NEC HydraStor HS8

Avere Systems Inc. FXT Series

Backup and disaster recovery hardware

Gold Award:

NEC HydraStor HS8

Take the hottest storage technology topics of 2007 -- archiving for ediscovery and compliance, building out disk-based backup systems, clustered/grid storage and data deduplication -- and combine them into one package. What you'll end up with is a new product from NEC Corp. of America that shipped in 2007, dubbed HydraStor HS8.

HydraStor is dedicated to secondary storage and its grid storage architecture is what differentiates it from other disk-based backup and archive systems. In its default redundancy setting, HydraStor will tolerate three simultaneous node failures within the grid without interruption or data loss. Users seeking finer levels of redundancy or who have a large grid can use a feature called Distributed Resilient Data (DRD) to "dial up" the level of parity protection according to their specific environment, creating more parity chunks of data and tolerating the failure of more nodes. In addition to the customizable parity feature, HydraStor automatically rebalances the data across all the nodes in the grid whenever nodes are added, which means that the higher it scales, the more finely distributed data becomes across multiple nodes. Parallel processing can also aid data deduplication performance.

If needed, accelerator nodes can be added to scale the performance of the system from 200 MB/sec up to 1.4 GB/sec. Nodes can have different capacity and performance capabilities and can be added, removed and upgraded nondisruptively. "The performance is impressive," says one of our judges.

The system can theoretically scale out to thousands of petabytes of capacity in 2.5 TB increments; an entry-level system supports 7.5 TB of usable capacity or approximately 146 TB of effective capacity when data dedupe is turned on. Users can get a 140 TB system with CDP, replication and migration features for approximately $100,000.


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