NEC has introduced a series of storage arrays that can scale up from a terabyte to a petabyte non-disruptively and offer different hard drive classes in the same enclosure.
The arrays have Fibre Channel front ends, but use both Serial ATA (SATA) and Serial SCSI (SAS) hard drives on the back end, allowing users to create tiered storage infrastructures within a single rack. The arrays can also be configured to withstand up to two disk drive failures simultaneously with the RAID 6 data storage scheme.
NEC’s D-Series storage arrays scale from 219GB to 1.15PB capacity and from 2GB to 128GB of memory. The systems also scale from four to 64 4Gbit/sec. Fibre Channel ports, and from three to 1,156 disk drives.
Mike Fisch, an analyst at Clipper Group, said the D-series was unique because it could scale from an array for small or medium-sized businesses to a fully functional, enterprise-class system.
The arrays come in five models:
- The D1-10, which comes with four Fibre Channel ports, up to 72 SAS and/or SATA hard disk drives and 2GB memory
- The D3-10, which comes with 12 Fibre Channel ports, up to 144 SAS and/or SATA hard disk drives and 4GB of memory
- The D8-10, which comes with 16 Fibre Channel ports, up to 384 SAS and/or SATA hard disk drives and 32GB of memory
- The D8-1020, which is a two-node system that comes with 32 Fibre Channel ports, 768 SAS and/or SATA drives and 64GB of memory
- The D8-1040 is a four-node system that features up to 64 Fibre Channel ports, 1,536 SAS and/or SATA drives, and 128GB of memory
The systems are modular, so an entry-level or mid-range D3-10 system that is 2U (3.5 inches) high can be upgraded non-disruptively by swapping its controller for that of a D8-series controller, which can then scale to a high-end, enterprise-class system.
"You can start from under 1TB of capacity and upgrade a thousand-fold non-disruptively to 1.1PB," said Victor Gamaly, a senior product marketing manager for NEC’s storage business. "Part of this technology is derived from our supercomputer business. That's basically the high-speed switches that allow you to do clustering."
The D-series systems come with four power supplies and allow administrators to set the systems to spin down unused disk drives to conserve power.
Because the arrays all use the same management software, an administrator can manage both an enterprise-class system in a datacentre and an entry-level system at a remote office through a single portal, Gamaly said.
The software also offers several data replication techniques, including snapshots, full internal and external synchronous replication for business continuity and synchronous remote data replication for disaster recovery.