BlueArc Titan 2000 Adds Virtualization, Global Namespace Muscle

The new boxes are designed to push NAS scalability heights by featuring new virtualization, global namespace and 10G Ethernet capabilities.

Doubling the performance of its first-generation Titan network storage system and allowing a single storage pool to swell to 512TB, BlueArc rolled out its two Titan 2000 Series products on Feb. 6.

The new boxes are designed to push NAS (network-attached storage) scalability heights by featuring new virtualization, global namespace, and 10 Gigabit Ethernet capabilities.

The Titan 2000 family is currently available and consists of two models: the Titan 2100 Storage System and the Titan 2200 Storage System.

The Titan 2100 Storage System provides 5G bps and scales up to 256TB.

Its larger brother, the Titan 2100 Storage System, is constructed to deliver up to 512TB and 10G bps of throughput.

The boost in power should help storage administrators "turn up the volume" and squeeze more performance from existing storage devices to help consolidate multiple systems and increasingly complex application architectures, said Michael Gustafson, president and CEO of San Jose, Calif.-based BlueArc.

BlueArc is extending its virtualization reach as part of the new Titan 2000s.

The BlueArc hardware can serve as enterprise virtual servers and break up into smaller pieces and optimize those resources for specific jobs or function.

That functionality can be coupled with a new global namespace unified directory that provides access to a shared consolidated pool of virtual storage on the backend.

Both Titan 2000 Series offerings are fitted with six Gigabit Ethernet ports and four 4GB Fibre Channel ports.

Each also features a 10GB cluster interconnect port between systems and a single unified namespace between clustered Titan devices behind a 40GB backplane.

The Titan 2000 systems can offer up to 100,000 SPECsfs (system file server) operations per second on a single node.

That number climbs to 200,000 SPECsfs operations per second in a dual-node configuration.

According to Gustafson, existing Titan customers can upgrade their systems to either a Titan 2100 or Titan 2200 by performing an exchange of modular blades.

"Customers are encountering serious problems today. As they add more scale or more applications on that [storage] device, theyre running into bottlenecks," said Gustafson.

"The promise of transparency and seamless migration of that data is a challenge."

One customer who turned to BlueArc to overcome growing bottleneck issues is Kevin Jacobs, vice president of Technology Services for Atlanta, Ga.-based DTI Global.

/zimages/1/28571.gifTo read more about BlueArcs Titan SiliconServer modular network storage appliance, click here.

An electronic discovery firm, DTI Global takes terabytes of information and turns it into Microsoft SQL Server databases, GIFs, and turns native files for document review into a Web-hosted environment to allow its customers to review pertinent data online to assist with their litigation or cause.

Often tasked with finding "smoking gun" e-mails on behalf of clients and being involved in high urgency/high volume data acquisitions, Jacobs said his organization needed resolve troublesome I/O issues in its storage devices.

"We move millions of small files per day in our network [via] our 150 data processor servers that tend to see data all at once. We were having I/O issues on our storage devices," said Jacobs, who is running the twin-head Titan 2000.

"We were overloading the Windows and NAS environment. We had about 40TB of storage in that configuration, but it couldnt keep up with the I/Os—the devices would hang, and we couldnt get the full performance out of [our] system while moving files, running backup tapes, and still generating more files…so we started looking at faster NAS."

In addition to examining BlueArcs tools, Jacobs said he evaluated products from Network Appliance and EMC to alleviate his throughput snafu.

He said that BlueArc is currently testing more than 10 times faster than DTI Globals previous storage environment and is "easily double" what the company saw from competing products it brought in.

DTI Global is also taking advantage of the Titan 2000 Series virtualization functionality.

Jacobs said he is using the hardware to de-commission old devices but keep existing file share names—despite the data being moved to new boxes—to maintain and easily access legacy data for customers when necessary.

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