StorageTek is hoping to grab the middle ground in storage back-up with its BladeStore high-capacity disk storage system.
BladeStore, which will ship in January 2003, starts at 4TB and holds 10x800GB drive blades or 8TB in a single 6U high rack. A full 160TB subsystem fits into three cabinets.
The data storage firm hopes to occupy the space between costly high performance online disk and low-cost, low-performance tape back-up subsystems.
Partitioning allows a single BladeStore system to be shared between up to 64 host systems in a storage area network (San) environment. It also includes a 2GB fibre channel fast San and direct-attach storage connection.
StorageTek's Application Storage Manager software can manage different levels of storage.
"This will be disruptive technology," said Kevin Bailey, director of strategy and communications at StorageTek UK. "It is ideal for general purpose secondary storage where fast access is needed. It works out at less than 1p per megabyte."
The system is designed for fast retrieval from large static content, such as broadcast applications and for email.
Zarah Damji, storage research specialist at analyst firm IDC, said BladeStore was aiming at the fixed content market already attacked by EMC's Centera and Network Appliance (NetApp)'s NearStore disk, but that it had broader scope.
"I also like the built-in functionality for automatically 'expiring' data to tape at a later date. The power to manage data later is important," she added.
European pricing has yet to be finalised.
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