NEC unveils grid storage system

By Kevin Komiega

-- NEC today announced the second generation of its HYDRAstor HS8 grid storage system with new storage and compute nodes that bring higher capacities and faster speeds at a lower cost than its first-generation products.

The HS8-2000 Accelerator Nodes (ANs) and Storage Nodes (SNs), which will begin shipping later this month, can be added into existing HS8-1000 grids and offer a 400% capacity increase, 300% more performance, and 70% less power consumption than their predecessors.

The key to the HYDRAstor grid is its ability to scale performance and capacity independently while maintaining a single point of management. The HYDRAstor HS8-2000 ANs provide 300MBps of throughput, while the new SNs offer a raw capacity of 12TB and effective capacity of 157.5TB assuming a 20:1 de-duplication ratio.

An entry-level configuration of one accelerator node and two storage nodes provides approximately 315TB of effective capacity with 300MBps throughput performance.

NEC also beefed up the replication capabilities in the HYDRAstor HS8-2000 with many-to-one replication functionality through the company's RepliGrid technology. RepliGrid provides asynchronous grid-to-grid replication for disaster recovery with data de-duplication across all HYDRAstor grids.

HYDRAstor comes with NEC's DataRedux technology, which uses a distributed hash table to de-duplicate data within a single pool for both backups and archives. Additionally, NEC's Distributed Resilient Data (DRD) technology protects de-duplicated data based on user-configurable settings.

NEC's vice president of advanced storage products, Karen Dutch, says the real benefit of the HS8-2000 is its ability to ride the hardware curve and utilize new technologies as they become available, making it a "self-evolving" storage system.

"Customers can add second-generation Accelerator Nodes and Storage Nodes non-disruptively to a first-generation HYDRAstor grid because it supports multiple generations of hardware in a single system," says Dutch. "They can mix and match nodes, and the pricing is 40% less than first-generation nodes in terms of cost per terabyte or cost per megabyte per second."

Five pre-configured models of the HS8-2000 will be available, including two stand-alone versions and three versions in dedicated cabinets with switches and cabling pre-installed. Pricing starts at $180,000 or $0.57/GB for a configuration with one AN and two SNs.

NEC has tested scalability to 165 nodes with a variety of configurations, including 16,500MBps throughput with 17.3PB of disk capacity and 9,900MBps with 20.8PB of capacity.

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This article was originally published on September 09, 2008