StorageTek has launched an appliance enabling users of expensive disk from the likes of EMC, IBM and HDS to mirror to its cheaper D Series midrange arrays, or replicate to one of its ATA-based devices.

The MirrorStore device is a Linux server running the mirroring/replication modules of the IPStor technology from its technology partner Falconstor. Jay Seifert, manager of disk product marketing at StorageTek, said it makes it possible to develop data protection strategies without being tied in to the respective mirroring or replication technologies of the vendors of the original disk.

If the target for the operation is a D Series, for instance, i.e. a more economical Fibre Channel alternative than an EMC Symmetrix or DMX, IBM Shark or HDS Lightning, MirrorStore could be used to mirror volumes. If a still more economical alternative is required, replication to StorageTek’s ATA box is a possibility, the difference being that mirroring to ATA would be inappropriate, given the commodity disk’s performance characteristics.

Seifert said StorageTek sees the MirrorStore appliance as “paving the way for ATA to enter the enterprise data center.” He added that the next version of the company’s EchoView continuous online backup and recovery technology, which is currently offered as an appliance with internal SCSI disk, will also be a standalone device designed to sit in front of an ATA-based array.