BlueArc gets into the storage fast lane

BlueArc has launched a multi-tiered storage system that analysts say brings traditional hierarchical storage management up to date

Storage firm BlueArc on Monday launched an enterprise storage system that enables companies to manage their high-performance, general purpose and off-line data from a single interface.

The BlueArc Multi-Tiered Storage (MTS) solution is designed to remove the need for maintaining more than one storage system. By consolidating real-time, general and off-line data, enterprises can manage their data more efficiently and save costs, said BlueArc.

MTS is an updated version of the traditional Hierarchical Storage Management (HSM), which first came onto the scene more than 10 years ago.

"The idea of MTS is a throwback to HSM which, when it first appeared, was relatively difficult to get going because it required a lot of design," said Tony Lock, chief analyst at Bloor Research. "(The concept of consolidated storage) lets companies decide the most appropriate way to keep their information available," he added. "If data needs to be accessed quickly, it can be kept on expensive storage platforms; if the users can wait for access, cheaper hardware can be used. We now have very clever software that lets us use cheaper hardware."

"Storage users wish they could have all their data available online, but they can't afford the cost of Fibre Channel/SCSI-based disk array systems," said Roger Cox, chief analyst, disk storage platform systems at Gartner. "The development of disk array storage systems that encompass both Fibre Channel and ATA drives is a watershed for the storage industry," added Cox.

British American Racing (BAR), a Formula-1 team based in Northamptonshire, recently implemented MTS in an attempt to reduce costs.

"After last year's cost-cutting programme, redundancies meant that key people in our tech team were doing IT support instead of more important tasks," said David France, head of IT at BAR.

"We had an easy upgrade path and were able to implement BlueArc technology very quickly. Now, if our CAD designers mess something up, there is far less angst and aggro when getting back to data they changed three hours ago," said France.

"Over the next 12 months, we want to migrate our car telemetry data, and database profiles to the BlueArc system, but for now, we have only implemented it where it was most critical to do so," added France.

"Essentially, HSM is coming into its own, and that is due to the improved management software," added Lock.

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