Storage Technology Corp. this month is shipping a major upgrade to its core V960 Shared Virtual Array product.
The upgrade, the V2X Shared Virtual Array, boasts higher disk usage rates than the V960, plus RAID 6 and Fibre Channel drives, instead of the V960s older SSA (Serial Storage Architecture) drives, said Mike Kelly, director of online storage development at the Louisville, Colo., company.
By using a new system cache, similar to that used by Hitachi Ltd. in its high-end systems, the V2X appears as a 40-port Fibre Channel switch to its front- and back-end ports, Kelly said. "It allows you to have a lot more bandwidth into and out of the cache," at 1.6GB per second vs. 200MB per second in the V960.
The V2Xs total capacity is 3.9 terabytes for open systems, with 4,096 logical unit numbers, vs. 4 terabytes and 1,024 LUNs for the V960. Its new Fibre Channel drives are 36GB, 15,000-rpm units from Seagate Technology LLC vs. the prior designs 19GB, SSA, 10,000-rpm units from IBM.
Drives of 73GB will soon be available, which will double the overall capacity, Kelly said.
Meanwhile, RAID 6 stripes data at the block level across drives, like the more common RAID 5, but it performs a second parity calculation. That results in slower write times but makes the array more reliable because it can survive simultaneous drive crashes.
The V2X ships Sept. 16, with pricing starting at $150,000 for half a terabyte. It has built-in virtualization features. Mainframe support, known as FiCon, or Fibre Connect, will be available next year, Kelly said.
The changes are nice but not enough to warrant an upgrade, said Bob Mounts, technology leader at Logan Aluminum Inc., in Russellville, Ky.
"Im completely satisfied with what Ive got now," Mounts said. Logan Aluminum uses 2.5 terabytes of the V960, having switched from EMC Corp.s Symmetrix product in February, based on pricing and StorageTeks snapshot features.