Cloud computing is having a heavy impact on all industries. As a result, service requirements of telecom operators have undergone several changes. Possibly the most noticeable is the need for agile application deployments. Operators need to be able to deploy whatever application they need in a very short rollout period if not right away. The numerous types of applications also add to the burden on storage. Systems must be able to handle a menagerie of taskings, data classes, and utilities.

So, what are the immediate benefits of cloud computing? Users no longer have to build up their computing and storage resources brick by brick and at huge upfront cost followed by substantial continued expenditure into day-two operations. All they have to do is make their request to the cloud resource pool to obtain the IT resources they need to satisfy immediate business requirements. Enter software-define storage and the Storage-as-a-Service (STaaS) concept of the cloud computing era.

Defining STaaS

Virtualization of computing resources or use of virtual machines (VMs) enable the rapid service rollouts required in today’s compute application marketplace. Network functions virtualization (NFV) deploys network software on VMs to achieve the same expedition in rollout at the network level. This same type of on-demand concept is now being applied to the storage layer, allowing enterprises to break free from the limitations of the equipment installed at their site and the applications supported by those systems. The new agility mechanism is what is now being called the STaaS model.

In the previous cost-debilitating layout, customers would have to buy more equipment as storage resources became strained or use a general-purpose server then procure the needed software. Rollout would often take several days at a minimum and up to several weeks or longer, falling well short of meeting service agility requirements. In response, Huawei developed its STaaS solution.

Storage Pool - STaaS

STaaS is defined by two main attributes: resource pooling and precise service definition.

Resource pooling refers to the process of taking various storage devices and combining them into logical unified resource pools, yielding unified management and scheduling capabilities to suit service needs and matching the most appropriate resource to the ‘in-the-moment’ need of the customer. The pooling allows for maximized utilization efficiency of a limited number of resources.

The new model also delivers the flexibility in defining the precise level of performance, capacity, data security, and other attributes. Purchasers specify the SLAs in a simple-to-use ordering procedure and almost immediately obtain the resources and applications they need. STaaS enables users to build a truly unified resource pool and eliminate information islands. Data is allowed to move freely across systems and from hot drives to cheap and deep all while maintaining the proper level of data protection. The upper layer can flexibly use whatever applications are needed while multiple types of media and devices can be properly managed at the underlying layer.

Three Huge Value Points for Telecom Operators

Huge Value Points STaaS

SLA-based storage resource service: Gearing for the future, Huawei Storage proposed its "Data on Demand" strategy powered on IT service-focused cloud data centers. The strategy is set to become the new norm in IT system and storage provisioning, moving away from the traditional model that stacked physical device upon device. Huawei abstracts various storage capabilities into SLA templates for pain-free ordering of services. The templates allow purchasers of services to specify everything from IOPS, latency, bandwidth, and other information without having to pay any attention to the differences in storage at the underlying layer. Resources are provided ‘as-a-service’ externally to better fulfill business and service requirements.

Adaptive data management: Storage capabilities are divided into multiple tiers. Each tier has different specifications in IOPS, latency, bandwidth, and data protection. The resources assigned to a specific service can also be changed over time to adapt to evolving business requirements – an important advantage of the solution is its flexibility. The solution supports cross-tier migration, expansion, and reclaiming of storage resources at the data plane. These abilities allow the solution to respond to ebbs and highs in service requirements with precise resource scheduling.

Open architecture: OpenStack-based framework enables the STaaS model to support smooth evolution to the cloud data center layout while leveraging existing customer investments. The Huawei offering is fully compatible with OpenStack APIs, including Swift, Cinder, and Manila. Seamlessly fitting into open source frameworks allows interconnection into existing cloud storage and Big Data applications and other types of cloud-based platforms.

All industries are making the push towards adopting cloud computing transformations and gearing into the STaaS model. Huawei is helping operators break away from the innate hindrances in traditional layouts and move sure-footedly into the cloud era.


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