With virtualisation being increasingly rolled out across many data centres and server rooms, Quantum has this week begun shipping a module that will allow for the backup and restoration of VMware ESX virtual servers on its DXi-Series of disk backup systems.

Quantum is best known for providing backup, recovery, and archive options, and the new module, called Quantum esXpress, basically creates virtual backup appliances within physical VMware servers. This effectively removes the need for physical servers in order to start a backup job and move data, says the company.

That may be, but one area that is proving to be tricky for IT managers is dealing with the growth of data duplication within virtual server environments. As the esXpress module works across the entire DXi-Series, which features deduplication and replication technology, the IT manager now has a combination that can help eliminate the duplicate data that virtual machines create, thereby reducing storage needs and streamlining the entire backup process.

"Virtual server environments are rife with duplicate data, making them an ideal candidate for backup to a capacity optimised repository like the Quantum DXi-Series," said Jeff Boles, senior analyst at Taneja Group.

"The Quantum esXpress product virtualises backup appliances and mobilises the virtual backup infrastructure for better, more granular management. When combined with Quantum's broadly integrated, distributed deduplication solutions, esXpress simply kicks over many of the obstacles that stand in the way of good virtual server data protection," he added.

"The combination of esXpress and the DXi-Series provides an affordable, effective solution for backing up virtual machines," said Janae Lee, senior VP of marketing at Quantum.

The esXpress software module comes in two versions, namely the Professional and Enterprise editions.

Every DXi2500-D, DXi3500, DXi7500 Express and DXi7500 customer has the right to a licence a free copy of esXpress Professional software for one physical VMware ESX server. The esXpress Professional licence is included at no additional cost. Additional esXpress Professional licenses cost $950 (£580) each and support up to four virtual backup appliances.

Users can also upgrade to esXpress Enterprise, which supports up to 16 backup appliances per ESX server, for an additional $950.

Meanwhile, at the same time as the launch of esXpress, Quantum has also announced the availability of the Scalar Key Manager Appliance, which integrates directly with Quantum's Scalar tape libraries. This appliance provides a centralised security solution that is designed to generate, maintain and synchronise encryption keys for LTO-4 tapes.

It can manage encryption across multiple Quantum tape libraries in multiple locations, such as remote or branch offices.

Pricing for the Key Manager starts at just under $12,000 (£7,320).