StorageTek Unveils SATA Arrays


StorageTek used its annual Forum customer event, held this week in San Antonio, Texas, to unveil a new line of storage arrays.

Officials of the Louisville, Colo.-based storage vendor showed its new FlexLine 600-series of arrays. The 600-series, the company's first to use SATA hard drives, is focused on capacity-centric applications, said J.R. Roedel, senior director for ILM solutions.

StorageTek also told solution providers and end users at the conference that its D-series and B-series of arrays, aimed at more performance-centric applications, are being renamed the FlexLine 200-series and 300-series.

Going forward, the company's arrays will be split between capacity-centric models, for such applications as data archiving and information lifecycle management where performance is not a requirement, and performance-centric models for such applications as on-line transaction processing and databases, Roedel said.

StorageTek's move to embrace SATA further legitimizes the technology, which has now been embraced by most major vendors, said Michael Fanelli, western regional manager of SSI hubcity, a Metuchen, N.J.-based solution provider.

"A lot of people have downplayed SATA because of questions about its reliability," he said. "But the more people who get on the bandwagon, the more it becomes a viable technology."

The FlexLine 600 series is a new blade-based array design based on the company's BladeStore architecture, said Roedel. When it ships starting in the first half of next year, it will be available starting at 3 Tbytes of capacity, with 500-Gbyte incremental capacity increases available.

The series is being built for use in data archiving, fixed-content and other applications where highest performance is not required, Roedel said. "This is much less about the access, and more about the writeability," he said.

Jay Seifert, manager for StorageTek's ILM solutions marketing, said the 600-series fits well with the channel because of its focus on the midrange.

The FlexLine 200 and 300 series, in addition to the new name, are getting an enhancement to allow them to offer asynchronous disk-to-disk mirroring for disaster recovery purposes, said Seifert.

Also new is an open systems version of StorageTek's Virtual Storage Manager, which until now had only been available for the mainframe market, said Mark Lewis, product marketing manager.

VSM is aimed at turning disks into virtual tape drives, and can create multiple copies of a data volume using nearly any tape technology, Lewis said.

VSM Open Systems has a data throughput of about 600 Mbytes per second, or the equivalent of 12 LTO-2 tape drives, said Lewis. The new model scales from about 6 Tbytes to about 40 Tbytes. It is available to StorageTek's channel partners, he said.