Quantum ships disk system disguised as tape

In an effort to reduce management burdens for customers, Quantum Corp. has introduced a new disk-based storage system that appears to software as a tape library.

The Quantum DX30 disk-based back-up system will be available by the end of October as a 4U (7 inches high) unit that can store as much as 3TB of data. Disk storage is generally more expensive than tape, but Quantum is looking for customers that are willing to pay a premium for higher speed data recovery and more reliable storage products, said Dave Kenyon, a product line manager at Quantum. In addition, the DX30 will appear as a tape library to management software, which means administrators can keep their current back-up procedures intact.

“We take inexpensive disk drives and make them look and feel like tape drives,” Kenyon said. “This makes it easy for a customer to use and understand.”

Tape has long been the most popular medium for backing up data. However, some companies that make disk-based storage products argue that the quality of tape can be poor and that it does not perform well enough for some critical data restoration tasks.

Quantum, based in Milpitas, Calif., expects medium-sized and large companies to adopt the new product. These types of users would have a need for and potentially benefit from higher back-up speeds, particularly for disaster recovery, Kenyon said. The DX30 will be priced at US$55,000.

Quantum has been working to restructure its business in the wake of falling revenue, which prompted layoffs of nearly a third of its staff. It has also decided to spin off its NAS (network attached storage) business into a new company called Snap Appliance Inc. [Please see Quantum snaps off its NAS division.]