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NEC Solves Storage Challenges of Massive Data Growth with First Product Based on Revolutionary HYDRAstor Grid Storage Architecture


HYDRAstor HS-Series is the Industry’s First Unified Platform Optimized for Backup and Archive Data

Santa Clara, Calif.- NEC Corporation of America, a premier provider of IT, network and identity management solutions, today announced the NEC HYDRAstor™ HS-Series grid storage system, delivering unrestricted scalability, effortless management, self-evolving capability and safe de-duplication for archive and backup at a lower total cost of ownership than traditional solutions. Based on the industry’s first unified disk storage platform optimized for managing both backup and archive data, the HYDRAstor HS8 is the initial offering in a series of products from NEC that will set a new standard to address the increasing data storage challenges of IT.

Existing backup and archive systems are siloed or patched together products based on incremental changes in technology. These types of solutions increase cost and complexity and lack the scalability to meet today’s massive data growth. HYDRAstor HS8 was designed from the ground up to specifically address both the issues of yesterday - time, reliability and security - as well as the issues of complexity, manageability and environment created by exponential data growth.

“NEC stands alone with a truly revolutionary unified disk platform supporting both archive and backup data,” said Karen Dutch, general manager, Advanced Storage Products, NEC Corporation of America. “Other disk-based platforms are delivered as point products with disparate architectures, leading to increased IT complexity and cost. HYDRAstor’s innovative grid storage architecture and self-managing features can effectively de-duplicate data inline at 14,000 MB/sec to minimize capacity costs without sacrificing performance. With HYDRAstor, IT can efficiently meet their increasingly stringent backup and archive requirements.”

Today, companies struggle to keep pace with ever increasing backup and archiving requirements as the amount of data increases. For every TB of production data, companies typically have 15 to 20 TBs of backup copies to manage. Increased information governance and legal discovery regulations are driving the need for online archive capabilities - especially for email and file system data. The consequences of not providing all of the requested information on time can easily result in millions of dollars in fines.

NEC has designed the HYDRAstor HS8 to go above and beyond addressing the traditional backup and archive challenges of slow backup and retrieval of vital data, unreliable tape media and drive failures, and risky security scenarios of lost and stolen tapes. By implementing HYDRAstor as a fast, reliable and secure standards-based, disk-to-disk platform to replace today’s costly and risky tape infrastructure, NEC HYDRAstor HS8 meets the combined needs of IT and business to provide a compelling solution that can easily and cost-effectively manage colossal corporate data growth.

“NEC HYDRAstor is a next-generation storage system for both disk backup and archiving,” said Heidi Biggar, analyst, Enterprise Strategy Group. “It allows users to do both on a single platform and, importantly, apply data de-duplication across both to eliminate redundancy between the two. Other compelling features of the HYDRAstor platform include enhanced data resiliency, provision-less capacity management, and a grid-based scalable architecture, which allows users to scale capacity and performance independently and swap out old technologies for new ones non-disruptively as they become available. These are key components of what ESG refers to as an enhanced storage tier and represent a significant step forward for storage.”

Additionally, by storing backup and archive data on the same platform, the HYDRAstor HS8 offers measurable operational benefits by enabling broader search access across multiple data types, including backup, email archives and file archives. De-duplication occurs across all data regardless of its origination point, dramatically reducing the amount of capacity required which, in turn, reduces power and environmental costs. This combination of operational and storage efficiency helps NEC deliver a solution with industry leading best total cost of ownership.

As a disk-based practical alternative to tape-based backup and archive, HYDRAstor HS8 significantly improves backup and archive performance, reliability, and security without the cost, complexity, and limited scalability of today’s VTL and archive platforms. Key benefits include:
Unrestricted scalability: HYDRAstor HS8’s unique grid architecture enables both performance and disk capacity to be scaled independently to meet customer requirements. Accelerator Nodes scale performance from 200 MB/sec to 14,000 MB/sec with data de-duplication to reduce backup and archive times and enable fast access to stored data when needed. Storage nodes scale disk capacity from 150 TBs to 10 PBs as one logical pool of capacity, eliminating today’s costly and labor intensive siloed capacity challenge. With HYDRAstor HS8, IT has one system to manage as opposed to many systems.

Effortless management: HYDRAstor HS8 takes the idea of thin provisioning to no provisioning. HYDRAstor HS8 can be installed and backing up and archiving data in less than 45 minutes. The Web browser based GUI allows for quick and easy monitoring of de-duplication ratios, capacity utilization and trending, and system status. The HYDRAstor HS8 is a self-managing, self-tuning and self-healing system with one management dashboard to reduce complexity and administrator costs, while improving staff productivity.

Self-evolving system: HYDRAstor HS8’s community of Smart Nodes allows IT to non-disruptively ride the hardware technology curve without today’s painful and time-consuming forklift upgrades, application downtime and manual data migration. The HYDRAstor grid storage architecture allows IT to transparently introduce ever greener nodes, faster processors, and higher capacity hard disk drives, enabling IT to easily leverage new hardware technologies to support business needs without today’s forklift upgrade processes.

Safe de-duplication: HYDRAstor HS8 maximizes storage efficiency without the risk of data loss in current de-duplication point products. Its patent pending DataRedux™ technology eliminates redundant data across and within incoming data streams to enable HYDRAstor HS8 to reduce storage requirements up to 95 percent. Patent-pending Distributed Resilient Data™ (DRD) technology protects de-duplicated data beyond today’s RAID technology. With DRD, IT can dial in their desired data resiliency level via the GUI. The default setting of 3 protects against 3 disk or node failures delivering 300 percent more resiliency than RAID5 with a similar storage capacity overhead and, more importantly, ensures no performance degradation during a data rebuild operation. The unique combination of DataRedux and DRD allows IT to safely de-duplicate, without the risk of data loss in the event of multiple hard disk drive failures and without a performance penalty.

