StorageTek has launched a mid-range, rack-mounted system which the firm has claimed will be ideal for information lifecycle management (ILM) applications.
The StreamLine SL500 uses similar technology to the recently launched, high-end SL8500 but fits into standard cabinet racks.
One cabinet accommodates a base unit, which carries the robotic head, and up to four expansion units. The base units can accommodate up to 50 slots and the expansion units up to 130. This allows up to 500 slots in one full-length cabinet, with a capacity of about 100 terabytes.
Roger Smith, managing director of StorageTek reseller Solid State Solutions, said a standard rack lay-out will enable resellers to build an entire entry-level ILM solution in a box with NAS, disk, blades and tape in one unit.
StorageTek refused to reveal pricing at the launch, but Smith said: "It will need to be competitive. This is StorageTek's main product to replace older kit. The big feature is that it scales."
According to Jeff Hodgins, StorageTek's vice-president for global business development, the market opportunity is in the tens of thousands. He said 62,000 high-capacity, tape library units shipped last year.
Hodgins added that the initial market for the SL500 will be in upgrades and replacement, but he said growth will come through ILM where StorageTek could have the edge over EMC.
"ILM is important and it is a question of whether the customer wants open ILM or closed ILM. We are far more heterogeneous than EMC," Hodgins claimed.
Annie Rickard, marketing manager at VAR TriSys, said: "The SL500 is exciting. It will replace the Powderhorn in some large companies, especially in the finance and insurance markets."
Sun and StorageTek also announced that they are extending their relationship to include the SL8500, which Sun will sell as part of its StorEdge product line.
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