Are You Ready to Lead Storage Network Innovation?

ByHuan Niu

July 13, 2021

Huan Niu

The data center is no longer a new concept. As the hub of the digital economy, it hosts the digital computing power and data infrastructure of core enterprise systems. The three major best plays of a data center are computing, storage, and network. Their construction determines how well industries can handle external challenges and meet their own internal development requirements.

Huawei’s next-generation storage network NoF+ future-proofs construction to support the future development of data centers. What makes that possible? Let’s first take a look at the development of storage and networks.

New Tech Gives Rise to Innovative Storage Networks

In recent years, all-flash arrays have gradually replaced storage that uses mechanical hard disks. This, combined with the emergence of NVMe protocols, has unlocked the huge potential of flash performance. In addition, the widespread adoption of other new storage technologies, such as media and architecture, has become the driving force of storage development. As such, storage has set new standards for its good partner — the network — to better host data center services.

In the intelligent era, new technologies and applications are constantly emerging, and data is increasing explosively, placing higher requirements on real-time service performance. One of these requirements is maintaining stability while delivering high performance. Serving as the foundation of a data center, storage must be able to reduce the impact of storage jitter on services. The higher the load, the more stable the network must be. Another requirement is higher data mobility, which is needed as a result of huge numbers of offline services going online during the pandemic. To this end, we need to consider how to meet the requirements of large-scale construction to build more scalable networks for more sustainable industry development. Such construction must meet the requirement of ease-of-use to face the challenges brought by business expansion.

In the past, several refactoring technologies, such as iSCSI and FCoE, have appeared; however, they failed to truly change the form of dedicated networks. The rapid growth of storage demands more innovative storage networks that can better adapt to the requirements of the intelligent era.

New Ethernet Tech Unveiled to Support Data Center Development

The network industry has made many attempts to meet the storage requirements of data centers. It has reached consensus that the use of Ethernet to host storage networks when building large general-purpose data centers is an inevitable future trend.

Why? First of all, the Ethernet is more robust, open, and has undeniable sustainable development capabilities. In addition, with the participation of more vendors, we’ve seen quick development of new technologies. Currently, the Ethernet network is still evolving under Moore’s Law, and its performance can increase a lot in a short time. In addition, Huawei’s innovative Ethernet network architecture provides more powerful scalability, which gives rise to the emergence of NVMe over Fabrics (NoF), a current industry trend.

NoF+ Solution: Moving Towards Next-Gen Storage Network

What is the difference between Huawei’s NoF+ Solution and the standard NoF solution?

Thanks to continuous R&D in the network and storage fields, Huawei has improved the reliability, performance, and ease-of-use of the mainstream standard NoF, releasing the NoF+ Solution with intelligent lossless network for the data storage scenario. This helps push the development of the storage network to the next level.

Enhanced reliability: It’s essential that storage ensures the reliability of service systems. For example, failover within seconds is one of the key requirements. Standard Ethernet lacks proactive fault detection and notification. The Huawei NoF+ Solution makes up for this with proactive notification, rather than passive response. Congestion and faults can be identified in advance. In the event of a node failure, services are switched over within sub-seconds. In this way, the system can run stably and reliably with high performance.

Enhanced performance: Huawei NoF+ Solution changes the static watermark mode of traditional Ethernet and optimizes network prediction capabilities. It calculates samples and uses algorithms to accurately control specific scenarios, thereby predicting service requirements on the network to optimize it in advance.

Plug-and-play: Finally, Huawei storage and network products work together to build a plug-and-play solution, which implements one-click capacity expansion and automatic management and enhances ease of use in future construction.

Huawei NoF+ Solution implements E2E data optimization in data centers by leveraging the intelligent lossless network and the “transmission-compute-intelligence-storage-management” capabilities of storage. The solution accelerates the data transmission speed and bit error rate during network transmission, and improves system reliability, which in core service scenarios is like a stroke of magic.

Currently, the Huawei NoF+ Solution is the industry’s only solution that features Ethernet with zero packet loss, high bandwidth, low latency, and easy maintenance. It also has the advantages of open and compatible IP Ethernet, facilitating the integration of storage, network, and computing resources for real-time data sharing. In addition, Huawei has carried out joint innovation in the NoF+ Solution with several large financial enterprises and carriers, opening new doors for data infrastructure construction.

Read more about Huawei’s storage solutions.

Disclaimer: Any views and/or opinions expressed in this post by individual authors or contributors are their personal views and/or opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views and/or opinions of Huawei Technologies.

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Huan Niu

Data Storage Marketing Engineer, Huawei

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