to train their surgeons. This leads to a large influx of unstructured data, and customers will need a system to capture and manage it.

Photo of Quantum H4000
Quantum H4000 StorNext appliances will come in 12-bay and 24-bay models at launch.

"Customers are still wrestling with unstructured data growth, and now we're seeing growth in video in places that are not in Hollywood," Bassier said.

New customers can now deploy StorNext where complexity or space were barriers before, Bassier added. However, the H4000 can also benefit current StorNext customers, as it provides a way to add StorNext to a new location without requiring any major infrastructure overhaul and a simple path to upgrade older systems to the latest StorNext.

At launch, Quantum H4000 StorNext appliances will be available in 12-bay (H4012) and 24-bay (H4024) models, with multiple drive options. A 48 TB model starts at $60,000.

Customers are still wrestling with unstructured data growth, and now we're seeing growth in video in places that are not in Hollywood.
Eric BassierSenior director of products, Quantum

The H4000 appliance itself is just another primary storage or backup target and not earth-shaking, said Matt Leib, a research director at IDC. It's just a shell to conveniently deliver what's truly important and noteworthy to customers -- the StorNext software within the appliance.

StorNext is tuned for the video use case and media and entertainment (M&E), but there are many other use cases and industries with similar needs, Leib said. Genetic sequencing, CAT scans and MRIs all have high data output and can benefit from a file system specially designed for high ingest.

More than half of StorNext's customers are M&E, according to Bassier. But there's no reason Quantum shouldn't be courting customers in life sciences, health care, government or other industries, Leib said.

"I am concerned they are limiting themselves by focusing on M&E. They got more to offer than just video," Leib said.

StorNext attempts to tackle unstructured data growth, which continues to be a problem, Leib said. IDC research found that unstructured data will make up 80% of all data worldwide by 2025. The biggest challenge today is managing that data. This includes storing it, controlling access to it and using it for analytics or other business purposes, all while maintaining compliance and making sure it's all protected, Leib said.

"The amount of data being generated and sifted through and potentially not even being sorted correctly is astounding, and growing day by day," Leib said.

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