StorageTek enhances mainframe arrays

By Ann Silverthorn

—StorageTek next week will announce upgrades to its FlexLine V-Series Shared Virtual Array (SVA) V2X disk storage systems for mainframe environments. The announcement will be made at the SHARE conference, a five-day IBM user event in Boston.

The SVA V2X4f will replace the V2Xf array and will offer twice the capacity and up to a 40% improvement in workload and response time performance. It will also support large volumes and parallel access volumes (PAVs) for ease of management and improved efficiency. The V2X4f is designed for native FICON connectivity in z/OS (for IBM zSeries 900 mainframes) and z/VM (the newest virtual machine operating system).

"The SVA is a base platform for not only the V2X4f, but also for the VSM [Virtual Storage Manager] product," says John Szlendak, StorageTek's product marketing manager for FlexLine V-Series. "A lot of the enhancements we're making to the platform are also going to be leveraged into the VSM." VSM is a virtual tape library that acts as a buffer between mainframe servers and tape storage systems. It allows reads and writes to virtual drives rather than physical drives.

In addition to the V2X2f's increased capacity (23TB) and improved processing power, customers will have the ability to use 100% of the capacity by utilizing virtual drives and defining their own volume sizes. Those sizes can be larger or smaller than the usual 3390-3 format. Customers only pay for the amount of physical disk they use rather than under-allocating and over-purchasing capacity.

The SVA family, which includes the V2X, V2X2, and the new V2X4f, uses StorageTek's Virtual Power Suite software, which provides disk mirroring, replication, and high availability capabilities. Szlendak says performance is enhanced inside the box, so when users do peer-to-peer remote copy (PPRC) they can have an instant snapshot, allowing the data to travel in a compressed fashion, improving speed.

StorageTek's SnapShot enables instant snapshots or copies, which is of particular use to software test and development teams because it enables them to use fully functional copies, which reduces time to market. SnapShot also allows instantaneous backups of data sets for disaster recovery applications and offline data processing. SnapShot is also integrated into DB2 databases (IBM-DFSMS), allowing users to make instant, concurrent copies of their DB2 environments for fast backup, according to Szlendak.

Pricing for the V2X4f with 73GB drives ranges from $140,000 to $220,000. The V2X4f with 146GB drives starts at $150,000.

This article was originally published on August 17, 2005