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NEC Solutions 2500 Storage Array

NEC's S2500 Storage Array has much to recommend it to businesses that value flexibility in their storage environments. Similar in architecture to EMC's Clariion CX500 but with a lower price and faster host connections, the S2500 lets you build dynamic RAID sets to which you can add drives for growing storage requirements.

The S2500 squeezes a pair of active-active redundant RAID controllers, each with 4 GB of battery backed-up cache, a pair of redundant power supplies and 15 Fibre Channel drives into a 3U rack-mount enclosure. If you need more than the 4.5 TB of disk space you can cram in the base cabinet, you can add up to seven drive cabinets for a total of 120 Fiber Channel or lower-cost, higher-density SATA drives, or a combination of the two.

Everybody In!

You can build fixed-size RAID sets (pools, in NEC lingo) using RAID 1, 10, 5 or 50, or any combination of these. Most vendors only give you the option of static pools, but NEC goes one better with support for dynamic pools using RAID 6. It's a lot easier to manage your disk space using dynamic pools: If you need to expand the logical drive for an Exchange database on a static RAID set, you must have enough free space in that RAID set or move that drive to a RAID set that does. With a dynamic pool you simply add one or two new drives to the pool, creating space for expanding the logical drive. You can find a similar feature in some storage products from Hewlett-Packard and Xiotech, but it's still relatively rare.


• Can mix FC and SATA drives
• Has high speed FC interfaces

• Supports dynamic RAID sets


• Confusing documentation
• A la carte feature pricing
• Drive cabinet interconnect interfaces just 2-Gbps

NEC Solutions 2500 Storage Array, starts at $36,520 with four 73-GB FC drives
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