Storage Review’s Hands-On Testing of Quantum’s Scalar Ransom Block

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One of the best ways to evaluate new technologies is with hands-on testing in a real-world environment rather than only reading data sheets. Getting hands-on test results from experienced real users provides even more insights.  

Along these lines, Storage Review recently completed their hands-on testing of our Scalar tape products in a lab setting. These tests we performed with Veeam as the application vendor with a focus on the Ransom Block feature, which protects against ransomware. Storage Review has performed extensive hands-on testing for many years on a wide variety of storage devices, drives and disk arrays. 

Joint Effort with Veeam, Quantum, and Storage Review

Storage Review travelled to Englewood, Colorado along with the Veeam staff to perform a day-long test of the Scalar products to put them through their paces in the lab. Veeam is a long-time partner with Quantum, so there is a natural synergy. 

Ransomware is a key challenge to enterprise businesses, and CTOs and business leaders alike are looking for new solutions to this growing problem. Tape already offers inherent advantages with a built-in air gapping, although some customers need even more protection added into the library to protect against software hackers. This need was the impetus for Ransom Block, which is a key part of Quantum’s security framework for tape, which offers multiple features to help customers provide strong cyber resiliency. For a detailed product description of Ransom Block, refer to Eric Bassier’s blog.

During the lab testing, Storage Review wanted to create a real-world environment with Veeam software, so they setup a lab with a Scalar i6 and Veeam’s backup tools. The test created a secure copy of the data with Veeam, and then used Ransom Block to eject the tape cartridge by just a few millimeters. This small change in position prevents any software intrusion until an operator physically puts the tape back in position.

For a detailed look at the complete test, please refer to the full review.

Scalar Ransom Block Defined

IT infrastructure is subject to vulnerabilities and can’t be 100% protected, even with tape. Adding physical security and strengthening the air gap reduces vulnerability. That’s where Ransom Block fits in. Ransom Block employs a simple and unique concept to create a physical barrier between data stored on tapes and the network-connected tape library. Tapes stored in the library sit in magazines. When Ransom Block is activated on a magazine, Quantum’s patent-pending design partially ejects the magazine so that the tapes cannot be picked by the robot until an operator physically re-inserts the magazine.

Key Takeaways

The lab testing was very successful, and the full review gives many highlights. Overall, the Storage Review team found Quantum’s tape products to be very easy to work with, and the Scalar products are well integrated with the Veeam application software. Some of the key quotes from the review include: 

Quantum Scalar Ransom Block may just be the best last line of on-prem defense you could ask for.

“For its part, the entire Ransom Block solution is extraordinarily simple to use both on its own and with software partners like Veeam, as we saw in this case.”

It’s refreshing to see tape not only alive and well, but also on the leading edge of data protection technologies.

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