All-Flash Data Centers for the Intelligent Age

ByHuan Niu

July 20, 2021

Huan Niu

By 2025, the amount of data that needs to be stored will increase to 180 ZB from 32 ZB (1 Zettabyte is 1 trillion GB), representing a data explosion that will drive the digital economy forward.

Data centers are responsible for centralized storage, computing, and the exchange of data resources. So, as enterprises get smarter and data takes center stage, what are the best plays for today’s all-flash data centers? Let’s start with the challenges.

Four Challenges

1. Service Flood

First, deep enterprise digital transformation causes huge numbers of offline services to go online and countless new services to emerge. This is exemplified by the financial services sector, where the transactions per second of large banks are increasing dozens of times as a result of e-commerce and mobile payments.

2. Hungry for Power

Data centers are a major power consumer, representing 2% to 3% of all the power consumed in the world. And high energy consumption drives up electricity costs and carbon emissions. According to the United Nations Environment Programme global emissions must fall by 7.6% per year for the next decade to limit the global temperature rise to 1.5°C. The EU has also pledged to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. Under overwhelming environmental pressure, it’s imperative to save energy and reduce emissions.

3. Disappearing Data

Many enterprises suffer huge economic losses and social impact due to data loss and service disruption each year, which results in an estimated 8% fall in revenue. In the financial industry, where data is the lifeblood of business, the loss caused by system downtime reaches up to US$6.48 million per hour.

4. High Maintenance

O&M efficiency is a core factor to consider for data centers, with multiple vendors’ devices and interfaces making it hard for organizations to locate faults and respond to service requests. Over the next 5 years, the amount of data maintained per capita will increase fivefold, further complicating O&M and increasing labor costs.

All-Flash: Green, Reliable & Intelligent

Building an all-flash data center requires a full upgrade of media, the integration of data center resources, and architecture reconstruction.

All-flash upgrades are needed for multiple types of data and service scenarios, alongside all-IP reconstruction for data center networks and full-lifecycle intelligent O&M. The multi-layer all-flash solution helps build a greener data center with higher efficiency and availability, more intelligent O&M, lower TCO, and zero network bottlenecks.

1. All-Scenario Flash Fast-Tracks Your Services

All-scenario media flash indicates that diverse types of workloads are stored in flash media. SSDs can replace HDDs in various scenarios, like enterprise core systems, HPC, video, and disaster recovery, to help reduce costs and improve efficiency. Offering the same capacity, SSDs reduce power consumption by 70% and space used by 50%. The system performance of SSDs is 40x higher than that of HDDs, with SSDs the best choice in peak-time scenarios. This slashes the TCO of data centers and helps them go carbon neutral.

All-scenario flash also features comprehensive data protection, faster disaster recovery, higher use frequency of copies, and longer retention.

2. All-IP Data Center Network Unlocks the Potential of Flash

All-scenario flash drives the transformation of data center networks while NVMe maximizes the value of SSDs. Therefore, faster media and protocols call for faster networks. That brings us to NVMe over Fabric (NoF) storage network. It uses IP networks to innovate and upgrade the previous dedicated network, achieving higher bandwidth and lower latency. It’s also easy to manage using the IP network, which is the optimal solution for implementing E2E NVMe.

The NoF Solution is currently trending in the industry. 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, proposing the NoF+ Solution with intelligent lossless network for Huawei OceanStor. This helps push the development of the storage network to the next level.

  • Enhanced reliability: enables proactive notification, rather than passive response, identifies congestion and faults in advance, and works with OceanStor storage to implement failover within seconds.
  • Enhanced performance: changes the traditional static watermark mode and optimizes the network prediction capability using algorithms, further unleashing the powerful performance of Huawei OceanStor all-flash storage.
  • Plug-and-play solution: implements one-click capacity expansion, while automatic management enhances ease of use in future construction.

3. Intelligent O&M Improves Full-Lifecycle O&M Efficiency

All-flash data centers must deliver full-lifecycle intelligent O&M to implement automation and intelligence in planning, deployment, O&M, and optimization.

  • Planning: Resources are precisely planned, with the focus shifting from device upgrades to full-lifecycle data management.
  • Deployment: Global resources are automatically provisioned.
  • O&M: Full-stack intelligent O&M changes reactive inspections to proactive discovery.
  • Optimization: Algorithms rather than expert experience enable agile configuration and automatic resource predictions are implemented.  

Huawei’s all-flash data center solution, which includes OceanStor all-flash storage, OceanProtect data protection, NoF+ storage network, and DME full-lifecycle intelligent O&M, is ideal for building a green, energy-efficient all-flash data center. It is widely used in core service systems of various industries, such as finance, telecommunications, healthcare, and manufacturing, to better mine enterprise data value and accelerate the digital transformation journey.

Visit our OceanStor All-flash Data Center product page.

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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