All-Flash Data Centers: All About Speed?


    Feb 21, 2022

    In the final post of this six-part series, I’ll wrap up the benefits of the all-flash data centre (DC) and look at why it might be the right choice for you. If you’ve not yet had a chance to read the previous posts, be sure to check them out first:

    More than Just Speed

    Simply in terms of raw performance, SSDs — the main building blocks of an all-flash DC — far surpass HDDs, offering ~100-times faster data access, 100-times higher throughput, and more than 1,000-times higher per-disk IOPS.

    Unlike traditional HDDs, SSDs have no moving parts or physical seek limits, meaning that one of the biggest benefits of an all-flash DC is much faster read-write and access speeds.

    If you need the absolute best performance, then the all-flash DC is the obvious choice. And because the cost of SSDs has dropped significantly over the past few years, an all-flash DC is well within the grasp of many enterprises.

    Speed is the most obvious benefit we associate with an all-flash DC — and it’s a very powerful one too — but there are many more that can be equally important for your enterprise.

    Things like lower power consumption, smaller footprint, no noise or vibration, reduced cooling costs, and greener credentials are also important benefits, as too is the much higher IOPS you get for your buck. As flash media consumes less power and needs less cooling, you’re likely to see significant savings in your energy costs each month. And with the smaller form factor of SSDs, you can achieve much higher capacity densities than with HDDs.

    Furthermore, bringing together cutting-edge technologies, such as non-volatile memory express (NVMe), NVMe over Fabrics (NoF), and storage-class memory (SCM), the all-flash DC offers unparalleled potential as your enterprise moves forward along the digital transformation (DX) path. Scalability, reliability, and of course speed are significantly enhanced through these technologies.

    All-flash DCs enable your enterprise to adapt to the digital future. Whether to take advantage of the higher performance and capacity densities, to lower power and space requirements, or to reduce your carbon footprint, moving to an all-flash DC is a smart choice for many enterprises. Many are now using all-flash DCs for secondary storage workloads such as backup, disaster recovery, archiving, and big data analytics.

    Digital Upgrade

    Over 94% of enterprises say they are planning to upgrade their digital IT infrastructure according to an IDC survey. Those who are upgrading typically want to increase reliability and cost effectiveness while also enabling data innovation, real-time data, and intelligent management.


    Reliability is becoming increasingly important, but as the volume of data we generate and obtain continues to balloon, achieving it can be challenging. While digital infrastructure will manage the entire lifecycle of data in the cloud, edge, and devices, digitalisation brings about new and diverse reliability risks. Applications will increasingly rely on infrastructure to ensure fast response and continuity. As such, it’s imperative to create reliable infrastructure, adopt highly reliable IT systems, and establish disaster recovery and backup systems — all of which is made possible via the all-flash DC.


    DCs are a vital component in today’s digital economy, storing, processing, and distributing the data involved in digital services. As more of the services we use for work, entertainment, and everyday life move online, enterprises are looking at ways to reduce costs and improve efficiency. Building an all-flash DC helps to achieve this, which in turn reduces your carbon footprint. The power consumption of DCs has become an obstacle to sustainable digital development, but thanks to the all-flash DC, you are able to turn your data — and your operations — green.

    Data innovation

    Today, data is the new means of production and an important asset for enterprises. Data innovation is essential if you want to remain competitive in the digital future, as too is the ability to cope with the shift from cold to hot data and the challenges of data interconnection and interworking. To maximise data value and continuously innovate services and models, you need intelligent platforms that facilitate data enablement.

    Real-time data

    Real-time data — data that needs to be acted upon/reacted/recoded within 2 seconds — is becoming more and more important in enterprise services. Think of things like high-frequency trading, billing systems, road monitoring, and autonomous driving — they all need real-time data. As technologies, such as AI and IoT, find their way into more enterprise services, ultra-low latency and real-time response are critical. Thanks to the exceptional performance that the all-flash DC delivers, you can meet these requirements now and into the future.

    Intelligent management

    Downtime in any DC is simply unacceptable, but as DCs continue to grow and handle ever-increasing amounts of data, it becomes more and more difficult to manage your infrastructure. Technologies such as AI and machine learning will unburden you from this daunting task, leveraging big data analytics and multi-layer AI architecture in the cloud for fault modelling so that you can intelligently predict faults, system performance, and capacity.

    Time to Modernise?

    Modernising your DC with flash is an important step in your DX journey. When considering whether it’s a step you want to take, you need to look at factors such as ease of adoption, maintenance, and security in addition to the more obvious ones such as speed, performance, and reliability.

    All-flash DCs are widely used in industries that require high performance and stability, such as finance, government, healthcare, telecommunications, and manufacturing. But it doesn’t stop at those industries — many others are already unlocking the value and potential of data through the all-flash DC.

    Is it the right choice for you? If your enterprise handles a lot of data and wants to become greener while also slashing energy costs, most likely the answer will be “yes”. Even if you don’t, it’s still a good idea to keep it in mind. The all-flash DC offers faster performance and higher capacity in a smaller footprint, and as your data volumes continue to grow, the all-flash DC will bring significant cost savings over time.

    If you’re ready to move to a faster, more reliable, and greener DC, Huawei’s all-flash DC products are designed to suit your workloads and application scenarios. They include:

    • OceanStor all-flash storage

    Supercharged with NVMe, innovative hardware, and the FlashLink® intelligent algorithm, OceanStor Dorado unleashes the full potential of flash. Innovative architectures provide every application with the ultimate in user experience.

    • OceanProtect data protection

    A full-lifecycle solution that provides disaster recovery (DR), backup, and archiving services to help you cope with the soaring volume of diversified data that drives the digital world. Powered by cutting-edge technologies, it ensures zero service disruption, zero data loss, and long-term information retention.

    • Data management engine (DME)

    An intelligent storage management platform designed for a wide range of applications, offering convergence, intelligence, and openness. It simplifies storage operations and maintenance (O&M), improves the operation efficiency of DCs, and automates storage throughout its entire lifecycle.

    • NoF+ storage network

    CloudEngine DC storage network switches have an advanced hardware structure and high-density 10/25/50/100 GE downlink ports, plus 100/200/400 GE uplink ports. These switches offer high performance, high reliability, low latency, and easy O&M for all-flash DCs and support NoF+ for plug-and-play of storage systems and E2E visualisation of links and network performance.

    This blog series is adapted from the Huawei-sponsored IDC White Paper Moving Towards an All-Flash Data Center Era to Accelerate Digital Transformation.

    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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