A Proven, Tested System
HYDRAstor HS8 has been beta-tested since November 2006. HYDRAstor HS8 beta customers, which span various verticals including financial, manufacturing, and healthcare services are early adopters with growing storage needs and have experienced significant business value through:
No backup, restore, or archive failures;
Reduced backup windows with up to 500 percent improvement over previous solutions;
Reduced restore times with up to 300 percent improvement;
Improved staff productivity; and
The ability to implement new backup policies that were more aligned with business needs.

The ability to non-disruptively scale with data growth and performance requirements has offered enormous appeal for HYDRAstor’s initial customers.

Customer Insights
“DTCC facilitates the clearing and settlement of the majority of the financial transactions conducted in the U.S. In our production LAN, we are backing up more than 500 servers. This translates into a tremendous amount of data - nearly 10 Terabytes in changed data daily,” said Ed Alsberg, director, Distributed Storage Technologies, Depository Trust. “I have got to find ways to reduce what I am storing. HYDRAstor provides the sophisticated de-duping capabilities that I need, with a resilient grid storage architecture on the back end that keeps my company in line with the latest up and coming technologies. I would recommend HYDRAstor to any company looking to manage their data in a smarter, more forward-looking manner.”

Additionally, TLC, one of the largest multidiscipline engineering firms in Southeastern U.S., needed a cutting-edge solution that could meet their needs.

“We are seeing a significant increase in our storage requirement at TLC; every year the files seem to double in size. Our previous tape-based backup solution couldn’t keep up with the growth, and running a backup during the day was a big problem because it required our employees to stop working,” said Scott Ashton, LAN/WAN specialist, TLC. “With HYDRAstor, we can now run three or four backups per day without interruption, ensuring that we don’t lose a client due to a lost document or a missed deliverable. NEC has added a few more years to my boss’ life; he has a lot more nights where he can sleep peacefully without waking up worrying about the backup. It has changed the way that TLC does business. We have been using the beta product for six months without a backup failure. We can’t wait to get the final product.”

These same enterprises understand the critical nature of data protection and disaster recovery. “Bancorp builds customized online banks for various organizations and is already a provider to more than 200 affinity groups. The massive growth in data attached to our success has always been our biggest challenge; our backup solution simply could not keep up,” said Pete Chiccino, chief information officer, Bancorp Bank. “When introduced to HYDRAstor, we were impressed with the way that it uses a grid system to protect data in a disaster situation. No one in the marketplace today offers the technology that HYDRAstor has - there is no apples-to-apples comparison available. We have seen tremendous time savings and productivity benefits since implementation.”

Companies using HYDRAstor HS8 also reported that the quick turn key solution has been extremely well aligned with their storage needs and the grid storage architecture has made it a reality for IT to beat the technology curve.

“The HYDRAstor product showed amazing promise right out of the gate as an incredibly easy system to use,” said Jim Paulsen, IT manager, Baptist Memorial Hospitals. “The implementation took less than an hour, which is unheard of in a storage system. The data de-duplication has worked extremely well, and we are very excited about the grid architecture. With multiple geographically dispersed HYDRAs, we will be able to continue running full backups even if one product goes down. It is definitely worth taking a look at HYDRAstor.”

“Most technology is obsolete the day after you buy it,” said Gary Rosner, chief executive officer, iCue Corporation. “HYDRAstor is different. It’s a next-gen grid storage platform that overcomes traditional back-up challenges with innovative technology. For example, HYDRAstor’s DataRedux can back-up more data than is possible with other solutions we considered. At same time, HYDRAstor is both reliable and highly scalable. With HYDRAstor, we can get ahead of the technology curve.”

Non-profits are reaping the benefits as well, including the productivity enhancements gained through the deployment of the state-of-the-art technology infrastructure that HYDRAstor provides. “As a non-profit organization focused on providing Lifelong Learning for children and young adults on the Autism spectrum, we need our IT infrastructure to be very efficient allowing us more time to focus on those who need our help,” said Gregg Paulk, Information Technologies manager, Anderson Center for Autism. “Before HYDRAstor, our network infrastructure was growing faster than our storage solution could keep up. In addition to that, we have several basements and tractor trailers full of paper documents that we want to turn into electronic files, but the storage bottlenecks have held us back. Our initial tape backup solution was time consuming and unreliable. HYDRAstor was quick and easy to deploy, and the product’s reliability has made life a whole lot easier. NEC has partnered with us to help make Anderson Center for Autism a more efficient organization, utilizing cutting-edge technology to help us effectively serve children and adults with autism and other developmental disabilities.”

Pricing and Availability
NEC will start shipping the HYDRAstor HS8 with limited availability on September 26, 2007 and general availability on October 26, 2007. Three pre-configured models will be available, the HS8-1010 with 150 TBs of capacity, the HS8-1020 with 900 TBs of capacity and the HS8-1080 with 3.6 PBs of capacity. Pricing starts at $165,000. All pre-configured models can be expanded non-disruptively by adding individual Accelerator and Storage Nodes.

For more information about the revolutionary HYDRAstor HS8-Series, the HYDRAstor grid storage platform and the current list of supported backup and archive applications, please visit, email, or call us toll-free at 866-NEC-FAAN (866-632-3226), international +1-408-844-1299.


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