Tip

StorageTek brings experience to the fixed-content market with BladeStore

StorageTek announced its entry into the fixed-content data market with the BladeStore disk subsystem. Fixed content data includes items such as financial records, photographs, medical x-rays and MRIs, video, seismic data, books and manuals. Additionally, the subsystem can be used as secondary storage before data is archived to tape or as near-line storage providing faster access to online data.

The BladeStore B150 is the first product in StorageTek's B-Series of disk arrays that will be introduced over the next year. The BladeStore subsystem is an integration of lower-cost ATA disk drives and LSI Logic's Fibre Channel controller and SANtricity management software. The BladeStore disk subsystem can scale from 4TB to 160TB. A single BladeStore disk array contains up to ten storage blades based on ATA disk drives, associated control electronics and array controller with a 2Gbps Fibre Channel interface. The BladeStore storage management software is based on the SANtricity management suite.

StorageTek stated the pricing of BladeStore will vary depending on configuration, but a 4TB BladeStore solution would be approximately $85,000. Availability of the BladeStore solution is November, 2002.

Evaluator Group note: Specifications of the BladeStore disk subsystem have not yet been released.

Evaluator Group comments:

The fixed-content storage market is seen as a growth opportunity by several vendors. The fixed content market is estimated

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to be very large and, according to the UC Berkeley study, represents about 75% of all new digital data. EMC introduced its Centera product last April and more recently start-up Avamar Technologies launched an ATA-based disk array intended for fixed-content data. The common element in these fixed-content arrays is the use of lower-cost ATA disk drives. By using ATA drives the costs can be reduced significantly, however the reliability and performance are also reduced. The logic is that the RAS characteristics and performance of ATA disk drives are acceptable in this secondary storage market. The Evaluator Group examined this issue last year and produced a white paper titled, "Are IDE/ATA Disk Drives a Good Match for Enterprise Systems." This white paper is available from our Web site. Of further interest are the recent announcements by Seagate, Maxtor and Western Digital reducing the warranty period of its ATA disk drives to one year. It is not known at this time how those announcements will influence the warranty period of these ATA-based storage subsystems.

StorageTek brings much experience into the fixed-content storage market due to its tape and library business. The BladeStore subsystem is the latest example of the development cooperation between StorageTek and LSI Logic Storage Systems. We are looking forward to more detail on this product.

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This was first published in November 2002

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