HDS acquires BlueArc … no surprise

After my early morning exercise routine, I sat down with my laptop hoping to start a new blog entry when a certain HDS news caught my eye. Here’s one of them.

It is of no surprise to me because all along, HDS hardly had a competitive, high-end NAS to compete of their own. Their first Linux-based NAS sucks, and HNAS wasn’t really successful either. But their 5-year OEM with BlueArc gave HDS an strong option to be in the NAS space.

As usual, HDS is as cautious as ever. While the 800-pound EMC has been on a shopping spree for the past 3-4 years, NetApp acquiring a few (note Engenio, Bycast, Akkori, Onaro) along the way, the only notable acquisition made by HDS was Archivas (news here). That was waaaaaay back in 2007. However, what prompted the HDS reaction was a surprise to me. According to Network Computing, it was IBM who wanted to acquire BlueArc, hence triggering HDS to have the first right to fork out the dough for BlueArc.

Why does IBM want to acquire BlueArc? IBM is sliding and lacking the storage array technology of their own. Only XIV and StorWiz(e) are  worth mentioning because their DS-series and N-series belong to NetApp. Their SONAS is pretty much a patchwork of IBM GPFS servers.  In fact, from the same Network Computing article, IBM has terminated their Data DirectNetworks storage back-end and just initiated the sourcing of the storage back-end from NetApp. It is good money to NetApp, but bad for IBM. Their story don’t gel anymore and their platform portfolio staggers as we speak.

This will definitely prompt IBM competitors to sharpen their knives. HP is renewing their artillery with 3PAR and LeftHand, and also IBRIX while Dell is coming out with guns blazing from Compellent, EqualLogic, a bit of Exanet and pretty soon, Ocarina Networks (this is a primary storage deduplication technology). Though Dell lost market share in the last IDC figures, and most likely because of lost EMC sales, they seem to be looking good with Compellent and EqualLogic. HP, is still renewing, and perhaps when they are done ditching their PC business, they should have more focus on the enterprise. Meanwhile, HDS has been winning market share in the last IDC quarter and doing well with their own VSP and AMS series.

HP and Dell have reloaded, and EMC and NetApp coming into the market as storage juggernauts. IBM cannot afford to sit quietly. How long is IBM prepared to do that as the world passes them by?

As for HDS, they are pitching their story together. AMS on the low and mid-end, VSP on the mid to high end. BlueArc fits into the NAS and scale-out NAS space. Yup, they are getting there.

We do not hear much about BlueArc from HDS Malaysia, but be prepared to know more about them soon. Wonder how HDS would rename BlueArc? H-BLU? H-ARC?

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About cfheoh

I am a technology blogger with 30 years of IT experience. I write heavily on technologies related to storage networking and data management because those are my areas of interest and expertise. I introduce technologies with the objectives to get readers to know the facts and use that knowledge to cut through the marketing hypes, FUD (fear, uncertainty and doubt) and other fancy stuff. Only then, there will be progress. I am involved in SNIA (Storage Networking Industry Association) and between 2013-2015, I was SNIA South Asia & SNIA Malaysia non-voting representation to SNIA Technical Council. I currently employed at iXsystems as their General Manager for Asia Pacific Japan.

3 Responses to HDS acquires BlueArc … no surprise

  1. Ammar says:

    Bluearc is actually the product called HNAS today in HDS. Bluearc and the Archivas product, which is called HCP now, works seamlessly to move data by policy to an ‘archive’ storage container. There’s also the Hitachi Japan built product called HDI, which is a cache type appliance using NAS protocols front end, and REST backend to transfer the data to a centralized HCP stack.

  2. Freddy says:

    DS8000 is IBM technology. Not NetApp’s. You oughta see IDC’s latest figures for ASEAN before you write them off.

    • cfheoh says:

      Hi Freddy

      Thanks for sharing the info. I am responsible for what I wrote but I was wrong. Obviously, you are in a better position to highlight the state of IBM in the ASEAN region.

      I am offering you a guest writer spot in this blog to write about what IBM has to offer. You can put in a blog entry when you are traveling and there’s no pressure. I have always intended to pass this blog and also the unofficial Facebook group to be consolidated under the SNIA Malaysia umbrella. SNIA Malaysia is not just about Heoh Chin Fah alone. That is one of the reasons why I have asked Edrick to participate and help out in organizing the Tech Tutorial. Likewise, I am offering you to do the same in this blog.

      I have spent a lot of my energy and personal sacrifice to get SNIA Malaysia going. It’s starting to move after almost 2 years and I am glad that people are getting off the fence to participate in what we do. I am not after glory writing this blog and I can be controversial some times. But the whole exercise is to get people like you guys to be part of what we are doing with SNIA. The other day CC Chung, Country Manager of HP Malaysia for Storage, expressed his interest to work with SNIA. I like that.

      I guess I am one of those nerds/geeks that wants to see what we are doing in this storage industry to thrive and be recognized for our efforts to promote technology, just like what we dreamed of what our IT brothers are doing in the Silicon Valley. Sharing of knowledge breeds innovation, community and we see little of that here in Malaysia. SNIA Malaysia could be such a platform to do just that.

      So, what do you say, brother? Want to be a guest writer?

      /Chin Fah

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