BlueArc to boost capacity to SiliconServer

Taking the idea of SAN (storage area network) and NAS (network attached storage) convergence one step further, storage server company BlueArc Corp. will bring added management features and scalability to its SiliconSever Si7500 product beginning next month.

BlueArc has its SiliconServer on display here at Storage Next 2001, a sister show of Internet World Fall 2001.

BlueArc's SiliconServer is a unique hybrid product that combines Ethernet-based NAS capabilities with Fibre Channel SAN equipment in the same chassis, according to Bart Bartlett, the director of product marketing for BlueArc, based in San Jose, Calif.

Within a 72-inch system cabinet, BlueArc's SiliconServer offers fast storage throughput of as much as 2000Mbps for serving files directly to a network's IP Ethernet. SAN-style disk arrays to store the data are housed in the rear of the SiliconServer and connected through short Fibre Channel relays.

Scalable to 250TB, the SiliconServer combines the simplicity of IP-based NAS storage with the capacity of a SAN, Bartlett said.

In January, BlueArc will update its SiliconServer to Version 1.2, adding additional management features, HTTP capabilities, and an update of the user interface.

By the second half of 2002, BlueArc will offer an increased level of volume expansion with Version 2.0, making it possible for customers to add 16TB at a time with a single volume addition.

Both upgrades to SiliconServer will make it easier for BlueArc to compete with NAS competitors such as Network Appliance (NetApp), officials said.

Bartlett admits that although more established NAS companies such as NetApp currently offer a richer feature set, BlueArc's SiliconServer still has the competition beat as far as data throughput, thanks to the close proximity of the IP NAS connections to the SAN disk array on the back plane of the system.

Outboard Fibre Channel and SCSI connections are also available for the SilconServer.

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