NEC Notches High-End Storage Deal


NEC Corp. has signed an OEM deal with a company that specializes in providing storage services and solutions to high-performance computing and government users.

After a search spurred by an unnamed government agency looking for more reliable drive technology, RAID Inc. settled on NEC's D-Series Enterprise Modular Storage products, which the company will re-brand. RAID Inc. COO Bob Picardi said the company has already received orders for the system.

Picardi said "a major government agency" was looking to solve a problem it termed "silent drive failure": the inability of the RAID controller to read all the data on a drive.

RAID Inc. turned to NEC for its SATA read verification to detect silent read errors and its Phoenix self-healing technology to reduce hard disk drive rebuilds.

"We hit gold with this," said Picardi. "We think it's unique, and we have the customers and orders to prove it."

Marc Staimer, president of Dragon Slayer Consulting, agreed. "Their advantage with SATA data integrity (elimination of silent read errors) is currently unique," Staimer wrote in an e-mail.

"It is a pretty solid, highly scalable SAN storage array," said Staimer.

NEC also offers RAID Triple Mirror, RAID-3 Double Parity and RAID 6 data protection, full redunandancy, automated physical resource allocation to balance workloads, SAS/SATA intermix for tiered storage, and MAID technology for lower power consumption.

RAID Inc. officials say NEC met all of the company's requirements for data integrity, SATA read validation, scalable capacity and performance, high performance for sequential throughput, high availability and self-healing capabilities, dynamic provisioning and lower power consumption.

The D-Series starts at 219 GB and will soon be able to scale to more than 1.5 PB, and software options include replication, snapshots, performance, energy conservation and compliance. 8 Gbps Fibre Channel and FCoE are on the product roadmap, said Karen Dutch, NEC's vice president for advanced storage products.

Dutch said NEC will propel the D-Series into petabyte territory later this year with the introduction of the D-8 array. Customers can start with the smaller D-3 and build from there.

Picardi said he expects to price the D-Series arrays at less than $1 a gigabyte.

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