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NEC Combines Backup, Archiving in De-Duping Grid

The first product family based on NEC Corp. of America's Hydrastor architecture announced in March 2007 addresses some key enterprise storage pain points. And it follows announcements and scuttlebutt from several competitors claiming a similar path.

NEC's Hydrastor HS8 is a disk-based storage system that combines backup and archiving, features a modular architecture, and packs de-duplication and data compression.

The system consists of separate "accelerator" nodes that handle connectivity (up to 2-Gbit/s Ethernet) and NFS and CIFS file protocol support and "storage" nodes added separately for capacity, via 500- or 750-Gbyte SATA drives. Nodes can be set up in distributed fashion geographically, hence the claim for grid capability.

Total raw capacity per storage node ranges from 2.5 Tbytes to 3.75 Tbytes. With integral compression and de-duplication, NEC claims "effective capacities" of 37.5 Tbytes or 56.25 Tbytes. Both kinds of nodes contain dual Xeon processors and sport 6-Gbytes cache.

The HS8 will be available on a limited basis on September 28, with general availability on October 26. Prices start at $165,000 for an entry-level system that supports two accelerator nodes and four storage nodes, contains 150 Tbytes of "effective" storage, and offers 200-Mbyte/s throughput, according to NEC.

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