September 9, 2011 – Hitachi Data Systems announced an all-cash acquisition of BlueArc Corporation, with plans to build out its networking storage and big data capabilities.

An investor and partner with BlueArc for the last five years, Hitachi purchased the remaining shares to finalize the transaction, according to a news release.

BlueArc provides high-performance NAS solutions particularly meant to address unstructured, file-based and digital content information. The company claims 1,000 customers in the fields of health and life sciences, media and entertainment, telecommunications, energy and e-discovery, according to its website.

In a statement on the deal, Hitachi said it would seek to harness BlueArc’s capabilities with big data across its three main components for virtualized information centers: infrastructure cloud, content cloud and information cloud.

Andrew Reichman, Forrester Research principal analyst in the storage space, says the deal is practical from the standpoint of the existing sales and partnership agreement between the two providers. Additionally, the acquisition gives Hitachi a boost in file-based sharing that it had to this point treated as “a bit of an afterthought” in its overall portfolio. On the surface of its offerings, Hitachi’s deal for BlueArc is not unlike what HP got in cloud storage provider 3Par, following a bidding war with Dell, Reichman says.

Going forward, the struggle for Hitachi may be its efforts to quickly build out cost-efficient data scaling offerings based on BlueArc’s technology for more enterprises with more mainstream or commodity-based needs.

“[BlueArc] has a high performance product with high scalability, and for companies that need that level of performance, it’s a good thing. You could make the argument that for the general purpose base, it may be overkill and more performance than many companies need and are willing to pay for,” he says.


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