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Mar 17 2014

Fujitsu ETERNUS DX S3: Storage at the Speed of Sound (Part 1 of 3)

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More data, faster access, smarter applications, changing delivery models, increased use of business analytics – the challenges storage systems must meet have exploded over the past ten years. Many 'classic' arrays can no longer fulfill these demands or require massive workarounds to function properly. To solve these problems, Fujitsu's engineers introduced a new "performance architecture" with our third-generation ETERNUS DX storage systems. This article explores the new technology in three sequels.

A Flood of New Demands
Back in 2004, a storage expert told me that "if data growth, server virtualization, and demand for anywhere access to IT resources keep expanding at the current pace, then storage systems will turn into the very backbone of any IT infrastructure." He then paused for a moment before adding: "But we still need to add heaps of performance and functionality until we get there." Fast forward to 2014, and we realize that the demands on storage systems have not only grown, but changed fundamentally – in ways we couldn't even imagine before:

  • Changing user behavior and the mobile revolution have pushed data growth beyond limits: in 2004, people used only a few platforms to generate new input – desktop PCs, notebooks, and sometimes PDAs. Today, the same people produce data almost continually, using apps on tablets, smartphones, watches and a plethora of other mobile devices in BYOD scenarios – alongside their classic equipment.
  • The "Internet of Things" is taking shape: historically, generating data typically required some sort of user interaction. Today, a new class of smart devices – ranging from smart meters through networked TV sets to the proverbial intelligent refrigerator – delivers a constant flow of information independently. Estimates show that there are currently 30 billion (!) Internet-ready devices in use, one sixth of which remains connected 24/7. And this is only just the start; analysts predict that the total number of smart devices, appliances and systems will increase to 200 billion by 2020.
  • The Web still expands at unrestricted speed: according to analysis from Netcraft, the number of globally available websites amounted to 634 million in December 2012, an increase of 79 million (12.5%) over the previous year. From November to December 2011 alone, Netcraft recorded a plus of 29.5 million sites.
  • The character of storage itself has changed: until the late 1990s, storage systems were mainly needed for backups, disaster recovery and archiving. With the onset of virtualization, they took over functions that would previously require dedicated hardware and manual efforts, such as data management, cleansing, deduplication, storage tiering, and Quality of Service Management. In addition, storage systems still have to handle standard challenges, for example the growth in unstructured data, a recurring boost in transactions, or the permanent expansion of databases.

All these demands combined call for storage systems that offer both much larger capacities and much better performance. Thanks to a constant decline in HDD costs, capacity is not a problem today, so that many systems offer terabytes or even petabytes of "space." From a performance point of view, however, they're often unfit for today's requirements. Consequently, Fujitsu has spared no effort to ensure our storage systems can meet the challenges that lie ahead - based on a new performance architecture that we will introduce to you in the following chapters.

 

René Hübel

 

About the Author:

René Hübel

Senior Product Marketing Manager Storage Solutions 

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