In an effort to escape its label as a niche market player and oust EMC Corp. and Network Appliance Inc. from their seats atop the network-attached storage (NAS) market, BlueArc Corp., San Jose, Calif., has announced the Titan SiliconServer, which allows a single file system to grow up to 256 TBs and delivers throughput speeds of up to 20 Gbps.
The secret of BlueArc's speedy throughput and scalability lies in the SiliconServer Architecture, which moves typical software-based functions into programmable hardware. But Titan won't get you 20 Gbps right away. The system starts off at a 5 Gbps throughput rate and can scale to 20 Gbps through modular upgrades.
BlueArc's president and CEO, Gianluca Rattazzi, said Titan's hardware-based Silicon File System supports file systems of up to 256 TB and utilizes "virtual volumes" to logically partition data for users, groups or departments. The result, according to BlueArc, is a reduction in storage management problems. Additionally, the tool eliminates the downtime caused during data migration and reallocation.
Randy Kerns, senior partner and analyst at the Evaluator Group Inc., Greenwood Village, Colo., said the Titan puts a new twist on BlueArc's existing technology by allowing users to cluster NAS controllers for scaling.
"[Titan] allows them to scale larger in performance and capacity, up to a point. The point is how many NAS controllers they can put together," Kerns said.
Titan's Silicon File System also reduces metadata search speed, delivers low latency and maintains performance levels as capacity increases. Titan also incorporates BlueArc's multi-tiered storage (MTS) technology for automated information life cycle management capabilities.
Keep an eye on NAS makers like BlueArc and Network Appliance. There are some interesting management features that are about to pour into the NAS market. According to Kerns, one of the big developments coming for NAS vendors is the ability to be managed and reported on by storage resource management tools using the Storage Management Initiative Specification (SMI-S) standard. "We're watching that closely to see which NAS vendors have made commitments in this area," Kerns said.
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