HDS buys BlueArc, any surprises here?

HDS buys BlueArc, any surprises here?

By Greg Schulz

Technically here in the northern hemisphere it is still summer, so there is another summer wedding to announce.

The other day Hitachi Data Systems (aka HDS) announced that they finally tied the knot buying their Network Attached Storage (NAS) partner BlueArc whom they have been in a OEM premarital arrangement for the last five years or so (wow, was that a long engagement or what?). HDS being a subsidiary of Hitachi Ltd. a Japanese company it should be no surprise that they operate in a cool, calculated conservative manner with products that have over the past several decades been known for delivering resiliency, functionality, performance and value.

To those in the IT and specifically data storage industry, the only surprise about HDS buying BlueArc should be what took them so long to do so myself included. With unstructured data, big data, high performance computing, high productivity computing (aka HPC), and big bandwidth needs expanding, it only makes sense that HDS finally ties the knot formally acquiring BlueArc signaling what I hope are a few things for their collective future together.

Things that I hope HDS can accomplish with their acquisition of BlueArc include among others:

  • Leverage the BlueArc hardware and performance combine with the HDS software suite to expand further upstream (and downstream) as well as into different adjacent markets leveraging their success over the long courtship where both parties got to know each other more.
  • Signal to the industry that they are truly committed to a long term NAS product solution strategy. HDS has been doing a good job of sticking with BlueArc for the past five or so years having had several previous NAS partner relationships including with NetApp, NSS and others besides their own internal projects.
  • Expand their focus to lead with NAS pulling storage with it in addition to using NAS to accessorize (or bling aka Mr. T starter kit to go with Mr. T storage videos) storage systems which means of course, going more direct toe to toe with the likes of former partner NetApp, EMC, HP (with IBRIX), IBM and Dell among many others. Ironically former HDS partner NetApp acquired the Engenio storage group from LSI whose products competed with HDS in some spaces, while BlueArc was a Engenio partner.
  • Continue to develop both the hardware and software feature functionality around the BlueArc products in addition to further integration across the joint product lines for both traditional, as well as clustered, scale out, bulk, big data, big bandwidth and HPC environments.
  • Sharpen their NAS message and solution offerings including providing the support, tools and programs to enable both their joint direct sales forces as well as their partner value added reseller (VAR) and channel networks.

Check out (here) some additional comments and perspectives by Ray Lucchesi (aka twitter @raylucchesi) over on his blog pertaining to HDS buying BlueArc.

Congratulations to both HDS and BlueArc along with best wishes, this is a deal that is good for both, now, or once the honeymoon is over, lets see how this is executed upon building on their prior joint success to expand into new market opportunities on a global basis. HDS has tools and people to move into and leverage these new as well as existing opportunities, lets see how they can execute on those hopefully not spending too much time or money on the honeymoon while their competitors are out being busy in some of those same accounts in this last month of an important sales quarter (all quarters are important when it comes to sales).

Disclosure for those interested and FWIW: BlueArc had been a client of StorageIO a few years ago, however not currently. HDS is not nor have they been a client of StorageIO, however in prior life I was a customer of theirs in addition to being a partner and supplier when I was on the vendor side of the table.

Ok, nuff said for now

Cheers Gs

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