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Quantum claws its way back to profit

Gets Standard & Poor upgrade...

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Quantum returned to profit after its unexpected loss last quarter and has expanded into SME filer storage and virtual server backup and dedupe.

There was a $5m loss in its previous quarter the first in its fiscal 2012, on revenues of $154m, some of that put at the door of sales mis-execution. This time, in the quarter ending 30 September, revenues came in at $165m, 2 per cent down on the year-ago quarter, with profits of $3.56m, up from the year ago $3m figure. New sales head Ted Stinson has done the business.

Debt repayment continues to feature in these quarterly reports; Quantum paid down $30m of its senior debt, finishing the quarter with $69m of senior debt, $135m of convertible debt and $49m in cash and cash equivalents. Standard & Poor’s Rating Services upgraded its outlook on the company from stable to positive during the quarter. Encouragingly, the total cost of revenues this quarter was $93.4m – which compares well to the $96.32m amount spent a year ago. Quantum is becoming more efficient.

There was still an overhang from the move away from OEM sales, but not much, and branded sales were up, CEO and president Jon Gacek saying: "This was our eighth consecutive quarter of year-over-year branded revenue growth and one in which we generated our highest level of disk and software revenue to date."

The July-launched DXi6701/02 appliances did well. Quantum said this launch "was the most successful branded systems product launch in the company's history in terms of revenue generated". All good stuff. The even better stuff relates to product range development and expansion.

Expanded product portfolio

Quantum has entered the mainstream SME filer market and has announced a removable disk backup product. The NDX-8 NAS is an 8TB NAS product which can replicate data to another off-site NDX-8. The company said it has an Intel Core i3 3.3 GHz processor and 4 GB RAM, "with twice the performance and memory of competitive NAS products".

An NDX-8d version has Datastor Shield software, meaning agent-less backup and DXI deduplication, with client-based dedupe and up to 20:1 deduplication rates. The NDX-8d costs $5,139 (suggested retail price) and the NDX-8 $4,029.

It has also announced an RDX 8000 removable disk storage product, coincidentally also offering up to 8TB of capacity with its 8 RDX drives, and saying 1.5TB 2.5-inch drive cartridges are coming next year. The RDX 8000 with deduplication is $4,999, and $3,889 without it.

The vmPRO 4601 is a capacity-on-demand, 2U rackmount, virtual machine backup and deduplication product offering 4TB capacity increments by license key up to a 12TB max. This uses acquired Pancetera technology and supports vSphere v5 and incorporates Quantum's DXI deduplication technology. It also can replicate its contents to another vmPRO 4000. Pricing starts at $24,250.

Quantum says "The vmPRO software utilities present a file system view of VM files, automatically create native-format VM copies on secondary disk, reduce VM backup data by up to 75 per cent, and raise deduplication rates. All vmPRO utilities operate inside the virtual environment, eliminating the need for external servers, and they support third-party backup applications."

It claims that this software "delivers the most effective deduplication rates and the fastest VM recovery in the industry".

We also hear good news is coming on the file virtualisation StorNext front. Using ATTO Celerity FC adapters, NetApp says its Media Content Management (MCM) system has outperformed all previously ATTO-tested storage subsystems. This was achieved with an Engenio-based E5460 array and StorNext, implying NetApp could be a meaningful StorNext reseller. ®

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