The confusion over NAS vendor BlueArc Corp.'s commitment to building clustering software -- following the dismissal of a key member of its clustering team -- turns out to be a storm in a teacup.
Of the 12 engineers working in this group, one has been fired due to "productivity issues," according to a BlueArc insider. The company declined to provide the name of the engineer or the circumstances surrounding his departure. However, the team's chief architect, Francesco LaCapra, is still on board, and the group is in better shape than ever, BlueArc officials say.
BlueArc's position on clustering hasn't changed. "You're always better off with a single product rather than stringing lots of boxes together when it comes to total cost of ownership and reliability," says Geoff Barrall, co-founder and CTO of BlueArc.
Using the analogy of network switches, Barrall points out that nobody would install multiple 10/100-Ethernet switches to obtain gigabit-per-second throughput. Rather, they'd install a Gigabit Ethernet switch. "You go with the fastest technology available," he says.
BlueArc's highest-capacity box, the Si8900, offers 2-Gbit/s Fibre Channel to disk and supports up to 228 Tbytes of storage. In other words, 228 Tbytes is a helluva lot of storage in a single system, so clustering a couple of these babies together probably isn't necessary for most organizations. [Ed. note: 100 Tbytes is roughly equivalent to 25 billion pages of text, which is quite a lot of data, you'll agree.]