StorageTek Ships Shared Virtual Array

Late last year, Storage Technology Corp. (StorageTek, issued a statement proclaiming that its restructuring efforts would focus on three key areas: virtual disk architecture, tape automation, and SAN technologies.

One of the company’s first products to meet the three target areas, Shared Virtual Array (SVA) 9500, shipped in the middle of February. Code-named Eclipse, this latest innovation in the company’s virtual disk architecture is designed to handle data growth and manage large amounts of data with enterprise-class availability.

An International Data Corp. (IDC, white paper on virtual storage architectures says content-focused computing is making the need for storage and information management critical.

StorageTek says virtual disk architecture is designed to meet the growing storage needs of traditional enterprises and dot-com companies. For example, when using Virtual Power Suite’s SnapShot with the SVA 9500, customers can cut backup time significantly, making applications available to users faster. Virtual Power Suite is a data duplication and movement software package.

Roger Archibald, vice president and general manager for the enterprise disk group at StorageTek, says the only way legacy architectures can make data available this quickly is to use significantly more disk space, greater server resource, and construct complicated management processes.

"The Shared Virtual Array 9500 allows data centers to meet the same storage challenges as legacy storage products with fewer people, fewer servers, and less disk space," he explains.

The product is available with optional Fibre Channel connections and Virtual Power Suite. These new SVA 9500 platform capabilities let customers develop and deploy applications, recover applications, and manage consolidated storage environments.

Incorporated into Virtual Power Suite, SnapShot -- StorageTek’s data duplication software -- provides solutions such as SAP with a round-the-clock solution, allowing companies to back-up business critical data and meet availability schedules.

Additionally, StorageTek offers the Shared Virtual Array Administrator, a software management interface that provides a unified view of all Shared Virtual Arrays in the enterprise.

IDC’s white paper explains that traditional approaches to storage architecture may inhibit access to content and may limit IT’s ability to exploit such content. According to the report, a virtual storage architecture meets the content-driven needs of today, and will continue to be effective in the future.

The SVA 9500 is available for HP-UX 11 and Solaris operating systems. Versions for Windows NT/2000 and AIX will ship in the second half of this year.

This doesn’t mean the product cannot be used with NT or AIX, rather that the complete set of software management functionality won’t be available until later in the year.

"Customers should expect more products focused on virtual disk architecture, SAN, and tape automation from StorageTek in the future," StorageTek’s Archibald says.