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VCE holds the #1 market position for Integrated Infrastructure Systems, with 46 percent, according to Gartner. The Vblock 540 system(one member of the VCE group) delivers an agile and resilient system to ensure that enterprise class services are delivered without compromising service levels.The enterprise-class Vblock system 540 is durable and fully redundant,ensuring the highest levels of availability for critical applications and resources.The system incorporates EMC XtremIO storage, with vastly improved data efficiency. It  is an agile, intelligent, and resilient system. It uses dynamic and intelligent capabilities to guarantee required application performance levels.  Coming to the components of Vblock 540 systems, following are present :-

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As we can see above that XtremIO forms the storage part of Vblock 540 while XtremIO Data Protection (XDP) is a technology whose primary function is to protect data from SSD failures while allowing failed devices to remain in place using XDP’s “hot space” feature until a convenient window is arranged. This helps in the protection of Oracle data to a greater extent. Should a subsequent failure occur, XDP’s hot space feature will simply utilize remaining
free capacity in the array to perform the required recovery operation. This can be done for as many as five failed SSDs per X-Brick, or until no free space remains in the array.

 

In Vblock 540 we use VPLEX deployment options for business continuity, resilience, scale out cluster architecture  and data mobility. It helps in protecting the oracle database from operating system, network, and hardware related problems via VMware vCentre Server Heartbeat. It is a clustering solution with primary and secondary nodes operating in active-passive mode. It keeps the vCentre Server instances synchronized. The Vblock and VPLEX solution is demonstrated in Figure 1.

 

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Figure 1. VPLEX Implementation in VBlock

 

Below are some Failure Scenarios which are being taken care by the VPLEX solution.

 

                      

Non Cross-Cluster Connect Scenario

VPLEX Behavior

Impact/Observed VMware HA Behavior

Single VPLEX BE path failure

VPLEX continues to operate using an alternate path to the same BE array.  Distributed virtual volumes exposed to the ESXi hosts have no impact.

None

Single FE path failure

The ESXi server is expected to use alternate paths to the distributed virtual volumes.

None

BE array failure at site A

VPLEX continues to operate using the array at site B. When the array is recovered from the failure, the storage volume at site A is resynchronized from site B automatically.

None
BE array failure at site B VPLEX continues to operate using the array at site A. When the array is recovered from the failure, the storage volume at site B is resynchronized from site A automatically.None

 

 

In summary, there are many solutions by which the resilience is enforced in the Vblock solutions. In this blog, we talked about VPLEX, vsphere and other storage solutions which is basically XtremIO. There  are other components within Vblock 540 which enforces resilience. The most fascinating and important point is that the sanctity of oracle database in Vblock 540 is maintained by all the hardware,software and virtualized components of Vblock as mentioned above.

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VCE holds the #1 market position for Integrated Infrastructure Systems, with 46 percent, according to Gartner. That’s because the VCE Vblock System 540 is the industry’s first “All Flash” based converged infrastructure system for mixed, high-performance workloads and emerging third-platform applications.

 

 

While the VBlock 540 is designed to deliver extremely high levels of performance, every component in the system is also designed to provide extremely high levels of availability. The VBlock 540 combines the high availability of Oracle RAC with the highest availability, redundant hardware components from Cisco and EMC. EMC XtremIO data protection capabilities such as backup, recovery, and continuous availability give IT administrators the ability to meet the most demanding SLAs.

 

 

The integrated, pre-configured architecture of the Vblock 540 System results in extremely high levels of availability and scalability together with simplified management. Core to the Vblock System is the use of the Cisco UCS blade server platform configured with no single point of failure. Each blade server has two Converged Network Adapter (CNA) connections, so both IP and FC traffic have redundant paths to the chassis backplane. ESXi balances the network traffic between multiple vNICs presented by the CNAs. And FC traffic is load balanced across the CNAs by EMC PowerPath/VE. Each server boots from a SAN device presented by the VMAX and each chassis has four connections to each Fabric Interconnect.

