There is a saying: everyone cares whether you fly high, but no one cares whether you are tired. This sentence reflects the current situation of the storage industry. Performance and price are the two indicators that 90% of Chinese enterprises are most concerned about when purchasing it equipment. The demand of the purchasing department for “high quality and low price” exceeds any indicator. Many enterprises pay more attention to prices, parameters and indicators than the actual benefits that it equipment can bring, such as: what is the really needed capacity? Can these equipment operate at full capacity? What is the power consumption cost?

Some equipment manufacturers also create a misunderstanding for it purchasers that “the newer the model, the better the performance of the system using the latest technology”, which makes them blindly buy storage products with higher configuration but possible redundancy. With the in-depth development of cloud computing, artificial intelligence, big data and the Internet of things, the data center has ushered in new development opportunities. At the same time, it is also stepping into the era of high density and high energy consumption. On the one hand, data center has become one of the most core infrastructures in the era of digital economy, and its role in big data storage is self-evident;

On the other hand, the traditional data center is known as the “power eating beast” because of its huge power consumption. With the landing of 5g, there will be many edge data centers requiring high computing power in the world. As the traditional data center has become an unbearable weight of global energy, there is an urgent need for a “green revolution” in the field of data storage – to realize more intensive and intelligent storage technology innovation through low energy consumption, high operation efficiency, high resource utilization and high security.

Although the fourth generation storage based on flash memory plays a positive role in reducing the occupied space of the data center, reducing power and cooling energy consumption, and reducing the overall cost of the storage infrastructure, there are also obvious disadvantages: most fourth generation storage will have a great decline in performance and a significant increase in latency after turning on compression or deleting duplicate data. The fifth generation storage can provide online real-time data deduplication and compression, achieving high data reduction rate and lossless performance.

For users, data reduction technology can reduce the amount of data actually dropped, reduce the number of drives used, and save the transmission bandwidth between data centers, so as to reduce the cost. In addition, due to the efficient utilization of storage resources, the fifth generation storage can effectively reduce the consumption of power and cooling resources, significantly improve the space utilization and resource occupation of the data center, reduce the TCO of the storage infrastructure, and achieve green environmental protection and sustainable development. If you no longer pursue performance and price / performance when purchasing it equipment, what is an important indicator to measure storage in the future? The answer is effective capacity.

“Effective capacity”: using the built-in optimization and data reduction technology, while ensuring the application performance SLA, reduce the actual occupied space of application data and provide real and guaranteed storage capacity. For example, if the usable ratio of a storage with a raw capacity of 60tb is 0.85 (the specific overhead varies depending on the array), then its usable capacity is only 60 * 0.85 = 51tb. When the storage data reduction rate DRR is 3:1, the effective capacity of the storage, that is, the actual data storage capacity, becomes 51 * 3 = 153tb, more than twice the raw capacity.

From the development context of storage technology, it is not difficult to see that each new generation of storage technology has made a qualitative leap over the previous generation of technology in unified management, reducing cost, reducing energy consumption and improving resource utilization. If the first four generations of storage technology focus on intensive and efficient, then the fifth generation of storage technology focuses on intelligence, especially for the effective configuration, utilization and management of storage. It has developed from simply focusing on performance to optimizing and improving the overall performance through rational allocation of storage resources.

This method can not only realize the large-scale expansion of storage equipment, but also further improve the energy consumption level of storage equipment and even data center, so as to minimize the overall it cost and achieve sustainable development. With the diversification of business and the massive growth of data, the traditional full flash array based on SAS flash memory can no longer meet the needs of today’s high-density mixed workload integration and low latency workload of digital transformation innovative applications.

In order to maximize performance on the premise of reasonable allocation of storage resources, the fifth generation storage supports the full flash array of nvme technology, which is optimized for traditional key tasks and innovative applications of digital transformation, so as to realize rapid and real-time response to applications, maximize data value mining and analysis, and support business transformation.

In addition to supporting modern cloud native applications, the fifth generation storage also needs to support a multi cloud environment with good scalability, ease of use, flexible deployment, agility and elasticity. Through artificial intelligence technology, the fifth generation storage can realize storage insight, fault and operation trend prediction, so as to provide auxiliary decision-making for preventive measures and system optimization. In addition, the fifth generation storage also provides an open API to integrate with various workflow management automation tools / platforms to realize intelligent operation and maintenance.

When innovation has gone through the large-scale stage, innovation will move towards intelligence in the future. For most enterprises, on the road to the success of digital transformation, it architecture should not only ensure the rational application, stability and reliability of the existing architecture, but also meet the needs of new applications. This requires enterprises to focus on the procurement of IT equipment in the future from the perspective of intelligence, availability and effectiveness. More importantly, only by finding the green key can it infrastructure develop sustainably and become one of the core competitiveness of enterprises in the future.

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