Unlike last year's Hydrastor hardware upgrade, the current upgrade consists of software enhancements.
NEC director of product management and technical marketing Gideon Senderov said while current nodes can reach 300 Mbps throughput, the upgrade will allow throughput up to 500 Mbps with existing hardware.
Hydrastor's new WORM support will extend to compliance mode as well as enterprise mode, new user-defined policies, and will allow a mix of multiple file systems and multiple policies.
NEC added application-aware deduplication support for Symantec Corp.'s Veritas NetBackup and CommVault's Simpana in June, and will now support EMC Corp.'s NetWorker and IBM Corp.'s Tivoli Storage Manager (TSM). Senderov said implementing application-aware deduplication has increased some customers' deduplication effectiveness up to four times over non-application-aware systems.
NEC also added file-system or application-specific quota management and in-flight encryption to HydraStor. "So rather than forcing users to have two separate devices on both ends of the pipe, they can designate if they want it to be encrypted when it crosses the wire," Senderov said.
A new capacity, on-demand licensing, lets organizations purchase a Hydrastor system with full functionality but with capped capacity usage. Capped systems will include full feature sets and throughput, but with agreed upon capacity limits. Customers can later buy full licenses if they need to expand capacity.
Benjamin Woo, vice president of enterprise storage systems for the market research firm IDC, said the update is not market-shaking, but important.
"It's an evolutionary update, Woo said. "The company's not making massive announcements here, but is adding features to address what their customers and what the market is looking for."
Woo said while NEC is a small player in the global enterprise data storage market, Hydrastor addresses long-term archiving, "a growing and critical part of the market right now." NEC's main Hydrastor competitor is EMC's Centera content-addressed storage (CAS) system.
Senderov said WORM features are licensed by mode, with the other upgrades free to current customers as part of their service contracts.