BlueArc has announced its Titan SiliconServer, a modular network storage product that scales such that a single file system can grow up to 256 terabytes. Its throughput is up to 20 Gigabits per second (Gbps). BlueArc says this is best performance and return on investment in the storage industry.

The idea is that so-called forklift upgrades aren't necessary with this box. You start small and grow to a huge extent, up a 0.25 petabytes of NAS storage.

BlueArc claims that Titan seamlessly integrates into its Silicon Information Network, a management framework that provides a single point of control for global storage assets. This unified data infrastructure is said to simplify management and allows administrators to instantly grow or partition data storage to meet changing business needs.

Also, within the Silicon Information Network, remote office data can be consolidated into a central data pool using BlueArc's Remote Data Acceleration technology.

Basic Titan delivers 5 Gbps throughput and can scale to 20 Gbps with a single modular upgrade. This enables customers to scale user or application load capabilities.

Accelerated Data Copy technology allows non-intrusive backup and replication between tiers of storage, eliminating backup windows.

BlueArc says Titan's hardware-based Silicon File System supports file systems up to 256 terabytes and utilizes Virtual Volumes to logically partition data for users, groups or departments across the enterprise. Storage administrators can dynamically expand and contract storage allocations to meet changing needs.

This reduces storage management issues, and eliminates the downtime associated with other storage systems during data migration and reallocation, according to BlueArc. The company asserts that Titan's Silicon File System reduces metadata search speed, delivers low latency and maintains performance levels as capacity increases, allowing customers' file sets to grow into the trillions and support up to 60,000 concurrent users.

The claimed management simplification needs carefully looking at as looking after trillions of files, 60,000 users and associated virtual volumes can in no way be viewed as a simple task. Certainly it is simpler to do this with BlueArc's software infrastructure than without it but that is mere self-reference and meaningless.

On message
Customers include Altera Corporation and Harvard University's Life Sciences Division which is certainly on message as far as BlueArc is concerned.

"The key value of Titan is investment protection," says James Reaney, Life Sciences Division, Harvard University, who likes the scalability. "With Titan, we don't have to purchase everything at once, but can scale one shelf at a time -- until we reach 250 terabytes!"

Titan is available immediately starting at £35,000.