The NEC M-Series is a family of block storage systems that scale from entry level to the high-end. All are dual controller systems with the smallest model, the M120, having the option of a cost-reduced single controller version. The M-Series systems have both all flash and hybrid models and are scale-up systems with dual active controllers. A separate NAS gateway is offered that utilizes the M-Series block storage as the backend system.
Standard software functions are included with the M-Series to provide management, VMware integration, and some performance functions. Advanced functions are enabled with the extra cost Optional Software.
Packaged in a 2U enclosure for the M120 and M320/M320F or a 4U enclosure for the M510 and M710/M710F, the dual controllers also have the option of 25 2.5” devices or 12 3.5” devices. Additional devices added with Disk Array Enclosures contain either 12 3.5” devices in a 2U enclosure or 24 2.5” devices in a 2U enclosure.
The NEC M-Series systems are targeted for usage in enterprise environments that need a SAN block storage solution. With the addition of the NAS gateway, either Nh4b or Nh8b, the M-Series can be used as a NAS backend while still supporting external block access. The M-Series systems have a low entry price and include a number of advanced features and capabilities.
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NEC M-Series is a family of block storage systems with a separate NAS gateway that can be added to provide the file serving function as a “bolt-on” controller. Advanced features are also available with the exception of tiering of LUNs to clouds/object storage. Direct backup from the M-Series to NEC HydraStor is included.
The M-Series systems are not scale-out systems, which means for increasing performance in parallel with capacity, a new controller pair (another M-Series model or multiple systems) must be installed with data-in-place as an upgrade. Other competitive systems have implemented scale-out functionality for a more measured growth. Evaluator Group believes the M-Series to be a low-risk storage solution with clear performance information available for customers. Advanced capabilities including data reduction and active-active stretched cluster will improve the offering when available. Additionally, the disclosure of when NVMe protocol will be available is important for competitive advantage. The lack of scale-out is one limitation that must be managed by the customer when choosing the correct model and planning for replacements on pace with coupled capacity and performance demands.