StorageTek to Offer New Disk Systems, Software


StorageTek will turn another page in its information
lifecycle management (ILM) strategy Tuesday, rebranding its storage systems
and software to staunch issues and problems associated with data protection.


At the StorageTek Forum 2004 in San Antonio, the company
will rename its key disk storage family FlexLine in order to reflect a more unified
approach to helping customers better protect and manage data from its
creation until its disposal.


The Louisville, Colo., concern, jockeying for position with IBM, EMC and HP to win as many customers as possible with
its brand of ILM, will also unveil a new virtual tape system.


In a briefing before the event, Jay Seifert, senior manager of product
marketing in StorageTek’s ILM Solutions Group, said FlexLine provides
customers a safe way to store, manage and retrieve files such as e-mail,
photos, spreadsheets and other unstructured information.


V-Series disk systems will become FlexLine V-Series storage systems, which
are distinguished by virtual, mainframe technology that handles heavyweight
applications for enterprise resource planning or customer relationship
management.


D-Series and B-Series storage systems will be rebranded as FlexLine 200
Series and 300 Series storage systems. These systems are modular and are
built to handle many transactions for markets such as financial services.


Seifert said new offerings, such as the 2 gigabit-per-second FLA300 disk
array and FLX210 storage system, have been created to help customers corral
data in a cost-effective way.


The FLA300 and FLX210 are fitted with asynchronous disk-to-disk mirroring
that allows corporations to replicate data from afar and reduce the chances
of data loss in the case of a disaster or outage. Targeted for smaller
businesses, the FLX210 supports up to 14 SATA disk drives internally and
scales to 112 SATA disk drives in total.


The systems are powered by the company’s SANtricity 9.1 software, which helps customers mix Fibre Channel and ATA arrays in the same subsystem. The
software and new systems will be available tomorrow, with the FLA300 offered
at $15,000 and the FLX210 priced at $10,000.


Seifert also said the FlexLine 600 Series systems will be unveiled at the
Forum as a major extension to the company’s BladeStore family. The system is
based on an intelligent storage processor and boasts a new blade design,
using less expensive SATA drives that scale in increments of 500 gigabytes
for granular growth.


The low capacity entry point to the FLX600 is 3 terabytes and the system
will be available in the first half of 2005, with pricing to announced at
that time.


On the software side, virtualization has been high on just about every
storage vendor’s priority list. EMC, Hitachi Data Systems and IBM have all
taken steps to fortify their products with technology that allows multiple
incarnations of an operating system to be managed as one through a console.


Russ Kennedy, director of software product management in the ILM Solutions
Group at StorageTek, said officials will provide a sneak peek at its Virtual
Storage Manager (VSM) Open Solution, a virtual tape library geared for data
backup, recovery and protection.


Based on the FlexLine 600 architecture, VSM Open is a disk-based virtual
tape library optimized for open systems backup and recovery. Armed with a
single interface, the software allows IT managers to share backup and
restore resources across many backup servers and multiple applications.


The product’s virtualization features allow IT managers to boost the number
of available tape drives and help eliminate errors so they do not affect
the tape applications. The company will offer it in a four terabyte
configuration that can scale up to 44 terabytes with up to 600 megabytes per
second of data throughput for speedy data transfer.


The software can support up to three million virtual tape volumes and has a
total of four Fibre Channel ports. Availability will be first half of 2005,
with pricing to be announced when it becomes available.

News Around the Web