NEC Unveils Radical Unified Storage System

NEC combines archiving and backup in one very high-end unit.

NEC on Sept. 18 launched a storage system with what it calls a "radical new approach" to data storage, claiming that it is the industrys first unified disk storage platform optimized for managing backup and archive data at the same time.

NEC HYDRAstors HS-Series array grid storage system offers "unrestricted scalability, easy management and safe deduplication for archive and backup at a lower total cost of ownership than traditional solutions," Karen Dutch, NECs general manager of advance storage products, told eWEEK.

"This really is radical—nobody else has yet combined archive and backup," Dutch said. "And we made it easy for non-IT people to use. All you do is plug it into one of our own prewired racks, and the system does everything from there. It takes less than 45 minutes to get it into an archive or backup state."

Many existing backup and archive systems are siloed or patched-together products based on incremental changes in technology, Dutch said. These types of systems can increase cost and complexity and often lack the scalability to meet the massive data growth that data centers everywhere are experiencing.

"Other disk-based platforms are delivered as point products with disparate architectures, leading to increased IT complexity and cost," Dutch said. "HYDRAstors grid storage architecture and self-managing features can effectively deduplicate data inline at 14,000M bps to minimize capacity costs without sacrificing performance."

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Click here to read about how NEC is making inroads into the U.S. market with its storage arrays.

NEC HYDRAstor really is a next-generation storage system for both disk backup and archiving, said Heidi Biggar, an analyst at the Enterprise Strategy Group in Milford, Mass.

"It allows users to do both on a single platform and, importantly, apply data deduplication across both to eliminate redundancy between the two," Biggar said.

Other compelling features of the HYDRAstor platform, Biggar said, include enhanced data resiliency, provisionless capacity management and a grid-based scalable architecture, which allows users to scale capacity and performance independently and swap out old technologies for new ones nondisruptively as they become available.

"These are key components of what ESG refers to as an enhanced storage tier and represent a significant step forward for storage," Biggar said.

Deduplication occurs across all data, regardless of its origination point, Dutch said.

The HYDRAstor HS8 is the first offering in a series of new high-end products from NEC, Dutch said. More products will be announced later this year and early next year, she said.

NEC, based in Irving, Texas, will start shipping the HYDRAstor HS8 with limited availability on Sept. 26 and general availability on Oct. 26. Three preconfigured models will be available: the HS8-1010 with 150TB of capacity, the HS8-1020 with 900TB of capacity and the HS8-1080 with 3.6PB of capacity.

HYDRAstor is not cheap, with pricing starting at $165,000.

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Chris Preimesberger

Chris Preimesberger

Chris Preimesberger is Editor of Features & Analysis at eWEEK, responsible in large part for the publication's coverage areas. In his 12 years and more than 3,900 stories at eWEEK, he has...