In one of my favorite bits from Cheers!, Diane quotes Henry David Thoreau, “Our life is frittered away by detail… Simplify! Simplify!” Coach ponders for a beat and replies with possibly the first deduplication joke: “Couldn’t he just use one ‘simplify’?”
I’ve been thinking a lot about simplicity this week as Quantum simplifies the DXi family. Now with just three deduplication appliances – the DXi V-Series for virtual environments, the DXi4700 for SMBs, and the all-new DXi6900 for mid-range to enterprise environments – Quantum’s new dedupe family covers the same range of data protection TBs that the industry sales leader covers with nine products. That in itself is a magnificent act of simplification for customers sorting through purchasing decisions for multisite implementations. The announcement sparked a flurry of industry conversation.
As Mike Vizard noted in IT Business Edge, the DXi6900’s capacity on demand approach as a solution for IT organizations seeking to add backup capacity by simply turning a licensing key.
“Besides knowing that they’ll need more than they have on hand now, most IT organizations are not all that sure how much backup space they’re going to need in the future.”
Vizard also points to iLayer for helping to better manage the sometimes complex workflows associated with backing data up on-premise and in the cloud. Writing for iTWire, Stephen Withers concurred:
“Quantum’s iLayer software is said to simplify configuration and management, increasing the productivity of IT staff. Monitoring and reporting to mobile devices is included.”
Storage Switzerland senior analyst Eric Slack digs into the rising complexity that is to blame for essentially breaking traditional backup processes in his piece “Why Backup is Failing and How to Save It”. Erik describes the growing importance of unstructured data that is not really suited to deduplication, and the resulting problems this creates for backup workflows:
“Managing these new data types across a tiered storage infrastructure requires a high performance file and archive system, like StorNext 5 from Quantum. This software architecture can provide file-level access to data on any storage tier and make it available to users running all the standard compute platforms.”
StorNext 5 sits at the heart of DXi software, where it is credited as the “secret sauce” yielding ingest and restore performance advantages, and helps to enable modern data protection workflows.
In his article for SearchStorage, Dave Raffo quotes The 451 Group’s Dave Simpson on the role StorNext 5 plays in the refreshed DXi Series, to show that simplicity for the customer does not come at the sacrifice of performance or functionality. “StorNext 5 is the key [to the DXi6900],” Simpson said. “The things StorNext has to do for media and entertainment can translate into potential advantages for backup. It handles a lot of small blocks and streaming files. StorNext also has native support for flash. Nobody’s using SSDs for dedupe appliances yet, but if prices keep coming down, you’ll see SSDs in backup devices. StorNext 5 may give Quantum some advantages there.