Quantum DXi4520 review

Quantum’s new DXi4500 appliances deliver affordable data deduplication to SMBs. In this exclusive review we put one through its paces in the lab and see what storage savings it can offer.

Price
£15,000

Data deduplication may be all the rage this year but it has traditionally been priced way beyond the means of most small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs). Quantum aims to remedy this as its latest DXi4500 family delivers a low cost appliance based solution with ease of use high on its agenda.

Data reduction is carried out at the appliance and has a big advantage over source based deduplication as it will work with any backup software you choose to name. The main drawback is that all data selected on the source must be sent to be processed by the appliance so network overheads will be higher.

Whereas a number of solutions offer up VTLs (virtual tape libraries) over IP SANs for storage, the DXi4520 is a pure NAS appliance and supports the CIFS and NFS protocols. To use it you simply create network shares with are used as backup destinations.

Quantum gets our thumbs up for its choice of hardware as hiding behind the bezel is a top quality PowerEdge R510 2U rack server. Dell designed this box specifically for storage server duties and for more information you can check out the exclusive review of it in our sister title PC Pro.

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Storage is handled by eight 1TB Seagate Constellation SATA drives mounted in sturdy hot-swap bays. All are managed by a Dell PERC H700 controller as a single RAID-6 array. This does cost in terms of available storage but the array can survive simultaneous failures of two drives so redundancy is good.

There are no hidden costs as the price includes all data deduplication and compression features plus remote replication to another appliance. Along with NAS shares, the appliance supports Symantec's OpenStorage (OST) API allowing it to work with NetBackup's data mover function.

Quantum has also targeted virtualised environments as you get its esXpress Backup for VMware ESX software with support for four virtual backup appliances included. This allows you to schedule automated, daily backups of virtual machines or run them on demand.

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