Huawei’s OceanStor Pacific is ‘purpose-built for the 5G era’

Enterprises face 'insufficient capacity, data silos, and complex management'

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Sponsored Huawei has launched the OceanStor Pacific series, a mass capacity general purpose storage array with the best price performance ratio for storing very large volumes of data and keeping it safe, the company claims.

The lack of storage and consequent lack of access to large amounts of data is one of the biggest challenges in the digital economy, and 5G will compound the problem. The 5G era will bring an unprecedented new level of interconnection between consumers and businesses, with more data needing to be collected, processed, and analysed to drive business decisions than ever before.

This mass data ocean will need a new type of storage system, Huawei says, one designed for the 5G era and architected for efficiency and economy in ingesting, storing and delivering data to applications. Solving this problem requires an array that can scale to store many petabytes of data, provide fast access to hot data, archival storage for cold data, and support high reliability and space efficiency.

Peter Zhou, President of Huawei Data Storage and Intelligent Vision Product Line, said at the OceanStor Pacific launch in Shenzhen: "Mass data will play an increasingly important role in enterprise digital transformation. Today, only 2 per cent of global data is stored, and only 10 per cent of the data is being mined for further value. Enterprises are facing insufficient capacity, data silos, and complex management when dealing with mass data.

“Our OceanStor Pacific Series is designed to answer these pain points, setting a new benchmark for efficient, economical, everlasting mass data storage, and helping us become the trusted choice for mass data."

OceanStor Pacific is designed for access to massive amounts of data by multiple applications using many different protocols. The 5G era will see new services such as 4K/8K video and VR/AR developing rapidly. This means the data processing volume of carriers' billing systems, CRM systems, and network O&M systems will also increase several times over.

The Pacific series provides efficient, cost-effective and reliable services for AI, high-performance computing, autonomous vehicle developments, video and other mass data use cases by breaking architectural, service, and performance boundaries. It leverages uncompromised multi-protocol interworking, a next-generation elastic erasure coding (EC) algorithm, and new-design hardware and software features.

What’s inside the system

The OceanStor Pacific storage system can hold a vast amount of data because it has decoupled storage and compute facilities to improve storage efficiency in the 5G era. It has a fully distributed architecture with from 3 to 4,096 clustered nodes for tremendous scalability.

At the node level, Huawei has architected a simple yet elegant hardware design with a densely packed storage drive enclosure in which the drive trays can be pulled out both forwards and backwards, like wings extending from a butterfly’s body, so as not to unbalance the cabinet.

This enclosure is 5 rack units high and contains 120 x 3.5-inch nearline disk drives with a capacity of 2.4PB - a storage density more than three times greater than the industry average. That means less data centre floor space is needed to hold the hundreds of drives in a Pacific system.

The company has gone beyond traditional RAID technology to protect against drive failure. It has developed erasure coding (EC) algorithms that protect data more efficiently than RAID. Huawei’s EC algorithm supports a 22 + 2 EC data redundancy protection mechanism; the highest redundancy ratio in the industry. It features up to 91 per cent disk space utilisation that is 25 per cent higher than the 4 + 2 EC mode commonly used in the industry.

Huawei’s high-density hardware together with its erasure coding means the number of cabinets for storing 150 PB video data can be reduced from 32 to 8, a 75 per cent reduction, with power consumption lowered by 65 per cent.

Overall, it enables 30 per cent resource utilisation improvements and up to 62.5 per cent data centre footprint reduction.

Pacific has three storage tiers: SSDs for fast data access, disk drives for mass data storage, and Blu-ray optical disks for archival storage. Hot, warm, and cold data is automatically tiered onto these tiers on demand and, as data ages, it cascades from SSD to HDD and on to Blu-ray drives.

The Pacific array supports block access, as used by databases, file-level access for virtual machines, object storage for scale-out unstructured data, and HDFS for big data analytics workloads. This multi-protocol access means that a Pacific Series array can consolidate the functions of previously separate storage systems, saving space, expense and management effort.

Also, traditional HDFS storage requires three data copies. Huawei’s EC technology replaces this three-copy technology to ensure data reliability. Disk storage utilisation is increased from 33 per cent to 91 per cent and the number of disks is reduced by 2.75x for the same effective storage capacity, thereby reducing costs.

Host application servers can access the array across 10 or 25GbitE TCP or RoCE, and 56 or 100Gbit/s InfiniBand providing broad connectivity options, high bandwidth and low latency.

With so much data stored it is vital that the array is continuously available, can tolerate failures, and withstand site disasters. The Pacific Series has cross-cluster, active-active, and three-site multi-active Disaster Recovery mechanisms for cross-region DR, ensuring 24/7 online service availability.

The Pacific Series Data Management System (DMS) works with the eService cloud-based intelligent O&M platform to proactively detect disk faults and performance problems through mass data connections and model training, yielding a fault location accuracy of 93 per cent.

There is comprehensive sub-unit health detection and self-healing for disks, nodes, and networks. System reliability remains uncompromised even if four nodes or four cabinets simultaneously fail. Predictive analytics is used to identify potential faults before they occur.

To find out more about Huawei’s OceanStor Pacific array and how it provide a single combined storage resource for the 5G era; low-latency fast-access data, efficient storage for petabytes of files, and deep vaults of historical archive data, visit Huawei’s website.

Sponsored by Huawei.

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