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Storage Lego

My grandson's favorite game reminds me a lot of the storage market. Like putting together an "exo-force" with Lego pieces, organizing a blockbuster "transformer" in the data center calls for just the right set of elements, assembled in the right order.

The news is full of examples of this -- the alliance between HDS and BlueArc being the latest. (See HDS, BlueArc in Big NAS Deal.) Here we have a key storage vendor reaching out to partner with a nimbler, smaller (albeit not that small) player that has technology to extend the scalability and functionality of disk arrays.

The HDS/BlueArc deal, like many others lately, features NAS as the key Lego element for systems that incorporate file- and block-level capability. Last week, Dell announced the first storage system build around Microsoft's Windows Unified Data Storage Server 2003. (See Dell, Microsoft Team on NAS-Plus-iSCSI.) The key theme? Combining NAS with iSCSI block-level storage a la NetApp and HP. (See HP Fills In SMB Storage.)

A recent Byte and Switch poll confirmed user interest in the combined file-and-block approach to NAS, although quite a few questioned its immediate value to their sites.

Incidentally, check out our poll on the HDS and BlueArc pairing. We'd love to get your take.

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