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.
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
Dave is an IT consultant and freelance journalist specialising in hands-on reviews of computer networking products covering all market sectors from small businesses to enterprises. Founder of Binary Testing Ltd – the UK’s premier independent network testing laboratory - Dave has over 45 years of experience in the IT industry.
Dave has produced many thousands of in-depth business networking product reviews from his lab which have been reproduced globally. Writing for ITPro and its sister title, PC Pro, he covers all areas of business IT infrastructure, including servers, storage, network security, data protection, cloud, infrastructure and services.