Not Just Another Upgrade

StorageTek is overhauling Virtual Storage Manager, its virtual tape storage solution — and is making it clear that this is not just another product upgrade announcement.

“We’re not talking a minor point upgrade here,” a company spokesman says. “It’s a major step for VSM.”

The new VSM 4 boasts 2-4 times the capacity and performance of VSM 3, including 256 virtual tape drives for VSM 4 (versus 64 for VSM 3); a four-fold
increase in maximum effective capacity, from 3.78 terabytes to 15; and a new platform for native FICON, among other upgrades.

StorageTek reports VSM accounts for roughly 63% of worldwide shipments of virtual tape devices, citing Gartner Dataquest, compared to about 37% for
IBM’s Virtual Tape Server.

“Virtual tape technology delivers on numerous value propositions to enable mainframe enterprises to achieve advanced storage performance and increased
resource consolidation,” says Nick Allen, vice president of Storage Research at Gartner.

With VSM 4, StorageTek claims customers in mainframe environments will see big gains in storage performance, capacity, connectivity, resource utilization, and functionality.

“StorageTek believes that businesses must have the right information on the right device at the right price and time in order to successfully and cost-effectively manage their business,” says Gary Francis, StorageTek vice president and general manager of Automated Tape Solutions. “The new performance and functionality enhancements built into VSM 4 help customers make the most of their current investments and allow them to maximize their existing infrastructure. At the same time, VSM 4 offers a wide range of flexible disaster recovery and business continuity features — one of the biggest IT concerns faced by businesses today.”

VSM 4 offers quadrupled capacity and virtual drive capabilities and much improved performance and connectivity, according to StorageTek. It also sports a Web-based graphical user interface (GUI) and utilizes disk buffering technology for disk-speed data access and throughput for rapid response times, high-speed transaction processing, and time savings.

VSM 4 supports multiple StorageTek automated tape technologies and is designed to extend the value of customers’ investments in StorageTek products, the company says. It conserves existing tape storage infrastructure and media while reducing the amount of floor space required for traditional tape storage systems.

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