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Thursday, 22 October 2009 02:19

Quantum shimmies into SME space

Backup, recovery and archive supplier Quantum, which is nudging $US1 billion in global revenues, has traditionally waltzed with the big end of town, but is now shimmying into the SME space with a range of appliances launched this morning.

According to Keith Busson, country manager for Australia and New Zealand there is a growing trend in all scales of businesses “to keep everything for ever.” For many organisations, “forever” lasts seven years – equivalent to the statute of limitations. But as Busson points out – for some organisations forever lasts much longer.

“For the health sector it can mean lifetime plus 10 years,” which as he explained can stretch to over 110 years in some cases. While an increasing number of organisations are using disk for back up and recovery combined with some tape, storing vast volumes of data on spinning, heat generating, disk over long periods is still not an economic option, so tape remains king of the archiving game.

Just how much organisations are having to store and archive is debateable, although it is undoubtedly growing fast. According to Busson many organisations have only a rough grasp of the rate at which their storage needs are rising, “But the biggest I have seen is 30 per cent annual growth.”

The next big milestone in terms of tape storage is the looming introduction of the LTO5 (Linear Tape Open) standard which will double capacity and speed of tapes taking the current 800 Gbyte per tape limit to 1.6 Tbytes for the same price, according to Busson.

Traditionally an enterprise focussed storage company Quantum is now pushing into the SME space. The new entry level DXi2500D is a fixed 1.8 Tbyte unit which will sell for $12,000 plus GST. 

At the top of the range, and targeted at large enterprises, will be the DXi7500 which will scale from 9Tbytes to 200+ Tbytes and be available next year. There are several other mid range models available.

While HP launched a 1Tbyte storage system for $599 recently, which was targeted squarely at the consumer market for storing music, photos, videos and the suchlike, Busson explained that the entry level DXi2500 was not just plain disk but also included de-duplication, replication and management software. This he said would allow the device to be used by small branch offices or SMEs to back up 60 days’ worth of data.

Sold exclusively through resellers Busson said that the devices were customer installable “although I haven’t done it myself, it sets up as a drive letter and you just point to that.”

Quantum now has a team of around 50 people in Australia, 25 of whom are based in a development centre in Adelaide which is responsible for the company’s de-duplication software. Busson, who has been with the company around 18 months, said he expected to grow both the software team and the customer facing team in the coming months.

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