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Convergence and Virtualization in Data Center Storage
Traditional Data Centers are giving way to private and public cloud/fog. Data Center storage using NAND flash has gained an upper hand over traditional spinning media. With falling flash prices, there is an increased uptake of All-Flash Storage Arrays composed of faster and denser SSDs. Take a look at the convergence and virtualization trends applicable to not only servers but also storage.
Data Centers are seeing an increased adoption of Hyper-converged Infrastructure (HCI). Each server forms part of a network of scaled-out nodes. Each node has Direct-Attached storage (DAS) unit. DAS has been found to be a simpler, more scalable and cost effective alternative to Storage Array Networks (SAN). DAS offers high reliability without the help of expensive hardware like JBoF and RAID5, by using erasure-coding that works by creating redundancies across HCI nodes. The trade-off is that unlike RAID5, the coding is CPU-intensive with a comparatively slower write performance.
Expanding on HCI storage is a costly and wasteful affair. Each among the three components of storage, compute, and network are incapable of being scaled up individually. They can only be collectively scaled-out by attaching a specific number of nodes as advised by the vendor. To tackle this, reference architecture solutions that are open source are in place making the upgrade less dependent on vendor constraints.
Large-scale virtualization of storage is now commonplace. Virtual machines have started running Software-Defined Storage (SDS) based on DAS. Host-bus adapters, converged-network adapters and storage controllers that are part of SAN can be effectively replaced by SDS, resulting in improved read and write performance. HCI has also introduced DAS to the SAN-dominated world of networked storage through PCI-Express-based Non-Volatile Memory express over Fabrics (NVMeoF). This is exceedingly more convenient than other competing SAN protocols like FiberChannel, InfiniBand, iSCSI, and Fiber Channel over Ethernet (FCoE).
Amphenol ICC’s lineup of products address the convergence and virtualization trends in Data Center storage. Cool Edge hybrid card edge connectors will take on upcoming SSD technologies over NVMe like EDSFF, NGSFF, SFF-TA-1001, SFF-TA-1002, and Gen-Z. Storage Device I/O connectors are also ready to meet SATA 5.0, SAS 4.0, and PCIe 5.0 requirements. The Mini-SAS HD internal and external connectors and cable assemblies available in copper and optical versions meet or exceed SAS 4.0.