Need Help?

China Power Saves with OceanStor V3 Storage

6/24/2015 12:00:00 AM

Background

China Power Investment Group Co. is one of China’s five large power generation companies. With over 127,000 employees, China Power operates hydroelectric, thermoelectric and nuclear power plants, and has investments in port and railway operations, aluminum processing, and emerging energy technologies.

To further enable its mission to be a premier, global, first-tier provider, China Power planned a significant overhaul of its large-scale, integrated control and management systems. A key component would be a state-of-the-art Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system that, in turn, would require a significant upgrade to the company’s IT infrastructure.

Challenges

In 2013, based on surveys conducted at each of Chine Power’s diverse field operations, members of the company’s Information Center concluded that responsive, extremely high-availability IT infrastructure was critical to the success of the new ERP system. Requirements included:

  • Support for over 500 concurrent users
  • Maximum response times from 10 seconds for basic operations to 20 seconds for complex inquiries
  • Daily batch reporting processes completed in less than 5 minutes
  • Maximum CPU utilization of 50%
  • Memory utilization not to exceed 60%
  • Compatibility with all China Power’s existing networks, hosts and disaster recovery systems, existing endpoints and devices

Experience had shown the importance of resilient database applications to the company’s operations; storage resources were identified as a leading source of bottlenecks facing the ERP system and other new services and applications.

Deeper analysis, data modeling, and a limited pilot program confirmed the technical aspects of the storage platform that were necessary to support the company’s management and ERP applications:

  • Advanced clustered architecture for reliability and responsive performance
  • Comprehensive support for multiple storage protocols to ensure flexibility in adapting to growth and managing bandwidth needs
  • Highly efficient storage resource administration features for lower O&M costs and ERP system flexibility

Additionally, China Power’s storage platform needed to be easily scalable to a limitless number of nodes — with an initial configuration that would ensure normal operation of the ERP system for the next 3 years.

Migration plans included a pilot program, followed by a limited expansion phase, and then a second phase of system-wide deployment on the company’s existing backbone networks and subnets.

Solution

To meet China Power’s demanding requirements, Huawei proposed a storage platform based on its data-center-class OceanStor V3 converged storage systems and VTL6900 high-speed, disk-based virtual tape library for backup and data recovery.

The OceanStor 5500 V3 Storage System was an ideal choice for core database applications because of its high-capacity, high-availability, multiple-controller architecture, cloud-oriented operating system, and high price/performance ratio. The system’s onboard management software (SmartVirtualization, SmartMigration, SmartCache, SmartTier, SmartDedupe and Compression, and SmartQoS) provides efficient support for virtualization, disk segmentation, dynamic bandwidth allocation and management, data migration, and QoS management, simplifying operation and maintenance at low TCO.

With up to 8 controllers, 7.5 PB storage capacity, and 1 TB cache, the 5500 V3 provides the capacity, performance, and scalability to meet China Power’s demanding requirements. To support the company’s existing environment — and for flexibility in supporting new technologies and applications — the system provides various interface types, including 16 Gbit/s FC, 56 Gbit/s InfiniBand, PCIe 3.0, 12 Gbit/s SAS, and smart I/O card.

For high-reliability, high-availability data backup storage, the OceanStor VTL6900 offers high reliability and performance for large-scale, expandable, near-line and offline storage. The VTL6900 is tightly integrated for efficient communications with the OceanStor V3 systems, plus supports backup software from leading vendors such as IBM, EMC, Symantec, and CA Technologies.

During the first, limited expansion phase, as ERP systems were implemented for China Power’s major customers, functional and performance requirements were confirmed for this phase and the second phase — which included new services and database applications. The resulting scalability and provisioning needs were addressed efficiently with Huawei’s SmartThin feature — allowing administrators to provide capacity to Logical Unit Numbers (LUNs), and then dynamically allocating that capacity based on the amount of storage actually needed without further user involvement or disrupting the associated database applications.

Huawei’s SmartTier software provides automatic storage tiering, which intelligently distributes hot and cold data in real time. SmartTier automatically stores the right type of data onto the right media at the right time — optimizing response-time performance and greatly improving the user experience.  

Benefits

By Q4 of 2014, Huawei had delivered the OceanStor V3 converged storage solution China Power, and the benefits were almost immediate.

Initial results indicate a doubling of database processing efficiency, meeting performance expectations and latency standards for each service operation. While increasing the speed of critical database applications and services, daily IT utilization was reduced by 20%, saving server CPU and memory resources. As predicted, initial IT infrastructure investments were reduced by 10%.

SmartVirtualization and SmartTier automatic tiering accelerate core database applications, reducing O&M costs by 20%.

The multi-controller cluster architecture incorporating 8 controllers per 5500 V3 system meets China Power’s expandability requirements and provides exceptional reliability, with uptime performance of 99.9999%. In the final analysis, the Huawei storage platform has proven an excellent choice to support the customer’s requirements:

  • Improved reliability and performance of existing management and control applications
  • Improved storage utilization of application, testing, development, training and other applications
  • Enabled the role-out of its ERP systems
  • Provided a practical, trustworthy migration path for the future

Says a senior member of the China Power Investment Group’s Information Center, “Huawei's storage solution met all our requirements for reliable, safe, and high-performance storage, both for the present and the foreseeable future. We are pleased to have chosen as our IT partner.”