Huawei Takes On IBM In Race For AI Storage Dominance

Unveiled at GITEX GLOBAL 2023, Huawei introduces OceanStor A310, a deep learning data lake storage, making its foray into the AI storage landscape and offering solutions to tackle pervasive challenges in data processing.

Image: Huawei

“Huawei isn’t just dipping its toes into the AI storage pool, it’s doing a cannonball with the clear intent to make waves. It’s not merely a company milestone, it’s a statement of Chinese AI superiority and a wake-up call to the United States that China has definitively claimed the top spot in the global AI arena.”

In our example, in a smart factory that’s ever-watchful for production flaws. Though the edge is the frontline for data processing, it’s not a data repository; that’s where the core steps in.

Imagine the core as a secure vault, holding what’s often called “the new oil”—data. It’s a treasure that flows from the edge and demands rock-solid, scalable storage solutions.

Yet, the journey doesn’t stop there, they use the factory data to create virtual replicas that help refine future products through AI and machine learning techniques.

AI storage is pivotal because it ensures a seamless, secure, and scalable data journey from the edge, through the core, and into the cloud—a critical pathway for advancing AI applications.

Image: Blocks and Files

Huawei’s OceanStor A310 can reportedly supply data to Nvidia’s GPUs almost four times faster than IBM’s ESS 3500. That’s according to tests using Nvidia’s Magnum GPU Direct.

This technology allows data to go directly from storage to the GPU, bypassing the need for a storage host system.

Blocks and Files’ benchmark study shows Huawei’s A310 outpacing IBM’s ESS 3500 in sequential read and write speeds. Huawei touts its A310 as having up to 400GBps read and 208GBps write bandwidth.

Evangeline Wang of Huawei points out that

“the biggest challenge is to improve the efficiency for AI model training.”

Data has to keep flowing to the CPU and the GPUs. Huawei tries to tackle this with OceanStor, supporting up to 96 NVMe SSDs, processors, and a memory cache.

Image: Blocks and Files

While Huawei is offering something potent in terms of data storage, the controversy surrounding its Chinese origins cannot be sidestepped.

It adds a layer of complexity that could influence consumer choice, especially in the geopolitical landscape.

Geopolitical concerns could slow down its race to the top. Yet, the technological promise it holds might nudge the AI industry into new avenues of innovation.

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