NEC Takes Its Storage To Midrange With Mini-HYDRA

NEC's new HYDRAstor HS3-210 is also the company's first storage appliance to target indirect sales channels, said Gideon Senderov, director of product management and technical marketing for the Irving, Texas-based company's Advanced Storage Products division.

The HYDRAstor HS3-210, dubbed the "Mini-HYDRA" by NEC, is a 2U storage appliance preinstalled with 12 TBs of raw capacity. Customers can purchase license keys for 4 TBs, 8 TBs or 12 TBs, Senderov said.

The appliances include NEC's DataRedux in-line data deduplication software, which gives them effective capacities of up to 200 TBs, depending on the license key purchased, he said.

Also included with the HYDRAstor HS3-210 is full software compatibility with NEC's HYDRAstor grid-based storage appliance, the HS8-2000. Unlike the HS8-2000, which separates the controller head from the disk capacity modules, the Mini-HYDRA is a self-contained, single-enclosure storage appliance.

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Those common features include optional encrypted WAN-optimized replication, WORM (write once, read many), and WAN-based data backups using Symantec's Open Storage Technology (OST) function.

Symantec's OST, when used with its NetBackup data protection software, allows storage devices to automate the backup of data between multiple appliances.

"This makes it possible to bring these high-end features to our Mini-HYDRA," Senderov said. "And this is what allows us to replicate data from the Mini-HYDRA to the HS8-2000."

That code base is also getting two new functions, he said.

The first is read-only file system snapshots, which help avoid capturing accidental or malicious data changes during the data snapshot process.

The second is read-write file system clones, which provide an instant copy of any file system.

The HYDRAstor HS3-210 is slated to start shipping this month and will target midsize businesses as well as departments and remote offices of larger companies. Pricing ranges from $40,000 to $90,000. This makes it competitive with the DD630 appliance from EMC's Data Domain business, Senderov said.

The appliance also represents a new focus on the channel for NEC.

The company previously had channel programs for its products, but before the introduction of the HYDRAstor HS3-210 its smallest offering had a starting list price of $120,000, Senderov said.

"The Mini-HYDRA is much more attractive to the channel," he said. "And it's easier to deploy than our other products."

For solution providers, NEC is offering no-cost demonstration units for trial customers, as well as financing including a 90-day same-as-cash program, Senderov said. Partners can deploy the Mini-HYDRA, or work with NEC to do the deployment, he said.