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.

We then continued the test for a further two weeks and at the end of a simulated one month backup period the appliance reported a data deduplication ratio of 7.22:1. Naturally, the ratios that can be achieved will depend on the type of data being secured, its compressibility, the rate of change and the retention period.

To test general throughput performance we created a new share on the appliance and asked ARCserve to run a full backup of a folder on our test server containing 13,000 files totalling 28GB. With the backup running over Gigabit, the job was completed at a rate of 43MB/sec which equates to a very tidy 152GB/hour.

Before using the esXpress software we recommend sitting down and reading all seven manuals as configuration is a very lengthy and unintuitive process. The product consists of an OVF file which is used to create a VM running the optional Quorum web GUI. If you don't use this you must manually install the supplied RPM files on each host to be backed up.

We opted to use the GUI and created a VM for it on our ESX Server 4.0 system. The browser console provides a wizard where you declare your VMware host, create backup targets that point to the appliance and decide on the backup frequency and window and whether they should be full, delta or file level.

You can opt for scheduled daily and monthly backups and use filters to determine which VMs are to be secured. The VMware service console can also be used to load the esXpress main menu from where you can run on-demand backups of all or selected VMs and check the esXpress logs.

We found esXpress offers plenty of backup and restore features for large and small virtualised environments alike but felt that it really needs to be much more user friendly. However, for general network backup operations, Quantum's DXi4520 is very easy to configure and use and an affordable option for SMBs looking to make some big storage savings.

Verdict

Using NAS shares as deduplication targets makes the DXi4500 appliances extremely easy to deploy and manage for network backup operations.

They’re priced right for SMBs and our tests show they are capable of delivering good storage savings.

Chassis: 2U rack

CPU: 2 x 2.53GHz E5540 Xeon

Memory: 24GB 1067MHz DDR3

Storage: 8 x 1TB Seagate Constellation SATA hard disks in hot-swap carriers

RAID: Dell PERC H700 with 512MB cache and BBU

Array support: RAID 6

Network: 4 x Gigabit

Power: 2 x 750W Energy Smart hot-plug supplies

Management: Web browser

Software: Quantum esXpress with support for 4 VMs, Symantec OST plugin

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