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Moving Towards an All-Flash Data Centre in the Intelligent Age

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Data Centre - Investors King

Explosive data has become the core means of production and the catalyst for the digital economy. In the next five to 10 years, the amount of data to be stored will increase from 32 ZB in 2018 to 180 ZB by 2025. This data explosion will further drive the maturity of the data value chain and propel enterprises’ decision-making and innovation.

We are at the dawn of an Intelligent Era, and data centre operators need to rise to the challenge. To take one example, when building new data centres, they should evaluate all-flash options. Let’s take a look at some of the best practices that they should consider.

Four major challenges facing the reconstruction of next-gen data centres

Data centres are responsible for centralised storage, computing, and the exchange of data resources. In light of explosive data growth, diverse data types, and the ever-increasing importance of it, data centres face four major challenges.

First, the in-depth digital transformation of enterprises causes huge numbers of offline services to go online, and innovative services to emerge one after another. This is exemplified by the financial sector, where the transactions per second of large banks are increasing exponentially as a result of ecommerce and mobile payments.

Second, data centres have become a major power consumer. Currently, the total global power consumption of data centres is around 2% to 3% of the annual world power consumption. High energy consumption results in high electricity costs and carbon emissions. According to the United Nations Environment Programme, global emissions must fall by 7.6% per year for the next decade to meet the goal of limiting global temperature rise to 1.5°C. The European Union has also pledged to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. Under overwhelming environmental pressures, it’s imperative to save energy and reduce emissions.

In addition, many enterprises suffer huge economic losses and social impacts due to data loss and service disruption each year, which results in an estimated 8% fall in revenue. In the financial industry, where data is the lifeblood of business, the loss caused by system downtime reaches up to $6.48 million per hour.

Finally, O&M (operations and maintenance) efficiency is one of the core factors in the development of data centres. This is made difficult by a large number of devices and interfaces from multiple vendors affecting the ability of organisations to locate faults and respond to service requests. Over the next five years, the amount of data maintained per capita will increase fivefold, which will further increase the difficulty of O&M and labour costs.

Therefore, how to build a green, reliable, and intelligent all-flash data centre becomes a major challenge for future sustainable development.

Three important construction considerations for designing All-Flash data centres

Building an all-flash data centre requires a comprehensive upgrade of the media, and also the integration of data centre resources and architecture reconstruction, in order to meet diverse future service requirements.

Specifically, this includes all-flash upgrade for multiple types of data and service scenarios, all-IP reconstruction for data centre networks, and full-lifecycle intelligent O&M for the entire data centre. The multi-layer all-flash solution helps build a greener data centre with higher efficiency and availability, more intelligent O&M, lower TCO, and zero network bottleneck.

1. All-scenario Flash fast-tracks your services

All-scenario media flash indicates that diverse types of workloads are stored in flash media, for example, HDDs are replaced by SSDs in various scenarios, such as enterprise core systems, HPC, video, and disaster recovery. This helps reduce costs and improve efficiency. Offering the same capacity, SSDs reduce power consumption by 70% and space occupation by 50%. This slashes the total cost of ownership (TCO) of data centres and helps them go carbon neutral. In addition, the system performance of SSDs is 40x higher than that of HDDs. High-performance SSDs become an ideal choice in peak-time scenarios.

Services require high-end storage to undertake more missions, which is another inevitable trend in the development of all-flash data centres. Last but not least, all-scenario flash is characterised by comprehensive data protection. Faster disaster recovery, higher use frequency of copies, and longer retention are in high demand.

2. All-IP data centre network unlocks the potential of Flash

All-scenario flash drives the transformation of data centre networks while NVMe maximizes the value of SSDs. Therefore, faster media and protocols call for faster networks. That brings us to the NVMe over Fabric (NVME-oF) storage network. NVMe-oF uses the IP network to innovate and upgrade the previous dedicated network, achieving higher bandwidth and lower latency. It is also easy to manage using the IP network, which is the optimal solution for implementing end-to-end NVMe. NVMe-oF solutions are currently trending in the industry.

Thanks to continuous R&D in the network and storage fields, Huawei has improved the reliability, performance, and ease-of-use of the mainstream standard NVMe-oF, as exemplified by the company’s NoF+ Solution with intelligent lossless network for Huawei OceanStor. This helps push the development of the storage network to the next level.

Enhanced reliability: Enables proactive notification, rather than passive response, identifies congestion and faults in advance, and works with OceanStor storage to implement failover within seconds.

