Array, Tape Get Speed Jolt

StorageTek also approaching the debut of BladeStore, its first disk archiving product.

StorageTechnology Corp. plans upgrades to disk and tape products, as well as its first foray into the disk archiving space.

The company, also known as StorageTek, this week will unveil its D280 array, which is manufactured by LSI Logic Corp.s Storage Systems group, based in Milpitas, Calif., and features 2G-bps Fibre Channel ports. The array can scale to 37 terabytes, and the company will position it as an alternative to other midrange products, such as EMC Corp.s Clariion CX-600, said Tom Major, vice president and general manager for disk storage for StorageTek.

The D280 is an upgrade of the Louisville, Colo., companys D170 series. The D178 model holds 40 terabytes, using 181GB drives spinning at 7,200 rpm, while the D280 has reduced capacity, with 141GB drives, but runs at 10,000 rpm, Major said.

Pricing for the D280 starts at about $90,000 for a 1-terabyte unit and includes SANtricity 8.3, the latest version of StorageTeks storage area network management software, Major said. New in Version 8.3 is automatic support for Veritas Software Corp.s Dynamic Multipathing technology; previously, SANtricity required manual configuration.

StorageTek this week will also announce a high-end tape drive, the $39,500 T9940B. It holds 200GB, transferred at 30MB per second, with 2G-bps Fibre Channel and Fibre Connect, or FiCon, ports. That compares with 60GB at 10MB per second and 1G-bps SCSI and Enterprise Systems Connection, or ESCon, ports for the T9940A model.

Central Missouri State University runs 2 terabytes on StorageTeks Shared Virtual Array product. The Warrensburg, Mo., college is planning upgrades for online bill payment, Web-based applications, electronic document management and an Oracle Corp. database, all of which will support its growing data storage needs. "Were growing 25 percent a year," said James Piatt, assistant director for computer support services. "Theres no end in sight." But while CMSU could use the new products, Piatt said it would have to consider one thing first: cost. "The potential for us being able to utilize any of that is exactly zero, and the reason for that is entirely financial," he said.

StorageTek also has a new disk archiving product on its road map, called BladeStore, to compete against EMCs Centera and Network Appliance Inc.s NearStore products. BladeStore will debut in mid-October, using a combination of LSIs technology and StorageTeks own software, Major said. Like the Centera and NearStore products, it will use low-cost ATA drives to hold data thats frequently accessed but rarely changes.