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Quantum sends out cheap 'n' fast newbie to beat off Amazon's Glacier

Tape market facing global cooling

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Quantum is facing the Amazon onslaught head on with the debut of its cloudy Q-Cloud service – cloud-based backup, restore, and disaster recovery – at Amazon Glacier pricing: 1 cent per GB per month.

Amazon's new gear is a cloud-based online data archiving service costing $0.01/GB/month and pitched as an alternative to tape for data archival and also backup. As such it competes with Quantum's DXI deduplicating disk backup target arrays and its Scalar line of tape autoloaders and libraries. The top-end DXi 8500 was recently enhanced to use 3TB drives "to deliver 50 per cent greater storage density, 42 per cent more power savings and 25 per cent higher performance" and to encrypt data at rest.

As far as Amazon is concerned, the tape market is facing global cooling, not warming. By offering Q-Cloud, Quantum is going with Glacier's flow, saying it's offering business-class data protection at consumer prices.

With Q-Cloud, US and UK customers' existing backup software products use a DXi deduplicating appliance as a backup to disk target, which sends deduped data off to Quantum's Q-Cloud data centres – essentially functioning as a Q-Cloud gateway. Supported third-party backup products include Backup Exec, CommVault, Data Protector, NetBackup, vRanger, Tivoli Storage Manager and Veeam. The customers also use Quantum's vmPro product to snapshot virtual machines and replicate them to the Q-Cloud.

As with Glacier, there is no need to have software produced that uses Q-Cloud's APIs to send data to Q-Cloud's cloud vault or retrieve data from it.

Q-Cloud customers pay on a subscription basis, with pricing as little as $0.01/GB/month once you hit 72TB of stored data, and you also get both physical and virtual server protection, with capacities from 1TB to 1PB of protected data.

Multiple sites can send data to the Q-Cloud. A single site can use Q-Cloud as its disaster recovery facility. Quantum claims that Q-Cloud offers fast data recovery than Glacier's four-to-five-hour response, and includes local restores off a site's DXi appliance. The point of backup is to restore data, so the faster that's done the better.

By pricing at Amazon levels for bulk data but offering a much faster restoration service – as well as adding the service as a seamless extension of existing DXi and vmPro capabilities – Quantum is hoping its customers will take advantage of data protection in its cloud rather than that of Amazon or Nirvanix, as and when they gradually wind down their tape backup operations. ®

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