Quorum Briefing Note – Instant Recovery Software gets Major Update

Quorum OnQ already appeared to be a solid product. OnQ is a next-gen backup and recovery product built around modern ideas of data protection. It could back up virtual or physical machines and store those backups in native (but deduplicated) format in a customer’s cloud or the Quorum-branded cloud. The latest update makes the solution more appealing to enterprise customers.

Because the backups are stored in native format, OnQ supports the idea of instant recovery, where VMs or physical machines could start in the cloud with minimal effort. In fact, Quorum even supports the concept of a heartbeat so that VMs in the cloud could actually automatically fail over for their primary counterparts. OnQ also supports the idea of automated recovery testing, so that customers know that things will work in the event of a disaster.

But Quorum felt there were some scalability and performance issues caused by the product’s architecture, so Quorum’s development team decided to change that. For example, the previous architecture had a 16TB limitation for both virtual disks and the size of the repository. The architecture also had disk management limitations with the hypervisor. The new version has no size limitations, and no disk management issues. The cache now also makes OnQ roughly two times faster.

In the previous iteration of the product, OnQ ran on a hypervisor that used the same storage as the data repository. The hypervisor now has its own storage on an SSD. The repository storage is now on a ZFS-volume, giving massive scalability, performance, and data integrity features that weren’t possible before.

Quorum also went back to the drawing board with its user interface (UI). The new interface is completely different and based on HTML5. Users can manage Quorum OnQ with any HTM5-compatible browser. One very interesting feature of the new UI is the idea of tagging. You can give any backup client any tags you wish, and clients can have multiple tags. This allows you to easily create logical groupings of your backup clients, such as all SQL Server clients, by recovery group or recovery priority. You can then view all clients with a given tag by clicking on that tag.

Quorum also simplified pricing, allowing customers to pay only for the servers they want to protect, not by core or anything like that. Simplified licensing is always a welcome feature.

StorageSwiss Take

It appears Quorum is taking what was once a solid product and is making it even better. The new UI is slick and seems to be well designed. ZFS is a well-respected file system that should bring significant scalability and performance to the product. Instant recovery is starting to be table stakes and so is automated recovery testing. Quorum seems to be positioned quite well given all of this.

W. Curtis Preston (aka Mr. Backup) is an expert in backup & recovery systems; a space he has been working in since 1993. He has written three books on the subject, Backup & Recovery, Using SANs and NAS, and Unix Backup & Recovery. Mr. Preston is a writer and has spoken at hundreds of seminars and conferences around the world. Preston’s mission is to arm today’s IT managers with truly unbiased information about today’s storage industry and its products.

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Posted in Briefing Note

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