"In contrast to IBM's holistic approach, BlueArc,
NetApp and Panasas attack the I/O challenge differently. BlueArc
and Panasas primarily leverage the evolving architecture of the
Parallel Network File System (pNFS), which allows clients to access
storage devices directly and in parallel. NetApp's secret sauce is
something called a performance acceleration module (PAM).
"The pNFS architecture eliminates the scalability and
performance issues associated with older NFS servers in deployment
today, said Gerard Sample, senior manager of product marketing at
BlueArc, whose Titan products support both NAS and SAN.
"Sample said pNFS is important because it brings together the
benefits of parallel I/O with the ubiquitous NFS standard."