Note from DSA Editor:
We managed to get the chance to speak to Jim Simon, Vice President of Global Field and Channel Marketing at Quantum who gave us a bit more detail surrounding this announcement.
First off, Jim confirmed that this appliance is available globally (including in the ASEAN region) and is available now.
On the question of whether Quantum has plans to create versions of this appliance with any other backup software vendors, Jim explained "Veeam and Quantum work closely together so it was a natural fit to collaborate on the Converged Tape Appliance for Veeam. In the future, we may consider other applications."
We wanted to get a bit deeper into how much of an appliance this was, and were interested to understand where the "tape management happens" is that with Quantum or Veeam? Jim told us "The management of what to back up and where to store it is controlled by Veeam as Veeam software runs on the embedded blade server within the tape library (which is a Quantum Scalar i3). The key differentiator is that instead of end users requiring an external server to run Veeam on (adding complexity, cost, and taking up valuable data centre rack space), the Quantum Converged Tape Appliance for Veeam is a fully integrated appliance.", We tend to agree, it doesn't matter too much which element of the appliance handles this as long as the integrated appliance is taking care of it.
We wondered if this appliance was more suited to the enterprise marketplace, but according to Jim they really feel it is relevant across a wide cross-section of companies "The main target is users of Veeam. Veeam counts organizations of all sizes as customers ranging from SMB to Enterprise." It sounds like it has been built to meet the requirements of all existing and potential Veeam users.
If you follow the storage industry closely you will know that the tape industry continues to tell us tape is by far the most cost-effective storage media, we wondered whether quantum had any substantive competitive analysis of this appliance or tape in general against disk, they provided this graph which really does spell it out – tape is still extremely cost effective.
We rarely see new and exciting news relating to tape, but congratulations to Quantum and Veeam. They have definitely caught our attention with this new converged tape appliance. They have managed to hit two hot industry topics (convergence and ransomware) in one announcement about tape! That takes some doing.
But are they just jumping on the buzzwords or is there any substance here?
Let’s look at the ransomware claim first. The reality is the most sure-fire way to protect your data from the ever-growing online cyber threat is to take it offline. Tape does this. It puts an “air gap” between your data and the online world of cybercriminals intent on inflicting damage. This appliance is tape-based, so that box is ticked.
Now let’s consider the convergence claim. In our opinion, this is not convergence in the way that HCI is a complete shift in how datacentres are built. However, by putting a blade server with configured Veeam backup software in the tape appliance, Quantum has removed the need for a separate tape backup server and in a way has converged these separate components into a single appliance. In our view, this is not true ground-breaking convergence, but more integration that simplifies things. So we feel that the box is “half” ticked.
One of the issues with tape is complexity. This appliance removes some complexity, but tape management and scheduling don’t go away.
However, if this is the shape of things to come, and Quantum can eventually build an appliance like this that handles like an object store at the front end, then we may be “cooking with gas”. They really could reinvigorate the tape world with a truly modernised appliance that is the absolute guarantee of recovery from ransomware or cyber-attack.
Full press release as follows:
Quantum Corp. announced the availability of a new converged tape appliance designed to make it fast and easy to procure, install, configure and create tape backups in a Veeam environment for offline protection against ransomware. The solution is available as a single SKU, making it easier to purchase and implement a tape library platform optimized for Veeam backups.
Tape's New Role: Offline Ransomware Protection
The new converged tape appliance is particularly well-suited for customers seeking protection against ransomware, which has grown to become a $1 billion business with attacks increasing exponentially over the last three years. As an 'offline' storage medium, data stored on tape is not physically connected to the network, making it an effective barrier against ransomware and malware. Employing tape as part of a best practice data protection strategy helps enable customers to recover uncorrupted data and minimize disruption to operations.
Easy Integration of Tape into Veeam Environments
Historically, creating tape backups with Veeam Backup and Replication required a dedicated external physical server to host the Veeam tape server. Quantum addressed this challenge by building a blade server directly into its Scalar i3 tape library platform. This approach eliminates the need to size, configure, procure and set up a dedicated external server, making it easier for end users to create tape backups in a Veeam environment. Users gain the benefits of tape for protecting against ransomware without complication. The converged appliance is offered as a single line item SKU, making it easier for VARs and distributors to provide a simple, one-stop solution for their customers.
Continuing Quantum's History of Integration with Veeam
Quantum's converged tape appliance continues a history of integration with Veeam. Quantum solutions uniquely combine disk and tape to provide hyper-availability storage solutions for Veeam environments. Quantum's DXi deduplication appliances introduced integration with Veeam, embedding Veeam Data Mover to help customers restore any file, application, and virtual server from DXi appliances. Quantum's multi-tiered storage portfolio of hybrid storage, deduplication appliances, object storage and tape complement the capabilities Veeam has introduced with the latest Veeam Availability Suite, and this combination is designed to offer customized data protection solutions to address the cost and performance needs of a wide range of customer implementations.