StorageTek Unveils New ATA Based Blade Storage Solution

StorageTek today launched what it calls a ‘groundbreaking’ disk subsystem aimed at making online data storage a more cost effective option for businesses with high volumes of essential information.

The company’s new BladeStore Architecture delivers the ability to store large quantities of data in a small footprint. It combines low-cost ATA disk drives for data storage and the performance and reliability of an enterprise class Fibre-Channel disk system. The combination makes the BladeStore disk subsystem ideal for storing online high volume fixed content data — such as video, email, documents or medical images. Additionally, BladeStore is well suited for a data protection environment, such as data replication and backup and recovery.

“The hottest part of the disk array market is happening in the ATA-based area because of falling prices,” said Tom Major, vice president and general manager, Disk Business Unit. “For too many years, the decision to store data online has been driven by economics or limited choices rather than data characteristics. The introduction of the BladeStore disk subsystem means that businesses can now choose the right disk system for the task and make their IT budgets go farther and access their information rapidly.”

ATA disk-based storage systems are a relatively new sector of the enterprise storage industry, but solutions incorporating the technology are becoming increasingly popular as a means of providing high levels of storage at attractive price points.

“StorageTek’s BladeStore disk subsystem doesn’t just change the economics of where data can be stored,” said Paul Carr, StorageTek director of product marketing, Disk Business, Europe, Africa and Middle East. “There are huge benefits to customers’ disaster recovery and business continuity plans.

Arun Taneja, senior analyst with Enterprise Storage Group, said, “I expect ATA disk-based storage systems, ruggedized for the enterprise environment, to play a major role in the upcoming disk-to-disk and disk-to-disk-to-tape data protection schemes, and for general purpose secondary storage. Prices and reliability are now at a point where it makes economical sense to deploy disk systems for storing Reference Information online and to reduce recovery times by an order of magnitude. BladeStore seems to be well positioned to become a foundation product for STK as it builds these solutions.”

The BladeStore disk subsystem scales from 4TB to 160TB in capacity. A single 6U BladeStore disk array contains up to 10 high capacity storage blades based on ATA disk drives, associated control electronics, and Fibre-Channel interface. Each blade consists of five ATA drives which are configured as a RAID 0 array. Multiple blades can then be configured into fault tolerant configurations using supplied management software. The BladeStore has a high-performance intelligent array controller which provides 2Gb host-side connectivity to support direct attach or SAN implementations. This effectively makes the actual configuration of the BladeStore transparent to the host system.

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