BlueArc Titan 3200 a giant among NAS systems

The new BlueArc Titan 3200 shows significantly improved performance over previous models.

Moving beyond file systems

If you expect to go beyond the 256TB limit of a BlueArc file system, or if you want location-independent shares, the Titan offers a powerful CNS (Clustered Name Space) option. Conceptually similar to Microsoft DFS, Titan's CNS makes user directories immune from any move (users always find their files at the "same" network drive), and lets you put the aggregate capacity of multiple Titan file systems to good use.

CNS is easy to set up from the multifaceted management GUI. A wizard leads you through the steps: First you create a namespace, which also establishes the root for all future directories under CNS. The next step is creating a CIFS share or an NFS Export on that root, which you should do to keep files from different departments separate, for example. The next step is to link an existing file system to the CNS folders.

That's how you migrate existing folders to CNS and how you can bring multiple file systems under the same name space. In my case, I had only two file systems to add.

It's important to note that adding an existing folder to CNS is a disruptive action. For users to reach their files at the new location, they will have to point to the CNS address of their folder. I typed a simple net use command in Windows and immediately gained access to the new folder under CNS.

It's the price to pay to start with a global name system, but after the folder is under CNS, any subsequent moves -- to balance load across file systems, for example -- will be transparent to users. Moreover, as mentioned, CNS opens wider horizons of capacity and performance. Depending on your requirements, that could be a compelling reason in itself to consider the Titan.

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