BlueArc Group Titan 3200

The Titan justifies a stiff price tag with stellar performance, top-notch scalability, advanced storage management features, and a smooth admin GUI

BlueArc Group Titan 3200
  • BlueArc Group Titan 3200
  • BlueArc Group Titan 3200
  • Expert Rating

    4.50 / 5


  • Management tools, performance, scalability


  • Adding an existing folder to CNS is a disruptive action, expensive

Bottom Line

Combining exceptional scalability, stellar performance, powerful storage applications, and management tools that make even the most complex tasks seem easy, the BlueArc Titan 3000 sums up the best of what you can expect in a file serving system. The Titan is a good fit for demanding environments, where its scalability and admin-friendly features can offset a somewhat challenging price.

Would you buy this?

[Note: pricing for this product is in $US.]

We don’t have Olympic Games for file server systems but the SPEC SFS (System File Server) benchmark serves as the next best thing, providing a comparable rank of file server performance. If you sifted through all of the SPEC SFS results published to the SPEC Web site, you'd find that the fastest NAS systems are from NetApp, BlueArc, and EMC, who take what in Beijing would have been a gold, a silver, and a bronze medal, in that order.

Like Olympic records, SPEC results tend to change over time. In fact the current top 10 list, which reflects results as of June 18, 2008, looks quite different from a SPEC SFS results snapshot I took about two years ago.

Other differences aside, one important fact I want to highlight is that the new BlueArc Titan 3200, which the vendor announced in March, shows significantly improved performance over previous models, and puts the Titan 3210 Cluster into second place for number of operations per second, surpassed only by the NetApp Data Ontap GX.

With the Titan 3000, BlueArc claims to have doubled the theoretical performance of its systems, a claim the company has maintained at each major release. Combined with a full set of storage applications including snapshots, replication, mirroring, and WORM (write once read many) capability, to give only a short list, the amazing performance trajectory provided enough incentive for me to review the system.

I conducted the review at the BlueArc Customers Training Lab in San Jose, where BlueArc had prepared a redundant test bed with two Titan 3210 servers connected via FC (Fibre Channel) to a SATA storage array with 90 drives and a second array with 128 FC drives. A separate machine ran the BlueArc management software.

Network, storage, and file system modules

The Titan 3210 has a modular hardware architecture with four blades mounted horizontally, each providing specialized functionality. For example, the NIM (Network Interface Module) blade hosts six GbE or two 10G Ethernet ports and controls connectivity to the application server side of the storage network.

For storage connectivity, the Titan 3210 mounts a SIM (Storage Interface Module) with eight FC ports. Each of the remaining two slots of the unit hosts a FSM (File System Module), which manages protocols such as CIFS, NFS, and iSCSI.

While more primitive NAS solutions run on beefed up servers and queue up parallel tasks on general purpose processors, each module in the Titan 3210 has built-in ASICs programmed to execute in parallel. Multiple dedicated chips on the NIM handle IP, TCP, and UDP, speeding up processing of multiple tasks in parallel. Similarly, the FSM takes advantage of ASICs to expedite the processing of file operations.

Other performance-enhancing features include battery-backed NVRAM (Non-Volatile RAM) and, in clustered configurations, an optional Dynamic Read Caching feature. Dynamic Read Caching expedites read access to selected files while maintaining a consistent cache across as many as four nodes.

How far can you push a Titan 3200? According to BlueArc's specs, the system can scale as much as 4 petabytes of storage, with each file system ranging up to 256TB. Performance rates are on the order of 1600 megabytes per second and as high as 380,000 I/O operations per second.

Getting to know the beast

Perhaps even more impressive than those hardware specs is the Titan's software architecture, which is easy to navigate from its browser-based management GUI. The Titan organizes storage in file systems, storage pools, and system disks. Each system disk contains a number of physical disk drives and assigns properties such as RAID level and the granularity of each storage fragment.

Join the newsletter!


Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill


I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?