Q&A with Casey Burns, product marketing manager of virtual solutions with Quantum (www.quantum.com):
DCP: Why is DXi V1000 useful in today’s enterprise data centers? Why should data center and IT managers care about it? How can they benefit from it?
Burns:The DXi V1000 is useful for any sized organization that is lacking a disaster recovery solution at their main location or at their remote locations. Enterprise class data center managers can appreciate the DXi V1000’s flexible deployment model. The DXi V1000 is a virtual appliance that works with an existing VMware environment, retaining all of the features and functionality that customers have come to expect from DXi-Series hardware appliances. If a customer has a number of remote sites where they are currently utilizing an aging tape drive or maybe some old disk array with insufficient capacity or functionality, the DXi V1000 would be a great solution. Customers clearly recognize the value of deduplication. With normal deduplication rates a single virtual instance of the DXi V1000 can store upwards of 40TB, providing very long retention periods and fast local restores of the data. All DXi’s have replication capabilities, so it’s possible to replicate the data from a DXi V1000 at a remote location to a physical DXi, or another instance of the DXi V1000 at the data center. This turns out to be a very viable disaster recovery solution, which can be an overlooked value of deduplication.
DCP: Where should DXi V1000 rank in terms of overall priority in the data center?
Burns: For those customers seeking disaster recovery for their remote sites or data center, the DXi V1000 could easily rank in the top 5. The inherent value of utilizing the existing investment in infrastructure (servers, networking, WAN connections, backup applications, etc) to deploy a virtual appliance deduplication solution allows customers to make very quick, yet smart, decisions on using the DXi V1000. At $2250 per TB with built in replication, encryption and deduplication in a small (4GB vRAM) virtual appliance, this can be a very compelling story for data center managers, allowing them to move disaster recovery of their remote sites and data center up the priority list. Customers already have virtual environments deployed. Why not use those resources to establish a disaster recovery solution?
For data center customers who are also in an acquisition mode, the DXi V1000 could be a great fit as well. Perhaps a company has a data center with a physical DXi appliance that has high-capacity scale, like the DXi8500 with up to 320TB. Imagine that company acquires a smaller company that isn’t tied into their IT infrastructure yet. That company could easily deploy a DXi V1000 at the new location and start replication immediately to the DXi8500 in the data center and bring that site into the parent company’s policies and procedures quickly and easily.
DCP: What are the biggest challenges for data center and IT managers when it comes to DXi V1000?
Burns:IT managers should keep in mind that performance for DXi V1000 is largely determined by the virtual environment it is deployed in. We have seen really good performance from our own testing and from our own customers, around 1TB/hr ingest (we still use the same inline variable length deduplication process as our physical appliances), and we have best practice guides available to help tune virtual environments for optimal performance. This is not so much a characteristic of the solution itself, but rather a challenge of being a virtual appliance and being bound to external factors that are somewhat driven by physical appliances. The features and functionality are the primary selling factors for DXi V1000.
DCP: How can data center and IT managers overcome those challenges?
Burns:As I mentioned, there are not many challenges, really the performance which is negated by the value and uniqueness of the DXi V1000, and we can address this challenge with the best practice guide available from Quantum to help tune the solution and optimize performance in a virtual environment.
DCP: What advice can you give to IT and data center managers that have a plethora of similar solutions to choose from?
Burns:Customers should be looking into solutions that can provide them with scale and deployment options for their data center, remote offices and any other offices they may consume, and also how can the partner help them protect data today and tomorrow, use of the cloud and protect both physical and virtual data sets in a single solution. Quantum has been advancing deduplication for over six years now. We provide customers with options for physical appliances and now offer a virtual appliance in DXi V1000. The DXi Series can protect both physical and virtual data sets, and provides a cloud connected architecture, whether that be private, public or a hybrid cloud approach. There are a number of deduplication options for customers to choose from, but only Quantum holds the patent for variable length deduplication, proven to be the most disk efficient process available. DXi offers an unmatched breadth of scalability, going from 1TB to 320TB in a single software platform.
Casey Burns is Quantum’s Product Marketing Manager, Virtual Solutions. Casey has extensive experience and knowledge in the storage industry, and a professional focus in the areas of data deduplication and virtualization.