Enhanced performance: Changes the traditional static watermark mode and optimises the network prediction capability using algorithms, further unleashing the powerful performance of Huawei OceanStor all-flash storage.

Plug-and-play solution: Implements one-click capacity expansion and automatic management and enhances ease of use in future construction.

3. Intelligent O&M platform improves full-lifecycle O&M efficiency

All-flash data centres must deliver full-lifecycle intelligent O&M to implement automation and intelligence in planning, deployment, O&M, and optimisation. In the planning phase, resources are precisely planned, and the focus has shifted from device upgrade to full-lifecycle data management. In the deployment phase, global resources are automatically provisioned. In the O&M phase, full-stack intelligent O&M is implemented to change reactive inspection to proactive discovery. In the optimisation phase, agile configuration optimisation and automatic resource prediction and change are implemented. The optimisation is performed using intelligent algorithms instead of expert experience.

Conclusion

Huawei’s all-flash data centre solution (https://bit.ly/3ySD2jS), which includes OceanStor all-flash storage, OceanProtect data protection, NoF+ storage network, and DME full-lifecycle intelligent O&M, provides an effective way to build a future green and energy-efficient all-flash data centre. It has been widely used in core service systems of various industries, such as finance, carriers, healthcare, and manufacturing, to better mine enterprise data value and accelerate the digital transformation journey. Along the way, emerging modern all-flash data centres are sure to achieve great things while pushing social and economic production to new heights.

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and Investing.com, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.

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Telecommunications

Nokia Launches Next-generation AirScale 5G Portfolio Powered by ReefShark Technology

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Nokia - Investors King

Nokia today announced the global launch of its latest range of industry-leading AirScale 5G products covering baseband, remote radio heads, and massive MIMO active antennas with digital beamforming. The innovative solutions are powered by the latest generation of Nokia’s ReefShark System-on-Chip (SoC) chipsets and deliver the highest capacity and network performance while enabling efficient deployments and operation. The rollout of the new products is already underway.

Nokia introduces its new generation of ReefShark-powered AirScale massive MIMO antennas with both 32TRX and 64TRX products, as well as 8T8R remote radio head solutions. The 32TRX is the industry’s lightest, at 17kg, simplifying and speeding up site deployments. Notably, this low weight is achieved at the same time as supporting high radio frequency bandwidth (200 MHz occupied bandwidth and 400 MHz instantaneous bandwidth) and delivering high radio frequency power output, without compromise. Both the new 32TRX and the new 64TRX massive MIMO antennas support both fragmented spectrum and network sharing cases.

Nokia also introduces its new SoC-based baseband plug-in cards to boost the capacity of the AirScale System Module. The new ReefShark-powered plug-in cards deliver up to eight times more throughput and serve up to eight times more cells compared to previous generations. They are easily installed and simplify the upgrade and extended operation of all AirScale deployments. Nokia’s baseband module can support 90,000 connected users simultaneously and has 84 Gbps throughput. The highly efficient ReefShark powered plug-in cards also reduce power consumption by up to 75 percent. Nokia’s modular AirScale baseband enables mobile operators to scale capacity flexibly and efficiently and as their 5G business evolves.

Nokia Single RAN software now includes 5G, accelerating 5G rollouts and cutting overall radio access network TCO (Total Cost of Ownership), by unlocking network efficiencies with common transport, common operability, common software delivery, and increased hardware sharing. The combination of Nokia’s Single RAN software and the new baseband plug-in cards offer multi-mode (2G, 3G, 4G, 5G) and multi-band and supports the latest fronthaul interfaces (eCPRI) on a single baseband platform, simplifying the network and lowering costs.

Nokia’s AirScale baseband architecture is designed to be future-proof and support the increasing demands for wireless traffic. By keeping the L1 and L2 (Layer 1 and Layer 2) computing separate from L3 (Layer 3) and Transport baseband plug-in units, capacity can be added when and where it is needed in the network. Network modernization can be simply achieved either by software upgrade or by adding new plug-in units into the existing baseband.

Nokia’s ReefShark chipsets will also play a critical role in future Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) capabilities. Nokia has already introduced AI/ML features in areas such as predictive load balancing, anomaly detection, and intelligent traffic steering. All Nokia ReefShark platforms are AI/ML ready and Nokia is carrying out proof of concepts with customers this year in innovative areas such as Massive MIMO beam pattern optimization, energy-saving, advanced traffic steering, advanced packet scheduling, and alarm pattern discovery.

