Huawei NoF+: One step closer to storage network innovation


On 14 April, Huawei’s Next-Generation High-Performance Inter-DC Storage Network, also known as NoF+, won the Award for Best of Show in the Cloud Computing (Infrastructure) category at Interop Tokyo 2021.

Industry-leading firms and organisations converge each year at Japan’s largest ICT exhibition to showcase their most sophisticated products and solutions.

All-flash arrays have steadily replaced mechanical hard disk storage in recent years. This, paired with the emergence of NVMe standards, has unleashed flash performance’s enormous potential.

Furthermore, the broad adoption of other new storage technologies, such as media and architecture, has become the driving force behind storage innovation. As a result, storage has established new benchmarks for its reliable partner — the network — to better host data centre services.

New technologies and applications emerge one after the other in the intelligent era, and data grows at an exponential rate, putting more demands on real-time service performance. Maintaining stability while offering high performance is one of the requirements; at the core of a data centre, storage must be able to decrease the effects of storage fluctuation on services.

Future-proof

At this year’s event, Huawei showed off its next-generation NoF+ solution, which the show’s experts praised for its improved performance, dependability and usability.

Huawei’s NoF+ next-generation storage network future-proofs storage network construction for data centre expansion. What allows this to happen? Let’s start with the storage and network interaction and its evolution.

The network must be more stable as demand increases. Another demand is increased data mobility, which is required as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic’s massive influx of offline services to the online world. To that end, we must explore how to address the needs of large-scale buildings to create more scalable networks for long-term industry growth. To tackle the problems of company expansion, such architecture must meet those requirements of simplicity.

Several refactoring technologies, such as iSCSI and FCoE, have emerged in the past, but they have been unable to significantly alter the shape of dedicated networks. The fast expansion of storage leads to the development of more innovative storage networks capable of effectively adapting to the demands of the intelligent era.

New Ethernet technologies

Many attempts have been made by the network industry to address the storage needs of data centres. The usage of Ethernet to host storage networks while creating large general-purpose data centres has been agreed upon as an unavoidable future development.

Why? First and foremost, Ethernet is more reliable and open, and has undeniable long-term development potential. Furthermore, with more suppliers participating, we’ve seen the rapid development of new technologies. The Ethernet network is still growing in terms of Moore’s Law, and its performance can improve dramatically in a short period of time. In addition, Huawei’s revolutionary Ethernet network architecture enables greater scalability, resulting in the introduction of NVMe over Fabrics (NoF), a current industry trend.

From NoF to NoF+

What is the difference between Huawei’s NoF+ Solution and the traditional NoF solution? Huawei increases the reliability, performance and ease-of-use of the mainstream standard NoF, presenting the NoF+ solution with an intelligent seamless network for the data storage scenario, thanks to constant R&D in the network and storage areas. This aids in the advancement of the storage network’s development.

Enhanced reliability
Storage must ensure the service systems’ reliability. One of the main requirements, for example, is failover in seconds. The Huawei NoF+ solution compensates for the absence of proactive fault identification and notification in standard Ethernet by providing proactive notification rather than passive response. Overload and defects can be predicted ahead of time. Services are switched over in sub-seconds in the event of a node loss. As a result, the system can run consistently and dependably while delivering excellent performance.

Enhanced performance
The Huawei NoF+ solution optimises the network prediction capability by changing the static watermark method of standard Ethernet. It generates samples and employs algorithms to precisely regulate certain scenarios, allowing it to forecast network service demands and improve them in advance.

Plug-and-play solution
Finally, Huawei’s storage and network solutions work together to create a plug-and-play solution that allows for one-click capacity expansion and management, as well as improved convenience of use in future projects.
The Huawei NoF+ solution uses the intelligent lossless network and storage’s “transmission-compute-intelligence-storage-management” capabilities to execute end-to-end data optimisation in data centres. The solution enhances system dependability and increases data transmission speed and bit error rate during network transmission, which in core service situations is like a touch of magic.

Huawei’s NoF+ solution is currently the industry’s only Ethernet solution with zero packet loss, high bandwidth, low latency and easy maintenance. It also benefits from open and compatible IP Ethernet, which makes it easier to integrate storage, network and compute resources for real-time data sharing. In addition, Huawei has collaborated on the NoF+ solution with several important financial and carrier companies, opening up new avenues for data infrastructure development. The revolutionary transformation of storage networks has a long way to go, but Huawei is dedicated to continuing to invest in the industry and is looking forward to forming additional partnerships along the road.

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