At last. Hitachi Data Systems is buying hardware-accelerated filer supplier BlueArc for an undisclosed cash sum, leaving NetApp as the last significant man standing from the filer side of the industry and giving HDS a powerful file storage capability. An OEM relationship has been in place between HDS and BlueArc since 2006, and …
hp bought polyserve(?) which did NAS for a while, LSI bought onstor.
I always wanted to see the performance of a hardware accelerated BlueArc paired with a hardware accelerated 3PAR, but BlueArc refused to consider supporting it, I think mainly because HDS has their hands so far up BlueArc's ass that they wouldn't allow it. Any high end disk system behind BlueArc had to be HDS, nothing else. Low end was always the LSI stuff. I replaced a 512-disk BlueArc (mix nearly 50/50 SATA-I and 10k FC with 3 non clustered head units) with a 200-disk SATA 3PAR+Exanet a few years ago. Newer system ran faster, more usable space, more functionality etc in half the floor space/power/etc.
The LSI storage was the bad part about BlueArc(at the time at least), from a NAS perspective they had some good stuff, just wanted to put a good storage system behind it. Exanet used the same LSI storage back then for their low end disk, and I heard non stop horror stories from them about the disk, even the IBM OEM'd LSI stuff was horrid(what Exanet used) , entire arrays would go offline for many minutes at a time and then come back online all of a sudden as if nothing happened. Exanet was so happy when they could partner with 3PAR on a deal(when the customer could afford it), since it meant they didn't have to worry about the disk anymore.
The LSI controllers(of that era maybe today they are better I don't know) were so bad BlueArc disabled the write cache on all of them as standard practice because performance actually went up when they did because they could do more intelligent caching at their NAS box layer. Which made me question why did they put batteries in the controllers and have us replace them once a year since the batteries were not protecting anything with no write cache.
We had what started out as a scheduled downtime on our BlueArcs several years ago to do a software upgrade(since they were not clustered), but due to mistakes performed by the on site tech the outage went from an intended 2-3 hour outage to upwards of a 10 hour outage because BlueArc lacked the right escalation policies in the company(which was kind of surprising given this was in ~2008, it's not as if they just launched the company). The CEO later sent us a letter telling us how they had changed their operations in response to that particular event. Was an interesting situation.
BlueArc has long supported LSI and DDN (and I believe NetApp) arrays behind their NAS heads. It is/was a unique capability. When I hear about HDS buying BlueArc, my immediate thought is: HDS will not allow this to continue. All BlueArc customer will be pushed to Hitachi backend storage. .I heard a rumor from an "insider" at BlueArc that HDS is saying they will continue to support the other arrays. BUT....I have to think this just for the short term. There will be a cut off point (ASAP in HDS's mind) for adding any non-HDS array behind BlueArc. I can not see HDS continuing the BlueArc model here. Anyone else agree or not??
And not a bad thing really
I have LSI and HDS storage at the back of my Bluearcs. The HDS kit just works. The LSI kit is terrible. I have changed more 'failed' disks in LSI storage in the last two years than in all my HDS and NetApp storage over the last decade and I have about ten times as many HDS/NetApp spindles.
I agree HDS is better quality
But..if you want speed (and not everyone does)...the LSI and DDN boxes give you that. HDS can not match the sustained throughput and become the bottle neck.
I agree HDS is better quality
But..if you want speed (and not everyone does)...the LSI and DDN boxes give you that. HDS can not match the sustained throughput and become the bottle neck. Plus...LSI and DDN cost much less. At scale...performance and price matter more and more.