StorageTek Bulks Up ILM

The Lousiville, Colo.-based storage vendor last week unveiled a new appliance aimed at easing the archiving for compliance and regulatory purposes. The appliance also serves as a proof point that Sun is getting more than just a tape manufacturer in its proposed $4.1 billion acquisition of StorageTek.

The IntelliStore Intelligent Archive Solution is a Linux-based appliance that captures business data as it is archived and automatically migrates that data based on security, data protection and regulatory requirements, said Brenda Zawatski, vice president and general manager of the company's ILM solutions group.

Sun, which Zawatski said was familiar with both the IntelliStore and StorageTek's entire product road map before offering to acquire the vendor, will be able to use the new appliance and other products as part of a major push into the ILM space, said Mark Teter, CTO of Advanced Systems Group, a Denver-based Sun solution provider.

"A big part of ILM is off-line storage, and StorageTek does that better than anyone," Teter said. "It's a nice solution set to have in your pocket. I'm really bullish about this merger."

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StorageTek's new appliance stores data and metadata separately. It provides inline hashing of the files, WORM (write once, read many) storage, and audit trails of file access for security purposes. It also allows stored files to be searched using the metadata for compliance and regulatory discovery, Zawatski said.

The files are stored on a StorageTek FLX600 storage array, the company's flagship disk-to-disk storage subsystem which was introduced last year and was designed mainly for backup purposes, Zawatski said.

With IntelliStore, StorageTek is aiming for the midrange compliance storage market now dominated by EMC's Centera. Zawatski said the IntelliStore offers a data throughput speed of 120 Mbytes per second, compared with 6 Mbps for Centera. And with a price of $75,000 for a 4-Tbyte configuration vs. $85,000 for a 2.2-Tbyte Centera, it is also more cost-effective, she said.

Unlike Centera, customers looking for lower-cost, highly scalable capacity for ILM will be able to connect StorageTek tape to the FLX600, Zawatski said. However, that ability is not yet available.

Dan Carson, vice president of marketing and business development at Open Systems Solutions, a Yardley, Pa.-based solution provider who works with StorageTek, said the IntelliStore gives the storage vendor market presence in the archiving space, despite EMC's better software integration with its Centera appliance. "But the IntelliStore's a worthy competitor," he said.