StorageTek Aims for the Middle

Prepares to launch new addition to its D-series, claiming it will fill its midrange void

September 10, 2003

2 Min Read
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As part of Storage Technology Corp. (StorageTek)s (NYSE: STK) ongoing effort to make a name for itself on the disk side of the storage divide, the company is gearing up to fill a gap in the middle of its primary disk portfolio.

At Storage Decisions in Chicago tomorrow, StorageTek will announce the availability of the latest addition to its primary disk subsystem D-series family, the D240, which is aimed at the midtier. StorageTek licenses the product from LSI Logic Storage Systems Inc., which also OEMs storage arrays to IBM Corp. (NYSE: IBM) and Silicon Graphics Inc. (SGI) (NYSE: SGI).

“Previously, with the D-series product line, we really had a void in the midrange,” says Jeff Sisilli, StorageTek’s product marketing manager for the D-series. “There wasn’t a middle ground for price performance. Either we had to ask customers to pay for more than what they needed, or we had to discount deeply.”

With the introduction of the new D240, StorageTek has plugged the hole between its D220 entry-level subsystem and its D280 enterprise-level subsystem, Sisilli says (see StorageTek Ships a Disk and StorageTek Whips Out Bigger Disks). According to recent industry research, the midrange market is where most of the juice is these days (see Report: Midmarket Moving to SANs).

StorageTek is positioning the launch as the next logical step in its information lifecycle management (ILM) strategy, which aims to help customers put different types of stored data on appropriately priced storage. Since all of the D-series subsystems are built on a modular architecture, Sisilli says, companies can simply move the D200 disk drives from one subsystem to a larger one as their storage needs grow, without changing the settings.“This gives them more granularity,” says Evaluator Group analyst Randy Kerns. “They can match the cost and capacity better.”

The new box, which will be available tomorrow, offers 2-Gbit/s Fibre Channel connectivity to SANs and direct-attached storage (DAS), with 112 146-Gbyte drives, and up to 16 Tbytes of raw capacity. It also offers 77,500 I/Os per second (IOPS), compared with 45,500 for the D220 and 148,000 for the D280.

Most impressive, according to Sisilli, is that the D240 offers the same throughput as the company’s high-end box: 792 Mbyte/s.

StorageTek isn’t revealing how much it will charge customers for its new midrange box, but claims the subsystem is priced to be on par with midtier offerings from major competitors like IBM, EMC Corp. (NYSE: EMC), and Hitachi Data Systems (HDS) (see IBM Kicks Up Midrange Storage).

And although StorageTek hasn’t tested the D240 with a single beta customer, Sisilli contends the company has a pipeline of more than a dozen customers ready for the launch tomorrow.— Eugénie Larson, Senior Editor, Byte and Switch

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