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How DDN benefits from Japan quake anxiety

Cheap US power costs a quarter of Japanese electricity

Case study Yahoo! Japan has teamed up with DDN Storage and IBM Japan to help it avoid the country's relatively high electricity costs – and run a disaster-recovery backup site on another continent for an earthquake rocks the nation.

Yahoo! Japan uses OpenStack Swift storage in a Japan-based data center. DDN reckons there's 50PB of storage in play and data volumes are rising, leading to multi-petabyte backup requirements. The web biz used an active archive that is built from DDN’s hybrid flash/disk SFA7700X storage array and IBM Spectrum Scale, parallel file access software once known as GPFS.

Data is cached on DDN SSDs at a rate of 11TB per hour, using Spectrum Scale active file management (AFM) and DDN’s SFX Intelligent cache management.

The Japanese data center then transfers information to the disaster recovery site – a data center in Washington state – over a trans-Pacific line with a 100-millisecond latency, at a 50TB-per-day rate. DDN says this 50TB per day is an astonishing rate.

Daisuke Masaki, of Yahoo! Japan's site operations, said the Japanese data is saved “to a data center archive in the United States, which can be operated with 26 per cent of the electricity cost of a data center in Japan and at about one-third of the cost of competitive solutions. Moving forward, we plan to expand and save data from multiple websites in Japan to the active archive system in the United States.”

Japanese electricity must be expensive if locating a disaster-recovery site in the US provides a 74 per cent energy saving. According to these figures, domestic electricity in Japan is twice as expensive as electricity in US, in dollars per kWh, so Masaki's numbers aren't unbelievable. This US DR facility also helps to ensure fast data access regardless of location, as well as having cheap watts. ®

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