Patrick Filkins, Senior Research Analyst, IoT and Mobile Network Infrastructure, IDC, commented: “5G networks are absolutely critical for improving network capacity and performance, particularly when higher bandwidth is in demand. Nokia’s new portfolio addresses these concerns by enabling mobile operators to flexibly scale capacity while helping to smoothly transition to 5G from existing technologies easily and cost-effectively. The integration of Nokia’s ReefShark SoCs across both radio and baseband boosts performance and capacity and the new massive MIMO antennas set a new benchmark for low weight without compromising on performance. These solutions will help mobile operators to address the increasingly dynamic mobile services space that urgently requires more capacity.”

Tommi Uitto, President of Mobile Networks, Nokia, said: “Our new generation of ReefShark-powered AirScale radio and baseband products is evidence of the successful transformation of our business and ability to deliver market-leading products to our global customers. Nokia’s new portfolio enables communication service providers to offer both consumer and enterprise customers with cutting-edge 5G experiences with premium speeds, capacity, and connectivity underpinned by seamless, simple, and efficient ‘plug-in’ deployment. Our new AirScale products are O-RAN ready. They consume less energy and highlight our commitment to climate change. We’re excited to see our customers deploying these products and see the transformative impact of 5G technology.”

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Visa To Acquire Swedish Open Banking Firm Tink For €1.8B

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Visa Inc

Card giant firm, Visa is set to acquire Tink, the Swedish open banking platform, in a deal worth €1.8 billion (roughly $2.15 billion).

The news comes less than six months after the termination of Visa’s planned $5.3 billion acquisition of Plaid, the San Francisco-based fintech firm – a deal that had encountered significant opposition from the U.S. Department of Justice.

Like Plaid, Tink’s platform allows customers to connect with more than 3,400 banks and financial institutions to access aggregated financial data, helping them to build innovative personal finance tools.

“Visa is committed to doing all we can to foster innovation and empower consumers in support of Europe’s open banking goals,” said Al Kelly, CEO and chairman of Visa. “By bringing together Visa’s network of networks and Tink’s open banking capabilities we will deliver increased value to European consumers and businesses with tools to make their financial lives more simple, reliable and secure.”

As part of the Visa deal, Tink will retain its brand and current management team, as well as its headquarters in Stockholm, Sweden.

Tink last raised money in December 2020, when it secured €85 million (roughly $101.5 million) in a round led by Dawn Capital and Eurazeo Growth.

The €1.8 billion transactions, which includes cash and retention incentives, are subject to approval from regulators. Visa will fund the transaction in cash.

Tink’s business model is in part enabled by the EU’s Revised Payment Services Directive (PSD2), which was put into effect in January 2018. The legislation requires banks to give third parties access to the customer data they store, with the aim of driving competition and innovation in financial services.

But the PSD2 framework also paved the way for new payment functionality that allows consumers to make payments directly from their bank accounts without having to rely on intermediaries, like card networks.

In recent months, account-to-account payments have garnered a lot of attention from crypto startups, which see it as a potentially cheaper and easier method of funding wallets.

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Telecommunications

Global Credit Ratings (GCR) Assigned MTN Nigeria Highest Possible Credit Ratings

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Karl O Toriola - Investorsking.com

MTN Nigeria Communications Plc has been assigned the highest credit ratings of AAA by Global Credit Ratings (GCR).

GCR affirmed MTN Nigeria’s national scale short-term rating of A1+, with a stable outlook.

Also, GCR upgraded the national scale long-term rating of the recently concluded N110 billion Series 1 Senior Unsecured Bond to AAA with a stable outlook.

These represent the highest possible long-term and short-term ratings on GCR’s national rating scale, and MTN Nigeria is the first mobile network operator in Africa to be accorded such ratings by GCR.

According to GCR, “the ratings accorded to MTN Nigeria reflect its very strong competitive position as the leading provider of telecommunications services in Nigeria, as well as its strong earnings and cash flow which has supported a robust financial profile.”

Commenting on the rating, Karl Toriola, Chief Executive Officer, MTN Nigeria, said, “We are delighted with the outcome of the GCR rating. This demonstrates the resilience of our business and positions MTN Nigeria as the benchmark of reference for the information and communications technology sector for long-dated, fixed-term instruments. As we continue to invest in our network and strengthen our risk management processes, we remain focused on sustaining and accelerating growth in line with our Ambition 2025 strategy“.

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