 

 

In addition, when XtremIO is used as storage in a Vblock 540 System, the following benefits are available (from the high availability point of view):

  • 99.999% Availability and More: XtremIO arrays are N-way active-active and fully fault-tolerant, with no single points of hardware or software failure. Data is always accessible through any port on any storage processor anywhere in the scale-out cluster. No other flash array on the market can deliver these core high availability requirements.
  • No Single Point of Failure: Each X-Brick is failure-proof. All active hardware components are fully redundant – true active-active controllers, power supplies, power cables, network cables, ports, CPU, memory, and SSDs are provided. XtremIO’s rebuild/failover mechanisms are instantly triggered in case of any component failure, with graceful automatic failback once the problem is resolved. The controllers are N-way active with the in-memory state replicated and journaled across all other controllers in the cluster.
  • Uptime & Non-Disruptive Upgrades: XtremIO eliminates the need for planned downtime by providing non-disruptive software and firmware upgrades to ensure 24×7 continuous operations. Furthermore, each X-Brick has hot pluggable components, enabling hardware to be swapped out without the need for a planned downtime outage. Another testament to the extraordinary resilience of the software architecture is that the array will sustain up to six successive SSD failures without any loss of service.
  • Data Protection: XtremIO’s XDP technology delivers higher levels of availability than RAID without any of the performance, utilization, or cumbersome configuration /management compromises.
  • Disaster Recovery: XtremIO arrays are integrated and certified with EMC business continuity solutions, such as EMC VPLEX, to replicate data and provide comprehensive failover and resiliency in the event of site failure as shown in Figure 1

 

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Figure 1: Oracle High Availability with VPLEX which is integrated to VBlock

 

 

For tiering, replication, and high availability/disaster recovery purposes, EMC XtremIO is fully integrated with EMC VPLEX. VPLEX permits painless, nondisruptive data movement, taking technologies like VMware and other clusters that were built assuming a single storage instance and enabling them to function across arrays and across distance.

 

 

In summary, the Vblock 540 System provides the following benefits in terms of high availability:

  • Continuous operations – It enables active/active data centers with zero downtime
  • Migration/tech refresh – It provides accelerated and nondisruptive migrations and technology refreshes
  • VMware functionality – It extends VMware functionality across distance while enhancing availability
  • Oracle RAC functionality – It extends Oracle Real Application Clusters (RAC) and other clusters over distance.

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IT organizations often struggle to find a balance between simplicity and flexibility when choosing to deploy a database on an integrated compute platform. While the benefits of using a pretested, preconfigured solution are well known, many organizations may fear the technology lock-in that comes with using a rigid solution from a single vendor.

 

The EMC Internal Lab has demonstrated that such a fear is groundless when using the new Vblock Systems 540 with EMC XtremIO storage and Cisco servers. Organizations can choose the servers, switches, and storage that are right for their high-performance database needs while avoiding technology lock-in, keeping costs to a minimum, and benefiting from world-class support. Use of the Vblock System 540 also helps to lower TCO, reduce risk, and increase performance, while still allowing organizations flexibility in their choice of hardware.

 

In my last blog talked about “Oracle Performance on the Vblock” and I provided information about the performance that has been seen when an Oracle Database is deployed in a Vblock environment. I also mentioned that the performance potential of the Vblock 540 with EMC XtremIO makes it the perfect choice for a consolidation platform – multiple Oracle databases can be consolidated in different virtualized environments. This reduces Oracle software licensing and redeployment costs because scripts and applications do not need to be modified prior to deployment. The Vblock Systems 540 with EMC XtremIO can be used to consolidate multiple database platforms, to consolidate database and virtualized application workloads, and to run production, test, and development copies of databases simultaneously. Figure 1 illustrates the types of workloads that can be deployed and consolidated on the Vblock540.

 

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Figure 1:  Consolidation with the Vblock 540 Specialized Systems

 

 

The Vblock System 540 with EMC XtremIO helps reduce both capital and operational expenditures when compared to other integrated, high-performance database solutions. All Vblock Systems have been designed using proven, best-of-breed, open technology, so there is no technology lock-in. The system can reduce Oracle licensing costs by right-sizing the servers to minimize the total number of database server cores needed to run mission-critical application workloads.

 

Organizations that choose to deploy a pretested, predesigned Vblock System 540 solution can expect to lower costs and reduce risk while still having the flexibility to match the right servers and storage to achieve the optimal balance of performance, scalability, and licensing costs. Together, these factors will certainly reduce the total cost of ownership (TCO). Figure 2 summarizes the features and benefits of the VBlock 540 Systems.

