As mentioned in my previous post, I recently traveled to China, where I spent time with Huawei—a new Windows Storage Server 2012 OEM. During the visit, I was really impressed by how all the people I met were very knowledgeable about storage and demonstrated strong expertise in hardware, software and networking. This picture was taken in their (very impressive) test lab.

clip_image002

Huawei recently introduced its new N2000 NAS system (N2000 for short), which the company describes as a “reliable, high-capacity, and easy-to-deploy rack storage platform… that enables Small to Medium Enterprises (SMEs) to rapidly deploy a cost-effective, flexible, and converged NAS solution that delivers advanced data sharing, storage, and management functions.” And I couldn’t agree more. The N2000 has everything that a SME—and many large companies—could need or want in a NAS solution.

clip_image004

The Huawei N2000 provides up to 24TB of storage in a 2U enclosure.

Here are a few highlights about the N2000…

  • Intel® Xeon® E5-2403 quad-core CPU
  • 12 DIMM slots (2 x 4 GB DDR3 memory preinstalled)
  • Up to twelve 3.5-inch, 2 GB SATA disks for up to 24TB of storage, with installed disks preconfigured as RAID-5. (Options available during custom configuration include RAID 1, 5, 6, 10, 50, and 60.)
  • Two 2.5-inch, 300 GB SAS system disks (for the OS), which are preconfigured as RAID-1 and are hot-swappable at the rear of the chassis.

Windows Storage Server 2012 appliances, like the N2000, deliver excellent NAS functionality:

  • Support for both block and file access, including the NFS, SMB, FTP, HTTP, and iSCSI protocols.
  • Data storage, sharing, and protection.
  • Support for distributed and branch office deployments (via DFS and BranchCache).
  • Data Deduplication, with efficiencies of up to 95 percent for VM images and 30-50 percent for general file server workloads.
  • Support for Hyper-V, enabling multiple Windows Storage Server 2012 guests to run on one N2000 for multi-domain storage or running advanced storage management applications on your OS of choice inside a VM.

I was also impressed by the steps that Huawei took to maximize energy efficiency, including :

  • Disk hibernation and wakeup to reduce unnecessary power consumption.
  • Intelligent management of disk startup current and fan rotation speeds to reduce overall power consumption.
  • Highly efficient PSUs—including support for both AC and DC power supplies to minimize power conversion losses.

Other notable specs include:

  • 2U rack-mount form factor
  • One PCIe x8 expansion slot and one PCIe x4 expansion slot
  • 4 gigabit Ethernet ports, one 100 Mbit/s management port, one VGA port, four USB 2.0 ports, and one RS-232 port
  • Hot-swappable hard disks
  • Hot-swappable active and standby PSUs
  • System management support for ISM, IPMI 2.0, KVM over LAN, and Virtual Media over LAN


The N2000 ships with Windows Storage Server 2012 preinstalled and preconfigured for the hardware. The N2000 is currently available in Asia, Africa and Europe with availability in the United States expected in the spring of 2013.

More information on the N2000 can be found here.

Cheers,
Scott

P.S. Remember that, while Windows Storage Server 2012 is only available from Microsoft hardware partners, you can download evaluation versions from the download center here. The full OEM versions and product keys are available on TechNet, MSDN, and MAPS.