all flash storage

Huawei Accomplishes 3:1 Data Reduction Rate in All Flash Offerings

Demands on data processing performance and storage efficiency continue to escalate as data mushrooms in the digital age. IT is gradually transforming from being a cost into a value center to enhance the competitiveness of enterprises, shorten time to market, and even reduce operating costs. Part of this transformation involves all flash, which is becoming a focus for storage vendors and attracting users.

by Judy Qiu

The All-SSD Attraction

All flash continues to gain market share and vendors are fighting for position. In 2012, EMC spent 430 million USD acquiring XtremIO. Recently, HP spent one billion USD on the Nimble Storage acquisition to enrich its all-SSD product line. HDS, Dell EMC and many other manufacturers have also augmented their portfolios with proprietary flash offerings. The threshold is high and Huawei is taking center stage with the most comprehensive portfolio in flash.

Silicon is in and magnetic tape is moving out as all flash replaces the aging medium. And, the pace of that supersession is accelerating. Major manufacturers are all after their piece of the pie.

Being fast not enough

All flash presents a compelling case with its service attributes and improved efficiencies. I/O latency and sluggish performance in ERP systems, OLTP databases, and real-time performance analysis equate to time and money losses, not to mention degradation to user experience. The need for speed is intensifying as society and business are all becoming networked.

In this backdrop, which level of latency is acceptable? Is 1-second latency enough or must it be reduced to 10 ms, 1 ms, or even 0.5 ms? For CIOs, latency can never be low enough. Latency in each all-SSD offering differs from vendor to vendor.

Most architectures are still geared to HDD with some optimized algorithms and modules undergoing tuning and SSD grafting. The vast majority of offering can only ensure 1-ms latency and that rises to 3 ms under heavy service loads or when deduplication and compression utilities are running. In contrast, native SSD is purpose built to leverage the innate advantages of all flash layouts. Native SSD design entails much more than simply replacing HDD with all flash drives. The new architectures adopt algorithms specifically designed for SSD and can achieve system-wide latency of 0.5 ms with the right end-to-end optimizations. Enterprises are finally enjoying the long awaited sub-millisecond latency in their delay-sensitive applications.

Stable latency and speed must-haves for critical services

Users demand more than just speed. They also place heavy weight on service continuity. If business is not sustainable, then all the speed in the world won’t make a difference. All flash is aimed at accelerating the entire stock of critical applications running on enterprise systems and not just a single service. Increasingly more users are opting for active-active layouts to ensure high availability of mission-critical services in their high-performance lineup.

Which type of active-active design is most suitable for all flash?

Two active-active designs apply to the storage layer: solution with an external gateway and the other sporting arrays with built-in active-active functions.

Solutions with external gateways mean more nodes than those without, increasing system latency by 1 to 1.6 milliseconds. Moving into all flash generally requires storage latency be controlled to one millisecond or less. Having a gateway in the mix robs the layout of the performance advantage in SSD.

Rock solid, lightning fast storage arrays with built-in active-active functions are becoming the compelling choice.

Huawei OceanStor Dorado V3 guarantees both performance and stability

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All flash vendor offerings differ significantly in terms of speed and stability, depending on the initial design and whether gateways are required.

Flash-accelerated traditional storage layouts can deliver stability and implement snapshot, active-active data protections, and other utilities. However, the layout optimizations are no match for native SSD design in terms of speed.

At the same time, native SSD design often lacks the needed stability and predictability in latency when replication utilities, active-active protections, and other features are running. Huawei OceanStor Dorado V3 sets itself apart from the pack because it does not require any external gateways. Latency is kept to within 1 ms when systems are in active-active mode, achieving rock-solid stability and lightning-fast performance. Enterprises no longer have to choose between speed and stability!

Flash speed combined with the reliability of Huawei storage technology accelerates and solidifies the matrix, raising the bar in the all flash arena.

Don’t overlook the impact on performance in those other data reduction claims

Users recognize the performance and reliability of all flash. However, the higher cost is the last hurdle keeping the accelerated medium from fully entering the data center.

It is also important to look at TCO and ways to lower it, which is another advantage of all flash. Deduplication and compression are two of the most prominent technologies enterprises can make use of in all flash to reduce the amount of raw capacity they need to purchase. This duo helps reduce the IT footprint and improve green credentials.

Various vendors offer guarantees and free additional capacity if data reduction levels are not reached. HDS claimed of a 2:1 data reduction rate on its all flash systems back in 2016. Huawei OceanStor Dorado V3 guarantees a 3:1 data reduction rate in its long list of performance and stability commitments.

However, storage performance in other vendor offerings takes a hit when deduplication and compression are enabled. This point is often overlooked but certainly critical to the purchase decision. Vendors do not offer compensation for these degradations in performance, defeating the original intent in the all flash procurement. This is precisely why some enterprises are unable to see the full value of their SSD procurements because they forget to check the loss in performance when deduplication and compression are enabled.

Layouts optimized with SSDs are no match for the native SSD designs in the Huawei OceanStor Dorado V3 able to deliver 3:1 data reduction rate with zero impact on performance when deduplication and compression utilities are running. Huawei stands behind that claim with a guarantee to include a sustained performance element.

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About Leading New ICT

Huawei Enterprise Business aspires to become the driver of digital and intelligent society development, enabler of digital industry transformation, and the best partner of customers. Based on the needs of customers and partners, as well as its business practice, Huawei Enterprise has proposed platform and ecosystem strategies that feature a program of action called Business-Driven ICT Infrastructure (BDII) and follow a business policy called Leading New ICT.

New ICT is a combination of innovative technologies, including cloud computing, Software-Defined Networking (SDN), Big Data, and Internet of Things (IoT). These technologies enable a new ICT architecture that features cloud-pipe-device collaboration and facilitate the evolution of traditional IT architectures to cloud-based architectures. An era of new ICT is more than just new technologies and architectures. It calls for a new ecosystem. Huawei will continue to invest intensively in new technologies, such as cloud computing, IoT, Big Data, mobile broadband, and SDN, to build an open, flexible, elastic, and secure ICT infrastructure platform. This platform will function as the bearer of a swinging ecosystem in which various roles seamlessly cooperate with each other to achieve win-win. Together, Huawei and her partners will help customers achieve success in digital transformation.

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