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Quantum is releasing a full-featured but turnkey data deduplication solution (DXi4500) for the SMB market (500Gb to 3Tb) intended to fill the gap between a barebones solution (DXi2500) primarily targeted at branch offices and the cost-conscious, and the midrange NAS and OST solution (DXi6500) rolled out earlier this year. With deduplication considered one of the hottest markets in 2010 and one of the biggest channel opportunities, Quantum is joining a host of companies that have made deduplication announcements recently, including Compellent, Bocada and Nexenta.

While it seems everybody is rolling out a deduplication or replication solution, the market is dominated by the likes of EMC, NetApp, Symantec and IBM. And more than 75 percent of data deduplication solutions are still sold direct by vendors, so there’s a lot of potential for IT solution providers to establish a practice specialty, especially as vendors like Quantum introduce channel-friendly products designed for the largely untapped SMB market.

Shipping at the end of the week, the DXi4500 deduplication and replication appliance solves a number of business issues, Mike Sparkes, Quantum’s disk product marketing manager, tells Channel Insider. These include: improves backup performance by 2 to 3X on average; is designed to be simple to implement and operate and work with existing backup software; reduces media costs by 48 percent on average; can reduce or eliminate the need for tape at branch offices by cost-efficient replication for centralized backups; and can reduce management costs with automated, integrated management software.

The market – and channel – opportunity is huge, says Sparkes. According to a recent ESG survey-less than one third of companies are using dedupe but more than half plan to implement dedupe within the next year or so. “We see this as a large opportunity.” He thinks the main barrier has been the perception that deduplication is challenging and risky, and Quantum’s response was to make the DXi4500 “as simple and as easy as possible to deploy.”

The appliance and Quantum’s sales strategy were also designed with the channel in mind, he adds. Partners have been asking for a streamlined solution and processes to speed up their ability to sell, install and maintain. And the bundled software is free, unlike that of competitors, says Sparkes. "It’s installed, licensed and ready to go for the basic purchase price."

There are two members of the new line, the 4510 (2Tb) and 4520 (4Tb) and they are priced an average of 15% lower than the key competitors – EMC Data Domain and Exagrid — starting at $12,500 MSRP. The new features, pricing and processes should also prove attractive to the company’s 5,000 channel partners, most of who have not been able to address the SMB dedupe market with a Quantum solution.

The company has started a full-court press on bringing its channel up to speed on the DXi4500, with product information, certified training programs, an enhanced demo program, and promotions.

To learn more about the deduplication market and the persistent backup challenges addressed by the DXi4500 appliances visit this podcast by Sparkes.