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BlueArc Titan to Battle Giants

Armed with a wad of cash and a new storage system, BlueArc Corp. is looking to break out of the high-end niche into the mainstream NAS market.

BlueArc today announced the Titan, a NAS device with a single file system that grows to 256 TBytes and transfers data at 5 Gbit/s. The file system has been tweaked to partition data into virtual volumes, which means BlueArcs device can read small files better than the vendor's previous offering, which supported 98 Tbytes of storage but wasn't equipped for small files.

BlueArc's older product found a home mostly in high-performance computing, life sciences, and digital storage environments. The vendor hopes the Titan can win it a place among traditional enterprise NAS systems.

“They’re expanding beyond the niche market they’ve been in,” says analyst Arun Taneja, founder of the Taneja Group. “It gives them an opportuntity to go into markets where they had no prayer before.”

Besides the new file system, BlueArc uses a chassis-based architecture that lets customers swap four application-specific blades for flexibility and performance gains down the road. For instance, companies can exchange a 4-Gbit/s blade for a 10-Gbit/s blade when the higher rates become available. BlueArc CEO Gianluca Rattazzi says the Titan’s system will eventually support 20-Gbit/s speeds over the next two years by swapping out blades.

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