SSD is Knocking
When digital cameras came onto the scene, people using film-loaded cameras were hesitant to make the switch. However, the speed, convenience, and cost advantages of digital cameras delivered benefits that ultimately led to a wholesale shift in the market for the new technology. Something similar is happening in the storage industry as Solid-State Drives (SSDs) are primed to overtake traditional Hard-Disk Drives (HDDs).
Three Problems for SSD
How much longer will it take for SSDs to complete the move and place the technology within reach of enterprise-scale application, completing its historic mission as the baton is once again handed off in the storage arena? Before SSD can accomplish a full-scale takeover, production capacity, affordability, and impact on existing systems must be resolved.
- Production Capacity: HDD manufacturers have scaled their manufacturing capacity over decades of factory upgrades. Enterprise-level SSDs require the same level of capital development to rise to a leading position in the marketplace.
- Affordability: An enormous price point differential puts SSD technology out of reach for all but the most demanding customers. To bring SSD to the forefront, the technology must be priced comparatively to traditional HDDs.
- Impact on Existing Systems: People always want new and better storage systems; however, they do not want their existing systems to be compromised.
In September 2015, Joy Huang, Vice President of the Huawei IT Product Line announced the company’s ambitious SSD strategy, including the goals of matching HDD capacities and price points. Realizing that the trend would sweep the industry and knowing that none of today’s big players wants to be left behind, storage manufacturers have begun to ramp up their SSD factories over recent years. Yet, many vendors continue to hesitate.
“Customers have long waited for the ability to move fully into SSD,” says Fan Ruiqi, President of the Huawei Storage Product Line. “Huawei is determined to take the lead in delivering high-capacity, solid-state storage at a price point competitive with rotating media. The era of all-SSD storage will happen earlier than many in the market have anticipated.”
Huawei’s 600 GB HSSD Solid-State Drive
Huawei’s Flash Decision
With research begun in 2005, and products appearing in 2010, Huawei now commands a sizable share of the enterprise SSD market.
“Huawei has mastered the core technologies required for scaling the manufacture of SSD components,” Fan Ruiqi points out. “We build our own industry-leading controllers and own many key patents in the field. These factors together give Huawei great technical advantages.”
With a partnership that began on September 19, 2015, mainstream memory supplier Micron Technology of Boise, Idaho joined with Huawei to support the application of flash memory technology. “Huawei has its own advanced production lines that are complimented by the manufacturing capabilities of our partners,” Fan Ruiqi adds. “With this coupling of manufacturing capabilities between the two companies, our production costs are cut in half.”
“The move to integrate flash memory for high-capacity data storage will deliver optimal user experience and low power consumption,” says Yuan Yuan, CTO of the Huawei IT Solutions Sales in Western Europe. “It is well suited to customers’ business needs now and in the future and is a vital tool in addressing the challenges of Big Data. Our cooperation with Micron for flash memory is a shining example of Huawei’s long-term commitment to build a sustainable ecosystem for partners within the industry chain, where we are exploring opportunities to jointly develop industry-specific product solutions.”
In October 2015, Huawei launched an OceanStor Flash campaign across Europe to accelerate the process of replacing HDD-based storage systems with SSD systems and widen the adoption of flash in data centers. The core of the strategy is to help customers step into an ‘all-flash’ era in which high performance and excellent reliability are the norm. The goal is to integrate Huawei SSDs into the full range of storage products.
Knowing that collaboration with key industry partners is essential, Huawei seeks to combine the wisdom and knowledge of multiple parties in the supply chain to develop unique solutions. “We cannot achieve innovation by ourselves. Everything we have created, obtained, and achieved would not be possible without the joint efforts of our partners and the unflinching trust of our customers,” says Yuan Yuan. “As the open source IT market continues to grow, Huawei looks forward to teaming up with additional partners to build targeted solutions, continuously improve our levels of industrial innovation, and support the company’s long-term commitments.”
Industries and markets across the globe pivot around access to advanced information technologies. Given the choice to act, will you answer or hesitate? The best possible decision is to get out in front and commit to moving to SSD.