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Sun adds bargain line to StorageTek family

Thumper given SMB storage duty

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Sun wants to squeeze its StorageTek boxes into some tighter spaces with a new virtual tape library box aimed at the SMB market and back office environments.

The new StorageTek VTL-Value uses the same code and capabilities as its heftier StorageTek counterparts, but is the first in the family to be built on the Sun Fire X4500 server (aka Thumper).

The system is available in a one-size fits all configuration, which Sun says keeps the customer cost down. The box has 24TBs of raw capacity, utilizing 48 500GB SATA drives in a 4U design. The system runs on two AMD Opteron 2.6GHz dual-core processors with Solaris 10 pre-installed. VTL-Value provides four 2Gb Fibre channel ports (two redundant) for replicating data on a centralized site and 4 Gb Ethernet ports.

The 128-ZFS file system is pre-configured for RAID Z protection. The system propagates storage not as 6+1 RAID, but as a single pool of storage, so no volume management is required.

Sun storage exec Dan Albright sees the VTL-Value fitting into the low-end space where new hardware can wreak havoc on the strained nerves and budgets on an IT staff. Albright said the StorageTek VTL-Value can reduce the costs of power consumption by 50 per cent than other combos of a server, fabric and disks.

In addition to Sun application software, the initial release will support the following third party software: Symantec NetBackUp, Legato NetWorker, IBM Tivoli Storage Manager, and CA BrightStore. Future releases will enable support of BakBone NetVault, SyncSort Backup Express, Commvault Galaxy, Symantec Back-up Exec, Atempo Time Navigator and HPOpenView Storage Data Protector.

Albright said additional speed and capacity is on its way to the StorageTek VTL-Value. In the next couple of months, Sun plans to integrate Thumper's ability to use 750GB SATA HDDs into the VTL line, giving the Value a total raw capacity of 36TB. The next version of the Value, expected to be out calendar Q1 in 2008, will enable use of 4Gb channel speeds - although Albright said in most cases that kind of performance isn't needed or demanded in the low-end market.

Installation includes hardware and basic software installation, which includes the configuration of two virtual libraries, two host servers, five virtual tape drives and the VTL console. It's available now starting at $84,995. ®

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