Storage has added a new array to its FlexLine V-Series with twice the capacity of the current V2Xf.

The new V2X4f can store 23TB and is, StorageTek claims without figures, 40 percent more efficient because of its new IPX5 processor card.

The V2X4f has a FICON connection to mainframes and uses 146GB drives as well as the 73GB drives used by the preceding V2Xf. It supports only the z/OS and z/VM operating systems, whereas the V2Xf supports a wide range of OSes including Solaris, HP-UX, Windows and Linux.

It may seem odd that a new high-end array has less connectivity and server support than the previous system. This may be to do with the coming acquisition of StorageTek by Sun.

StorageTek OEMs its drive arrays from Engenio. Sun's high-end arrays come from Hitachi Data Systems and it resells TagmaStore as its StorEdge 9990 with up to 330TB capacity and support of most Unix, Linux and Microsoft server operating systems. The V2X4f, even if it had the Fibre Channel connectivity and server O/S support needed couldn't compete with its much lower 23TB capacity, not being scalable enough.

The V2X4f is a virtualising array and has in-built multiple SnapShot data copies and restores, DB2 image copy via SnapShot and Virtual Concurrent Copy, and also peer-to-peer remote copy (PPRC). It should be appreciated by capacity - only 11.5TB - and performance-constrained V2Xf customers.

By making the V2X4f a mainframe connect-only device there is some chance it will survive the Sun acquisition as Sun wants to get into the mainframe data centre market. However the 9990 also has ESCON and FICON connectivity and works with all OSes except Z/VM. On top of this it can virtualise other vendor's arrays.

It appears to offer Sun an array with both mainframe support and compatibility with open systems servers. Compared to this the V2X4f array looks limited in capacity, scalability, mainframe O/S support, open systems server O/S support and it has no multi-vendor virtualisation capabilities.

In contrast, Engenio's newest array, the 6998, offers three times the V2X4f's capacity, up to 67TB, and has 4Gbit/s Fibre Channel support.

The 40 percent performance improvement claims over the V2Xf is an overall number - it's not illustrated with either IOPS or Mbit/s data.

V2X4f prices with 73GB drives are between $140,000 and $220,000. The V2X4f with 146GB drives is priced from $150,000.

StorageTek is dropping hints that the new version of its virtual tape library - VSM - will use the V2X4f array.