Case Study: Seagate Enterprise HDDs and SSDs Play Critical Role in Expanding AIC’s Server Portfolio


Unrelenting demand for more storage capacity is posing significant challenges for today’s organisations as they strive to reduce their costs. This places particularly difficult burdens on IT managers because as storage demands continue to expand, IT departments are expected to deploy an ever-increasing quantity of storage capacity in a smaller physical space while simultaneously reducing energy costs and cooling requirements. This objective - increasing capacity while decreasing total cost of ownership (TCO) - is common to many cloud storage providers.

Advanced Industrial Computer (AIC), for example, is a global provider of OEM/ODM server and storage solutions based in Taipei, Taiwan. The company offers internal platform solutions, including computing nodes, servers and Internet application equipment, and provides customers with diversified server and storage solutions. Its product development ranges from industrial computer and system heat management solutions to high-density servers. AIC has already made its mark in the enterprise market for its innovation and product design by offering flexible and scalable service packages to address the needs of its customers.

Terry Huang, AIC’s vice president of product development and management, recently emphasised that, “AIC wants to ensure that it keeps abreast of technology trends so as to provide its global partners with comprehensive yet focused product solutions. For this reason, the company maintains close ties with other leading global manufacturers on their IT development, as well as their product R&D time-frame, and adjusts its global operational structures to keep up on the R&D and service pipelines accordingly. With customer focus a top priority, AIC holds the highest standard in innovation and product design, offering flexible and scalable service packages to address its customers’ needs.”

 

Figure 1. In Standby Mode, XJ3000-4603S with 60 Enterprise Capacity 3.5 HDDs reduces energy usage up to 80%.

The benefits of the XJ3000-4603S go well beyond its ability to dramatically reduce storage TCO. It employs a modularised, hot-swappable and redundant JBOD design, featuring two expanders, four fan modules and an 1890W 80+ power supply unit (PSU). Front status indicators enable quick checks of HDD status, and the unit’s built-in RS-232 interface simplifies system powering. The XJ3000-4603S easily connects to any server for convenient monitoring and management of data, and can be connected to four storage systems at once, enabling fast expansion to meet growing capacity needs.

Seagate® Enterprise Capacity 3.5 and Terascale® HDDs

The Seagate Enterprise Capacity 3.5 HDD drive family is the optimal match for AIC products because it delivers equally impressive space- and energy-efficiency benefits. Offering some of the highest capacities in a 3.5-inch HDD form factor, these capacity-optimised hard drives support up to 152TB of storage per square foot, making them ideal for high-density storage applications.

  • Highest-capacity enterprise drive, up to 4TB for maximum density server and storage solutions
  • Best-in-class energy efficiency with low power and cooling requirements
  • Perfect for reliable, 24×7 bulk data storage
  • Predictable 7,200-rpm performance even in the most rugged multi-drive SAS or SATA environments
  • Protects data, and eases data disposal costs and management with the SED FIPS 140-2 option

To expand on its offerings in the multimedia market, AIC is also deploying its high-density rackmount JBOD subsystem with Seagate Terascale HDDs to produce a line of mass storage subsystems. This offering, unlike other currently available solutions, is designed to support 60 bays (instead of 16) and allows for a total capacity of up to 180TB. It is also equipped with PowerChoice technology.

Seagate® 1200 SSD

AIC is also further developing next-generation hardware and software by using SSDs, such as the Seagate 1200 SSD, knowing that SSDs increase the performance of applications such as server virtualisation, online transaction processing (OLTP), data warehousing, content delivery networks (CDN) and cloud computing. In addition, SSDs deliver the performance, intelligence and efficiency that business data centres need. The 1200 SSD helps safeguard data against unexpected power loss and protects data from undetected and unintentional corruption. It even includes Self-Encrypting Drive technology to protect data stored on the device.

“Seagate is the logical technology partner for us. Seagate specialises in meeting enterprise requirements for quality, endurance and performance in storage solutions, and its SSD technology platform has harnessed the physics of server storage to make new data centre and server storage solutions possible. Our partnership with Seagate will accelerate server storage product innovation and fuel new deployments of cloud computing in enterprise data centres.”
- Terry Huang

In 2011, to expand its footprint in the enterprise market, AIC engaged in a yearlong project with Seagate to design, develop and test high-density storage. The following year AIC launched JBOD (just a bunch of disks) 4U60, a single expander model, which was successful in Taiwan as well as internationally. AIC then rolled relevant features into the 4U60 dual expander model - a product line designed for media broadcasting, streaming, data mining and other storage-intensive activities. With the certified samples provided by Seagate, AIC was able to launch the 4U60 dual expander in 2013.

Some of the features of this product line provide data integrity, manageability, test and support to protect data from unexpected power outage or undetected damage. One of the challenges that can result from data-intensive tasks is that downtime can compromise data integrity. To overcome this, AIC has included redundant power supply, cooling, and controller functionality, so that if any of the primary systems fail, the backup takes over without affecting overall performance.

High-Density, Energy-Efficient AIC XJ3000-4603S JBOD

Similarly, the AIC XJ3000-4603S JBOD is the perfect building block for companies seeking an energy-saving storage solution that delivers the capacity needed to meet growing storage requirements. Because its chassis mounts the HDDs vertically, the XJ3000-4603S can hold up to 60 3.5-inch drives in a chassis size (4U) that typically houses no more than 36 HDDs. This remarkable 66% increase in storage density enables businesses to conserve both power and rack space within the data centre.

AIC’s JBOD supports SATA and dual-channel redundancy SAS drives for storage solutions with enterprise-class reliability. However, if a capacity-hungry company deployed a multitude of XJ3000-4603S JBODs that were equipped with typical SAS HDDs, the reliability and capacity they offered would come at the price of substantial energy costs. That’s why AIC chooses Seagate® Enterprise Capacity 3.5-inch HDDs. In addition to the lowest operating power in their class, these drives include Seagate PowerChoice™ technology, which can significantly reduce each drive’s power consumption in standby mode.

The AIC XJ3000-4603S is specifically designed to help meet power-reduction goals and can deliver up to 80% energy savings when its Enterprise Capacity HDD are in standby mode. That adds up to 4100 kWh of electricity savings per year for just one JBOD fitted with 60 enterprise HDDs (see Table 1 and Figure 1).

Table 1: Power consumption of one XJ3000-4603S with 60 Enterprise Capacity 3.5 HDDs

AIC XJ3000-4603S Power Consumption
Operation 558.8 Watts
Standby Mode 101.1 Watts

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Seagate Case Study: Advanced Industrial Computer (AIC)

Location: Taipei, Taiwan

Contact: www.aicipc.com
Industry: Server and storage solutions




Challenges

  • Providing flexible and scalable solutions for cloud and data centre deployments

Solution

  • Seagate enterprise hard disk drives (HDD) and solid state drives (SSD)

Benefits

  • Expansion of product portfolio
  • Growing base of international customers
  • Setting new standards in energy savings


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