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Quantum's DXi big box boost

Hopes to outpace DD's 880

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Quantum's latest deduplication product, the DXi8500, is twice as fast as the previous DXi7500 big box, but holds slightly less data.

The DXi8500 offers from 20 to 200TB of usable capacity, which it can fill up at a rate of 6.4TB/hr. The effectively-replaced DXi7500 offered up to 220TB of usable capacity and a maximum ingest rate of 4TB/hour. The speed boost comes from Quantum's use of six-core Nehalem processors. The product also has RAID 6, six ports of 8Gbit/s Fibre Channel connectivity, as well as both 1GbitE and 10GBitE. The DXi7500 offered four 4Gbit/s Fibre Channel ports.

The DXi7500's 4TB ingest rate occurs when it is acting as a native VTL and not deduping data. Its inline (adaptive) dedupe rate is up to 1.8TB/hour and the post-process (deferred) dedupe rate is up to 3.2TB/hour. The DXi8500's ingest rate is described by Quantum as "Adaptive Ingest (during deduplication): up to 6.4TB/hour*" and the asterisk points to a note that says: "Tested with VTL interface." Quantum says this is three times faster than the DXi7500.

The DXi6700, announced in August this year, could run inline dedupe at up to 3.5TB/hour, well outpacing the DXi7500, so Quantum had cracked the inline dedupe speed problem and the high-end speed jump was overdue.

Quantum says the DXi8500 can restore data at up to 5.4TB/hr, which is understood to be much faster than the 7500.

The DXi8500 performance boost will help Quantum sell against the top-end Data Domain products. It reckons the 8500 outpaces Data Domain's DD880, which runs at up to 5.4TB/hour, and has up to 140TB of usable capacity.

Like the other DXi systems the DXi8500 can write to tape for offsite protection. The systems also provide a NAS presentation mode.

The slightly lower capacity comes from a renovated RAID 6 algorithm, which uses more disk capacity for data protection. The DXi7500 uses 1TB, 3.5-inch drives, as does the DXi8500. It's a pity that its move to 2TB drive support, which is going to happen next year, did not happen sooner because then it could have offered a 20 to 400TB usable capacity range. The 20TB of lost capacity due to the RAID 6 algorithm tweak, which is a good thing in itself, would have been lost in the wash.

The DXi8500's base price includes replication, tape creation, virtual tape library and Symantec OST interface software. With Data Domain's DD880 you have to buy the software separately, according to Quantum. It will be available from mid-November and a suggested retail price for a system with 90TB of usable capacity is $731,000 versus, Quantum says, $861,000 for the equivalent DD880. ®

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