Briefing Note: Backup and Archive take a step closer to the Alter

Everybody agrees that intelligent archives are the way to efficiently manage data, moving lesser-accessed files off of expensive storage and providing a long-term retention capability. When combined with backup, an archive can improve both primary storage utilization and data protection, significantly lowering costs in the process. But this is often easier said than done since archive and archive data are usually stored separately.

Now Quantum, a company that knows a lot about both of these processes, is moving backup and archive closer together by creating an archive capability within their DXi appliance and combing that with Arkivio software. Quantum has also expanded their archive solutions portfolio by adding a new NAS appliance to their existing StorNext disk- and tape-based solutions. And, they’ve released a new storage node for the Lattus object storage system.

DXi and Arkivio

Quantum has created a shared backup and archive storage system using its DXi deduplicating backup appliance and Arkivio archiving software. By allocating a separate volume for archive data, DXi users can simultaneously backup and archive in the same physical storage system. Using Arkivio’s policy-based data tiering software, unstructured data can be funneled into the archive volume on the DXi while structured data and dynamic files remain on the backup volumes.

Quantum sees this as an ideal way for existing (and new) DXi customers to easily incorporate the power of file archiving with Arkivio, while essentially leaving their backup infrastructure intact. Benefits include savings of 60% or more (according to Quantum) in total storage costs and a reduction of the load on the backup infrastructure and supporting network.

Artico

Artico is an ‘intelligent’ NAS appliance with up to 73TB of embedded disk storage that comes loaded with Quantum’s StorNext file system and archive software. It also provides simple access to files stored on local Lattus object storage, Quantum’s tape libraries or in Quantum’s Q-Cloud Archive. Artico supports up to 1 billion files, providing a single namespace on the front end and automatically moving data between users and federated archive tiers on the backend. Artico is a turnkey StorNext NAS solution that’s ideal for addressing the archive needs of mid-market companies or organizations that do not require a complete StorNext shared storage and workflow solution.

Lattus with 6TB Drives

Quantum also announced a new, higher-density storage node for their Lattus object storage systems. The S30 Storage Node features twelve 6TB disk drives for 50% more capacity at 15% lower cost per TB than their existing S20 that is based on 4TB disk drives. This new configuration can provide a higher-density upgrade for existing Lattus deployments, which feature non-disruptive expansion, or another entry point for new installations.

StorageSwiss Take

For many companies, backup is the application that touches essentially all the data. It’s the copy of last resort. For this reason, backups have become the de facto archives in many organizations. However, using backup systems as archives can be inefficient given the explosion of unstructured data, including all the digital content that’s created and seldom modified.

Quantum, a leader in both backup and archive for many years, is clearly trying to address this problem. While storing archive data on a DXi volume doesn’t exactly merge backup and archive, it’s certainly an interesting first step, especially with the inclusion of Arkvio.

For environments that need a dedicated archive system, the other part of this announcement should be of interest. With the release of a new archive appliance, Quantum is providing a more accessible entry point into their diverse collection of storage targets, including their object storage and tape-based solutions.

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Eric is an Analyst with Storage Switzerland and has over 25 years experience in high-technology industries. He’s held technical, management and marketing positions in the computer storage, instrumentation, digital imaging and test equipment fields. He has spent the past 15 years in the data storage field, with storage hardware manufacturers and as a national storage integrator, designing and implementing open systems storage solutions for companies in the Western United States.  Eric earned degrees in electrical/computer engineering from the University of Colorado and marketing from California State University, Humboldt.  He and his wife live in Colorado and have twins in college.

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