Quantum Corporation

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Quantum Corporation
TypePublic: NASDAQ: QMCO
IndustryData storage
Founded1980; 41 years ago (1980)
HeadquartersSan Jose, California, U.S.
Key people
Jamie Lerner, President & CEO
ProductsHigh-Performance Shared Storage, File System, In-Vehicle Data Capture, Hyperconverged Surveillance, Tape Storage Object Storage, Backup Appliances, data protection, and archiving products
RevenueDecreaseUS$ 402.68 million (2019)[1]
DecreaseUS$ 0.8 million (2019)[1]
Increase US$ -42.8 million (2019)[1]
Number of employees
800 (2020) Edit this on Wikidata

Quantum Corporation is a data storage and management company headquartered in San Jose, California.[2][3] The company works with a network of distributors, VARs, DMRs, OEMs and other suppliers.[4][5] From its founding in 1980 until 2001, it was also a major disk storage manufacturer (usually second-place in market share behind Seagate), and was based in Milpitas, California. Quantum sold its hard disk drive business to Maxtor in 2001 and now focuses on integrated storage systems.

History[edit]

Plus Development Corporation[edit]

Quantum was originally a market leader in 8-inch hard disk drives, but missed the industry's transition to 5.25-inch drives. In 1984, a subsidiary was launched called "Plus Development" to focus on new technology development. Plus Development became a successful designer of 3.5-inch drives with Matsushita Kotobuki Electronics (now Panasonic) as the contract manufacturer. Quantum later reacquired Plus Development and was the largest drive producer worldwide in 1994.[6]

DEC storage group acquisition[edit]

In July 1994, Quantum purchased DEC's data storage division.[7][8]

Quantum–Maxtor merger[edit]

By 2000, the hard drive market was becoming less profitable. Quantum decided to sell its hard drive division to Maxtor at this time. The transfer took effect on April 1, 2001. Although Maxtor systematically eliminated much of the staff of Quantum's former hard drive division during the following year, it continued most of Quantum's disk storage products and brands until it was acquired by Seagate Technology on December 21, 2005.[9]

Abuse of CARES Act[edit]

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Quantum was a recipient of a government loan of US$ 10 million as part of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).[10] With a head count of ~800 employees, this would be equivalent of receiving over $12,000 per employee. The program was setup to support small business, however, Quantum drew almost 10 times per employee compared to other corporations.

The SBA sets its size standards for qualification based on the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) industry code, and the size standards for the Computer Storage Device Manufacturing Industry (NAICS code 334112) is 1,250 employees. Quantum qualifies for the PPP which allows businesses in the Computer Storage Device Manufacturing industry with fewer than 1,250 employees to obtain loans of up to $10 million to incentivize companies to maintain their workers as they manage the business disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.[citation needed]

Acquisitions[edit]

A couple of years prior to the 2000 merger of the hard drive division, Quantum began a series of tape technology acquisitions:

  • 1998 – ATL Products, a manufacturer of automated tape libraries.[11]
  • 2001 – M4 Data (Holdings) Ltd., a manufacturer of tape libraries.[12]
  • 2002 – Benchmark Storage Innovations, who manufactured the VStape product line under a Quantum license.[13]
  • 2005 – Certance, the former tape business of Seagate Technology, becoming a member of the LTO consortium.[14]
  • 2006 – Advanced Digital Information Corporation (ADIC), Scalar brand tape libraries, StorNext filesystem and De-Duplication technology.[15]
  • 2011 – Pancetera Software, a specialist in data management and protection for virtual environments, for $12 million.[16]
  • 2014 – SymForm, a cloud storage company.[17]
  • 2020 – ActiveScale object storage business acquired from Western Digital.[18]
  • 2020 – Square Box Systems Ltd, a specialist in data cataloging, user collaboration, and digital asset management software.[19]

Products[edit]

Fireball[edit]

The Fireball brand of hard drives were manufactured between 1995 and 2001. In 1995, 540 MB Fireball hard drives using ATA and SCSI were available.[20] In 1997, the Fireball ST, available in 1.6 GB to 6.4 GB capacities, was considered a top performer,[21] while the Fireball TM was significantly slower.[22]

StorNext High-Performance Shared Storage Systems[edit]

At the core of Quantum’s high-performance shared storage product line is Quantum StorNext software which enables video editing and management of large video and image datasets. StorNext software is a parallel file processing system that provides fast streaming performance and data access, a shared file storage environment for Apple Macintosh, Microsoft Windows, and Linux workstations, and intelligent data management to protect data across its lifecycle. StorNext runs on standard servers and is sold with storage arrays that are used within the StorNext environment. These storage arrays include: • The Quantum F-Series: A line of fast, highly available NVMe SSD flash storage arrays for editing, rendering, and processing of video content and other large unstructured datasets. • Quantum QXS-Series: A line of high performance, reliable hybrid storage arrays, offered with either HDDs, SSDs, or some combination of the two. StorNext software can also manage data across different types, or pools, of storage, such as public cloud object stores and disk-based object storage systems. StorNext supports a broad range of both private and public object stores. For customers that archive video and image data for years, StorNext is also integrated with tape storage, and can assign infrequently-used but important data to tape to create a large-scale active archive.[23]

NVMe Storage Arrays[edit]

In April, 2019, Quantum introduced F-Series, a new line of NVMe storage arrays “designed for performance, availability and reliability.” Non-volatile memory express (NVMe) flash drives allow for massive parallel processing, while the latest Remote Direct Memory Access (RDMA) networking technology provides direct access between workstations and the NVMe storage devices. These hardware features are combined with Quantum Cloud Storage Platform and the StorNext file system to provide storage capabilities for post production houses, broadcasters and other rich media environments.[24]

Tape storage[edit]

Since 1994 when it acquired the Digital Linear Tape product line from Digital, Quantum has sold tape storage products, including tape drives, media and automation. In 2007, Quantum discontinued development of the DLT line in favor of Linear Tape-Open,[25] which it began selling in 2005 following its acquisition of Certance.

