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BlueArc Reveals Customers: Page 2 of 3

All three customers are using the new equipment for fairly mundane applications. In Extreme's case, the Si7500 is being used to speed up demonstrations of gigabit Ethernet switching gear in the company's executive briefing center. Juniper, which makes high-speed routers, is using it as a file server for its engineering development team. And Altera, a manufacturer of programmable silicon, is using the server for backup at its corporate headquarters.

Altera also has a pre-existing relationship with BlueArc, because it supplies part of the silicon on which the Si7500 is based.

While none of the companies would say how much they'd spent on the new gear, BlueArc's director of product marketing, Bart Bartlett, says the deals fall within the range of the startup's average selling price of $200,000 per customer.

Today's announcement may help BlueArc prove it's on the map at last. But sources say the battle is far from won. IDC's Gray, for instance, says BlueArc is challenged to prove it can deliver not only speed and throughput but also breadth of enterprise-related functionality, including things like data copy and backup.

BlueArc says it's on the case already. To quote Bartlett, the Si7500 has been integrated with backup software and an enterprise tape backup from "all of the major providers." Within the next couple of weeks, he says, BlueArc plans to officially announce full integration of its NAS gear with specific partners' wares.