Quantum expands cloud portfolio with three new offerings

Quantum's new cloud offerings are integrated within their workflow strategy, and are based on the public cloud as a backup tier within that strategy.

San Jose-based storage vendor Quantum has announced a major expansion of its cloud offerings, announcing three new solutions. Q-Cloud Archive and Q-Cloud Vault use the public cloud as an off-site tier within the Quantum StorNext 5 workflow environment. The Q-Cloud Protect for AWS offering lets customers using Quantum’s DXi deduplication appliances replicate data to the Amazon Web Services cloud.

“Bringing the cloud into workflows has been the theme of all our cloud offerings,” said Dave Fredrick, senior director of product marketing at Quantum. “In the markets we address, workflows are especially important to people. A key market for us is media and entertainment. If we do something with them for the cloud, it has to fit into their workflow.”

Previous to this announcement, Quantum had two cloud solutions. Q-Cloud Protect provided a cloud backup and recovery offering for their physical or virtual DXi appliance to a private cloud. The other solution was a multi-vendor collaboration, which included Adobe and Reach Engine, which facilitated workflow in the cloud and was designed to let editors work with very high resolution media over the Internet, remotely if necessary.

“The new products follow the same theme of supporting workflows,” Fredrick said. “We take a different approach to the cloud than other folks. Quantum believes that to fit into complex workflows, you have to provide storage that is matched to workflow stages. Multistream editing needs high performance, but it is too costly for long periods of time. Cloud as a tier gives real benefits there. High performance needs an on-prem hybrid approach, since speed is important in primary storage, and dollars per GB important for archived data.”

Fredrick said that this approach is applicable to a lot of industries, not just media and entertainment, with video surveillance being a good example.

“Most people think of our StorNext as a file system, but it can tier between systems, not just within systems, and it has a data mover,” he noted.

The first two new solutions, Q-Cloud Archive and Q-Cloud Vault, differ from Quantum’s previous cloud storage in that it uses the public cloud, not a private one, within a Quantum StorNext 5 workflow environment.

“We are partnered with Amazon today, but may work with others or change completely if necessary,” Fredrick said.

The difference between the two offerings revolves around how cold the data is.

“Q-Cloud Archive is online storage, and is almost instant, so you can take content in and out at will,” Fredrick said. It is available now in the Americas.

“Q-Cloud Vault, on the other hand, is cold storage, which is put in the cloud for a minimum amount of time, and takes longer to get back out,” Fredrick added. It is scheduled to be available in the second second half of the year.

Fredrick said that Q-Cloud Archive has three major value propositions.

“First, it is super easy. It is managed within StorNext 5, and you just need an activation fee to use it. You don’t have to change any applications, which is important in media and entertainment. Second, it’s flexible, so you can take things down to reduce costs if you want. Third, it’s reliable, because with AWS, you have a global cloud provider with ample access. Direct support is provided from Quantum though,to maintain connections with customers.”

The third new solution, Q-Cloud Protect for AWS, is offered as a subscription service through the Amazon Marketplace, and lets customers replicate from either a physical or virtual DXi appliance on premise to a virtual DXi instance in the AWS cloud. Q-Cloud Protect for AWS will be available next quarter.

“It provides that Cloud Protect data protection service in AWS, and has support for Fed customers in AWS US GovCloud,” Fredrick said.

For Quantum’s channel partners, this is essentially a turnkey solution, Fredrick said.

“The channel doesn’t have to sell this, because it arrives when the customer upgrades, and every customer the channel partner talks to about it, gives them commission on the backend,” he said. “For some, it’s a gap filler until the customer’s capital funding comes in.”

While Quantum is relatively new to the cloud, their reseller partners are a mixed bag here.

“We have some very large resellers who had already set up their own clouds, but for many partners, being able to offer a cloud solution was something new,” Fredrick said.