In 2012, Quantum introduced its Scalar LTFS (Linear Tape File System) appliance, which offers new modes of portability and user accessibility for archived content on LTO tape.[26]

In 2016, Quantum refreshed its Scalar LTO tape library family and added an appliance for rich media archiving. The three new systems are part of the Quantum Scalar Storage Platform aimed at handling large-scale unstructured data. The Scalar i3 and i6 support LTO-6 and LTO-7 tapes. The Quantum Scalar i3 is designed for small to medium-sized businesses and departmental configurations. It scales up to 3 PB in a 12U rack space.

The Quantum Scalar i6 is a midrange library for small enterprises. It scales up to 12 PB within a single 48U rack.

The StorNext AEL6 archiving appliance combines the Quantum Scalar i6 library with Quantum's StorNext data management software for archive storage. It has self-healing auto-migration and targets rich media use cases.[27]

Disk backup[edit]

Quantum introduced its first disk-based backup and recovery product, the DX30, in 2002 and has continued to build out this product line.[28]

At the end of 2006, shortly after its acquisition of Advanced Digital Information Corporation (ADIC), Quantum announced the first of its DXi-Series products incorporating data deduplication technology which ADIC had acquired from a small Australian company called Rocksoft earlier that year.[29] Quantum expanded and enhanced this product line. In 2012, Quantum announced a virtual deduplication appliance, the DXi V1000.[30]

DXi-Series products incorporate Quantum's data deduplication technology, providing typical data reduction ratios of 15:1 or 93%.[31] The company offers both target and source-based deduplication as well as integrated path-to-tape capability. DXi works with all major backup applications, including Symantec's OpenStorage (OST) API, Oracle SBT API,[32] Veeam DMS,[33] and supports everything from remote offices to corporate data centers. Quantum includes almost all software licenses for each model in the base price. As add-on Customer can buy license (including additional physical RAM modules) and as a result run dedicated virtual machine at the top of DXi hardware (simultaneously with main deduplication technology). This functionality is called DAE (Dynamic Application Environment).[34]

In addition to its DXi-Series of disk backup products, Quantum offered its RDX removable disk libraries and NDX-8 NAS appliances for data protection in small business environments. The company introduced these products in 2011.[35]

In January, 2019, Quantum refreshed its DXi series, with the addition of the DXi9000 and DXi4800. The DXi9000 targets the enterprise market, scaling from 51 TB to 1 petabyte of usable capacity. The 12 TB hard drives allow for more storage using less physical space. The DXi4800 is a smaller-scale appliance targeting midmarket organizations and remote sites.[36]

Virtual machine data protection[edit]

Quantum's vmPRO software and appliances are used for protecting virtual machine (VM) data.[37] vmPRO software works with DXi appliances and users' existing backup applications to integrate VM backup and recovery into their existing data protection processes. It auto-discovers VMs and presents a file system view, allowing users to back up VMs or files within VMs without adding VM-specific agents. When data is read through the vmPRO software, inactive data is filtered out, reducing backup volumes by up to 75% and boosting deduplication rates. To support fast recovery, vmPRO software augments traditional backup with a simple VM snapshot utility that creates native-format VM copies on secondary disk, allowing restore at a VM or at a single file level.

In 2011, the company added the StorNext appliance offerings to its product family. In addition to the StorNext Archive Enabled Library (AEL), the company added a metadata controller (StorNext M330), a scale-out gateway appliance (G300), and several scalable storage systems (QM1200, QS1200 and QD6000).[38] In February 2012, the company bolstered the StorNext appliance family with the addition of the QS2400 Storage System,[39] followed in May by the M660 metadata appliance.[40]

In March 2012, Quantum announced that its vmPRO technology and DXi V1000 virtual appliance had been selected by Xerox as a key component of the company's a key component of Xerox's cloud backup and disaster recovery (DR) services.[41]

In August 2012, Quantum announced Q-Cloud, its own branded cloud-based data protection service, which is also based on vmPRO and DXi technology.[42]

Object Storage[edit]

In late 2012, Quantum introduced the Lattus product family OEMed from Amplidata, an object storage system composed of storage nodes, access nodes and controller nodes for large data stores. Lattus-X was the first disk-based archives in the Lattus family that includes a native HTTP REST interface, and CIFS and NFS access to applications.[43]

Lattus uses fountain codes for wide area networks to provide the same level of protection as Reed–Solomon error correction but with more data protection and higher efficiencies. Quantum promotes it as a storage tier complementing traditional disk and tape.[44]

In 2020 Quantum entered into an agreement with Western Digital Technologies, Inc. to acquire its ActiveScale object storage business.[45]

References[edit]

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  5. ^ "Quantum's New All-Terrain File System Brings Data Insights to Applications". EnterpriseAI. November 24, 2020.
  6. ^ Christensen, Clayton M. (2016). The Innovator's Dilemma : When New Technologies Cause Great Firms to Fail ([Third edition?] ed.). Boston, Massachusetts. pp. 104–105. ISBN 978-1-63369-178-0. OCLC 911172216.
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