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StorageTek Boosts Tape Storage Efficiency

StorageTek releases a combination of hard disk drives, tape drives, and management software.
IT organizations often complain about tape storage because they let the number of drives grow like weeds and rarely know how much capacity is available on any of them. Storage Technology Corp. (StorageTek) will continue to address that problem with Monday's introduction of Virtual Storage Manager 4.

VSM 4 is a combination of hard-disk drives, tape drives, and management software that lets customers process data quickly without spending though the roof for a complete hard-disk drive system. VSM 4 will provide a better-performing front end for existing StorageTek tape libraries. The goal is to extend the life of some of those tape libraries while cutting down on the number that customers must retain.

Compared with VSM 3, VSM 4 supports four times the virtual tape drives, four times the capacity, and twice the performance. Available now, mainframe-based VSM 4 is priced at $500,000.

An industry analyst says the upgrade brings VSM to a higher level in a two-horse race. "VSM is now more competitive against IBM's [Virtual Tape Server], and customers have always played the two off of each other," says Fara Yale of Gartner. "The disk capacity is higher, and they increased the performance, which was behind IBM before."