By Kevin Komiega
—Sun Microsystems has added to its virtual tape lineup with the launch of the Sun StorageTek Virtual Tape Library (VTL) Value System, a Solaris-based VTL for small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs).
The VTL Value System is Sun's first storage product built on the company's Sun Fire X4500 architecture. The Sun Fire X4500 is a general-purpose x64 server running dual-socket, dual-core AMD Opteron processors that supports up to 24TB using Serial ATA (SATA) drives.
Sun's entire StorageTek VTL product family is powered by the Solaris OS and ZFS file system. Dan Albright, group manager for Sun's VTL Value program, says the VTL appliance integrates with legacy backup products, leverages ZFS to eliminate volume management, and simplifies storage management for SMBs and branch offices with a single user interface.
Albright claims the Solaris OS yields high performance and security benefits, while the 128-bit ZFS file system delivers storage pooling, RAID parity, check summing, and data integrity.
The storage requirements of smaller enterprises often mirror those of larger companies, but the buying criteria for SMBs can be slightly different. Albright says Sun is sensitive to the budget constraints facing SMB users. "The overall problem that users are trying to solve is consistent from the SMB to the enterprise. Everyone wants more efficient backups. At the enterprise level, reliability and availability are the top concerns, but in the SMB space it comes down to price and simplicity."
Pricing for the Sun StorageTek VTL Value System appliance starts at $84, 995 for a 4U, 24TB configuration, including software, installation, and a two-year warranty.
End-user adoption of VTLs is ramping up rapidly. According to an InfoStor QuickVote reader poll earlier this year, 27% of the participants had already implemented at least one VTL, and another 36% planned to deploy VTLs by the end of this year. The remaining 37% had no plans to implement VTLs.