Asia views the Quantum convergence

Snap servers and Superloaders meet in the mid-tier enterprise as Quantum Corp. amalgamates its network attached storage (NAS) and tape businesses to tap on this potentially lucrative market.

"About 90 percent of businesses in Asia have revenues of US$10 million or less," noted Mike Sparkes, product marketing manager of Quantum Asia-Pacific. "It is therefore important for us to bring data protection and network storage capabilities into the SMEs (small and medium enterprises)."

In line with this, Quantum last week introduced the Guardian 14000, which extends its NAS presence beyond the traditional entry-level space dominated by its Snap servers.

Quantum introduced the Snap servers in 1998, and started "from bottom up" to become very successful in the workgroup space, said channel sales manager Philip Yim. The Linux-based Guardian, on the other hand, is the first in a new family of NAS aimed at larger enterprises.

Unlike the Snap servers, which ran an optimized Snap operating system (OS), Guardian's Linux OS means it can provide directory service support for Microsoft Active Directory Services and Unix NIS, enabling central management of information on network resources and users.

Simon Harvey, managing director of Quantum's Storage Solutions Group in the Asia-Pacific, pointed out that Linux, as an open platform, gives the company's partners greater flexibility in the implementation of Guardian to fit their customers' requirements. At the same time, software like DiskXtender enables users to handle NAS aggregation, while EmailArchive software manages e-mail storage.

These are important as the move into mid-tier enterprises means the NAS servers would have to offer greater management capabilities and faster backup times, said Harvey.

While Quantum's NAS business is pushing "upwards" into the mid-tier market, the tape and backup business is aiming in the opposite direction, extending the reach "downwards" from the traditional high-end corporate customers.

According to Sparkes, new products like the StorageWorks Superloader, M2500 and DX-30 are aimed at providing capacity at low entry-level prices.

The StorageWorks DLT1 1280 is a modular rack-mounted autoloader that stores 320G bytes of uncompressed backup data with a data transfer rate of up to 10.8G bytes per hour, while the M2500 is an automated tape library which is said to be able to scale up to 18 tape drives providing up to 1.94T bytes per hour performance.

Quantum's DX-30, which can squeeze 3T bytes into a 2U device, as a disk-based backup solution.

Commenting on the product positioning, Harvey said the M2500 is mainly used as an archiving system while the DX-30 is positioned as a complementary system for use where smaller backup windows are available. "It is not a replacement technology," he said.

As for the NAS offering, he emphasized that the deployment environment is different, focusing on enterprises which require network attached capability.

The rollout of products comes about two months after Quantum formally announced the convergence of its DLT and NAS business to form the Storage Solutions Group.

The move also brings together the company's partners - the value-added resellers and system integrators that were involved in high-end tape installations as well as the distributor network that handled the Snap servers.

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