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New HYDRAstor HS8-2000 Demonstrates the Power of a Self-Evolving Platform

A self-evolving platform is one of the promises behind products like the NEC HYDRAstor that are based on grid storage architectures. Grid storage architectures automatically take over data migrations during technology refreshes which eliminates the need for application downtime or for companies to do forklift upgrades. Yet up to this point it was difficult to establish the validity of that promise for the NEC HYDRAstor since its HS8-1000 series was still in its first release.

Today’s announcement of the HS8-2000 series begins to answer some of these questions as it starts to demonstrate the power of self-evolution that grid storage architectures deliver. Normally companies cannot immediately take advantage of new hardware features found in new product releases. The HS8-2000 is a good example of hardware technology enhancements that can be immediately leveraged to enhance existing solutions.

Accelerator Nodes of the previous generation HYDRAstor HS8-1000 supported throughput speeds of 100 MB/sec while its Storage Nodes supported 37.5 TB of effective capacity (based on 20:1 deduplication/compression ratios and 25% Distributed Resilient Data [DRD] protection overhead). Contrast this with Accelerator Nodes on the new HS8-2000 that now support 300 MB/sec of throughput (a 3x improvement) with Storage Nodes that offer up to 157.5 TB of effective capacity (a 4x increase) as well as increases the overall scalability of the HYDRAstor to over 20 PBs in capacity and 16,500 MB/sec in a 165 node grid.

Of course, these types of hardware improvements found in the HS8-2000 are expected with any new product release. Yet for most companies to take advantage of these new features typically requires months of planning, lengthy procurement cycles and then painful migrations from the old products to the new ones. Having personally been involved with upgrade cycles that took this long, it was not uncommon that the next generation of products were sometimes announced and released before my company got the current generation of the product installed. The HS8-2000’s grid storage architecture helps to shrink these upgrade cycles since it minimizes the length of time to perform these tasks as well as the need to manually perform them.

Since the nodes of the older HS8-1000 and the new HS8-2000 are fully compatible within the grid storage architecture, companies can start to deploy the HS8-2000’s new technology while continuing to use their HS8-1000 nodes. Used in this manner, the existing HYDRAstor instance automatically begins to use the new nodes of the HS8-2000 in conjunction with existing HS8-1000 nodes while dynamically balancing the workload and capacity across both existing and new nodes.

Another desirable feature of this configuration is when companies are ready to retire or decommission older HS8-1000 nodes so they can be re-used elsewhere in the organization, they can do so non-disruptively. Upon user request, the HYDRAstor software automatically migrates data from any older HS8-1000 Storage Node onto the remaining Storage Nodes in the grid and then decommissions the older Storage Node so it can be removed from the HYDRAstor instance. In the case of new HS8-2000 Accelerator Nodes, they also are simply added to the existing HYDRAstor instance and can immediately be used to extend the overall throughput of the grid.

Technology upgrades and their associated data migrations can easily consume one-third or more of the time that companies devote to managing their IT infrastructure. In addition, they are highly prone to user error (and potential data loss) and require extensive planning and execution time. HYDRAstor’s self-evolving grid storage architecture gives companies the opportunity to bring this to an end.

While the new hardware features on the HS8-2000 are compelling, the real story is that companies can take advantage of this technology now without breaking the budgets, the backs of their IT staff, or current business processes. In so doing, the HYDRAstor enables companies to extend the life of existing infrastructure or seamlessly upgrade from existing to new nodes. HYDRAstor automatically leverages new nodes to take advantage of higher capacity and performing hardware that is both more efficient and economical than existing technology while paying less in terms of time and money in the process.

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