Flash: From storage alternative to future necessity


Flash: From storage alternative to future necessityThe storage market is experiencing significant growth. With data threatening to overwhelm many enterprise storage infrastructures, it has made storing bits and bytes of information efficiently and effectively is a key CIO priority.

Data growth is only going to accelerate further, mostly thanks to digital transformation. Research firm IDC predicts digital storage to reach 16ZB this year, more than global installed raw capacity and capacity shipped.

Data storage locations are also shifting. The IDC report “Where in the World is Storage: Byte Density across the Globe” estimated that in 2000, North America and Western Europe accounted for 67% of installed bytes. This year, IDC predicts that Asia-Pacific, CEMA, and Latin America will store 56%. Asia-Pacific alone will store 38%, more than any other region.

Clearly throwing raw storage space at the data growth problem is not going to work. Current storage space will run out fast as users become more mobile-centric and more IoT devices switch on. Instead, it is time to rethink storage and look for a more efficient strategy to store data.

The good news is that the solution is already here. Flash storage's ability to deliver enterprise-class performance, reliability, and efficiency is making it a preferred medium for many enterprises. It is also becoming less expensive and more accessible, with flash storage already allowing today’s mobile users to store, share and edit a variety of data.

According to IDC, flash storage adoption in billions of mobile devices, PCs and the enterprise will make its share of worldwide storage “noticeable” in 2017. 

Jeff Janukowicz, research vice president for Solid State Drives and Enabling Technologies, IDC"Advancements in SSD technology and lower price points are driving broader SSD adoption and are making SSDs a ubiquitous storage technology," said Jeff Janukowicz (photo right), research vice president for Solid State Drives and Enabling Technologies, IDC. "SSD adoption in the client PC and in the enterprise datacenter market continues to increase, which will drive SSD unit shipments to grow at a 2015–2020 CAGR of 16.9%."

Industry observers predict that SSD shipments will surpass those of SAS hard disk drives (HDDs) in the enterprise storage market worldwide by 2017. By 2020, flash storage will store all hot production data.

Going holistic

Flash storage alone is not going to solve all storage management headaches. While it is more efficient and fast, replacing current storage investments can be challenging. Besides, it can be a costly alternative at a time where enterprises want to be lean.

Instead, Huawei suggests taking a step back and looking at the entire storage needs of your enterprise from a holistic standpoint. The company has launched a comprehensive strategy around business, partners, and products to help enterprises maximize the advantage of flash.

Called Business-driven ICT Infrastructure (BDII), the strategy embodies Huawei’s business policy Leading New ICT. It aims to build an open, flexible, resilient and secure platform for faster ICT development, with flash storage being a key component.

It is not looking to do it all alone. Designed with enterprise needs in mind, Huawei aims to encourage cooperation and benefit sharing with partners, “creating a win-win and mutually beneficial ecosystem.”

Steven Pan, Managing Director, Enterprise Business Group, Huawei Hong Kong Representative Office“Hong Kong businesses are embracing digital transformation, and every sector is looking to leverage the technologies of cloud computing, big data, SDN, IoT, and data mobility,” said Steven Pan (photo right), Managing Director, Enterprise Business Group, Huawei Hong Kong Representative Office.  

“Huawei continues to focus on customers’ needs and respond to them proactively, helping customers in the financial, government, transportation and education sectors as well as large enterprise groups to succeed. Huawei, partners and customers can thrive and prosper, hence Leading New ICT,” he added.

OceanStor difference

New flash storage solutions back this holistic strategy, making it easier for enterprises to benefit from flash storage innovations.

Most recently, the company launched the OceanStor Dorado V3 All-Flash Array. It is designed for enterprise-class performance, reliability, and efficiency and allows users such as large enterprises, telecoms operators, and financial institutions, etc., to move their mission-critical databases and virtual environments to an all-flash infrastructure.


Huawei OceanStor Dorado V3

What makes Huawei's OceanStor Dorado V3 unique is that it is the only all-flash array that features end-to-end in-depth optimization of the flash-oriented storage operating system, chips, and Solid State Drive (SSD). This optimization provides 4 million IOPS (Input/ Output Operations per Second), an outstanding performance with a 500us steady latency and improved flash efficiency. The end-to-end approach also allows the new offering to handle the data processing demands of today’s overloaded enterprise applications.

OceanStor Dorado V3 answers enterprise calls for better reliability—a key concern as data becomes a valuable enterprise asset. The solution uses patented Huawei global wear leveling technology that prolongs the business life of all SSDs by 3 million hours of mean time between failures (MTBF). It also offers a gateway-free HyperMetro active-active mirroring solution to improve data availability and reach zero recovery point objective (RPO) without data loss and zero recovery time objective (RTO) and without system downtime in critical application systems.

More importantly, Huawei designed OceanStor Dorado V3 for today's hybrid cloud environment. Its inline deduplication compression technology stores five times as much data in the same space, maximizing storage space utilization and reducing overall total cost of ownership (TCO) by more than 70%.

Reaping dividends

Customers are already reaping the benefits of Huawei flash storage offerings. For example, one of China's large power generation companies, China Power Investment Group Co. (China Power), wanted to improve its resiliency, remove any storage bottlenecks, improve data analysis and modeling, and increase the scalability of its storage infrastructure.

Huawei’s data center-class OceanStor V3 converged storage offered immediate benefits for China Power. It doubled the database processing efficiency, increasing performance and reducing latency drastically. IT utilization was also reduced by 20% and reduced IT investments by 10%. SmartVirtualization and SmartTier automatic tiering features further reduced Operations and Maintenance (O&M) costs by 20%, accelerating core database applications further.

OceanStor systems also played a huge role in saving lives. It helped General Practice Training Queensland (GPTQ), a major public, not-for-profit company that provides vocational education and training for General Practitioner (GP) doctors on behalf of the Queensland government, to rein in storage growth over the next five years, while improving O&M efficiency and reducing related costs.

Meanwhile, Huawei’s Dorado2100 G2s helped Switzerland’s CSS Insurance to solve its data acceleration problems. Its performance and capacity advantages reduced data access pressures, enhanced operational efficiency and improved customer satisfaction. The architecture design also allowed the company to remain cost effective by enabling the economically configuration of immediate and future storage capacities. This maximized short-term and long-term ROI.


Data management is becoming vital for success. As enterprises start their digital transformation journey and adopt new data-driven innovations, storage management efficiency will determine their ability to sidestep challenges and maximize fleeting opportunities.

Tackling the data growth problem through flash-based point solutions alone is not going to help. They may offer temporary relief, but having the right infrastructure and data management strategy supported by the right eco-system provides a better foundation.

Huawei understands this well. It is the reason why the company is investing heavily in building the right eco-system. By working with partners and other solution providers, the company aims to address the key storage challenges that face enterprises. Through its Leading New ICT initiative and a wide range of flash storage innovations, the company aims to be your one-stop ICT infrastructure provider for all your storage needs. 

Feature photo courtesy of iStockPhoto

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