By Ann Silverthorn
—With the first major software release for its Titan NAS storage systems, BlueArc hopes to break into new markets. Key components in the software suite include the following components:
Virtual servers—This feature allows administrators to create up to eight logical servers on one physical system. Each virtual server has its own separate IP address, management address, and dedicated port bandwidth. Administrators can manually move virtual servers or set them up in a clustered configuration so they will automatically move in case of a fail-over. The storage layer is separate from the processing layer.
Policy-based data migration—The Data Migrator feature uses rules, parameters, and triggers to move data between storage tiers. It includes "what if" analysis tools to use prior to moving the data. It also provides policy templates based on last access time, so that data not accessed in a specified time period can be moved to less expensive storage devices. This feature also has a scheduler so that migration can be done on a one-time only or on a recurring or test basis.
iSCSI support—BlueArc officials say that support for iSCSI enables users to receive the virtualization, data protection, and data management features found with NAS, but with block-level storage. Each Titan can support more than 8,000 LUNs. An additional benefit is that existing Titan users will be able to add iSCSI to support more applications on one consolidated infrastructure. "Users can add Microsoft Exchange, databases, and stranded DAS servers to their NAS systems," says Jon Affeld, BlueArc's director of product marketing. "In the past it's been expensive or complicated to move to a Fibre Channel SAN."
Remote volume mirroring—This feature allows two systems to create block-level, real-time copies at two different locations up to 10 kilometers apart for metro configurations, or up to 500 meters in campus environments. The Remote Volume Mirroring feature is available in asynchronous or synchronous versions.
The software suite also includes support for a write once read many (WORM) file system that prevents data from being modified or deleted for user-specified time periods.