 

 

aa10-550.png

Figure 2. Features and benefits of using Vblock 540 Systems

 

 

Based on different customers’ feedback, the consolidation story can be summarized as follows:-
  • Total cost of ownership almost halved compared to nearest competitor
  • Processing time for critical app reduced from 12.67 hours to just 2.03 hours
  • Deployment and database migration in less than 5 days
  • A 4:1 reduction in data center footprint and decreased power and cooling usage
  • Boost database and applications performance by 25–40%
  • Dramatic reduction in data center footprint (73% in floor space and 55% in power consumption)
  • Reduction of implementation costs by 50% due to the purchase of a pre-integrated system
  • The time to roll out new systems was decreased by 75%, creating more time for
  • engineers to work on innovative projects
  • Redundant components and the flexibility to move virtual machines reduced downtime for databases


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Many customers are moving their Oracle databases to next generation platforms that provide private cloud capabilities including Database as a Service. If a customer needs to make such a move quickly, converged infrastructure systems are the best choice. But, there are challenges in deploying databases on these types of systems. Fortunately, Vblock can overcome many of the challenges that exist.


Challenges


Databases only perform as well as the systems they run on. Designing a system to power a true high performance database requires platforms that offer extreme performance and interoperability, as well as a strong knowledge of tuning parameters that help streamline the operation of the database.The engineering resources and expertise required to design such a system are not generally available to all organizations. This leads many organizations to turn to specialized consulting services to help them piece together a high performing database system using high‐end specialized components from various hardware vendors.


Solution: Vblock System 540


Vblock  540 is industry’s first all-flash based, converged infrastructure for high performance mixed workloads and is designed as a converged architecture for the most demanding transactional and response‐time‐sensitive databases that are needed by today’s businesses. Like all Vblock Systems, the 540 system is comprised of compute (database, application, and management servers from Cisco), network (three‐layer network and SAN technologies from Cisco), and storage (XtremIO à All Flash Array).

The high database performance in a Vblock 540 can be achieved by a combination of technologies as summarized in Figure 1.

 

aa11.png
Figure 1. VBLOCK SYSTEM 540 AT-A-GLANCE

 

A Vblock system 540 performed over 2, 00,000 IOPS with a 250 microseconds average response time for OLTP workloads. EMC internal lab has performed some testing in controlled environment and the results are shown in Table 1 and Table 2.

 

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Table 1: Read IOPS and corresponding response times achieved along with sessions scale used in a Vblock system 540.

 

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Table 2: Performance Statistics of a provisioned virtual environment


From the metrics shown in Table 1 and Table 2, we can see that physical and virtualized Oracle databases can work with acceptable performance degradation in a Vblock 540 environment.


To summarize, the VBlock540 is designed with the highest performing and most reliable components from Cisco, VMware, and EMC. Fast servers, switches, and storage (XtremIO) are utilized to ensure the highest throughput and lowest query response times possible. This extreme high performance coupled with the flexibility, availability, compression and in-line deduplication and scalability of the VBlock 540 delivers tremendous value for today’s most demanding high performance databases.

Please Join Us

Seattle Oracle

Solutions Day


Event Details

Tuesday, August 18th, 2015 9:00am – 4:00pm


Breakfast & Lunch will be provided

Reception to follow

4:00pm – 5:30pm


Maritime Event Center

2211 Alaskan Way

Seattle, WA 98121



 

Why Should You Attend?

 

The Oracle Solutions Day is designed to be an interactive session to help you and your staff learn about solutions and strategies to optimize your Oracle environments. Please join our EMC, Oracle experts and your peers as we talk about how we can help you along your journey to optimize your Oracle environments.

 

This session will share best practices and experience to leverage Oracle software and features in combination with technologies such as all-flash-arrays, hybrid-cloud computing, backup, data protection and database-as-a-service. We will also discuss advanced topics such as database licensing strategies.


 

Agenda


9:00 – 9:15

 

 


Arrival & Breakfast

 

 

9:15 – 9:30

 

Welcome & Agenda Review

 

 

9:30 – 11:00

 

Redefining Oracle Database Infrastructure with Flash

 

 

11:00 – 11:45

 

Optimizing and Deploying Oracle “As-A-Service”

 

 

11:45 – 12:30

 

Oracle Licensing Optimization – House of Brick

 

 

12:30 – 1:00

 

Lunch

 

 

1:00 – 2:00

 

Oracle Continuous Data Protection with RAC

 

 

2:00 – 3:30

 

Faster and More Efficient Backups with De-duplication

 

 

3:30 – 4:00

 

Wrap-Up & Next Steps

 

 

4:00 – 5:30

 

Reception

 

 


 

 



 

 

Invitation is attached below with registration link.

Or register here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/seattle-oracle-solutions-day-tickets-17430454960

Please Join Us
Boston Oracle Solutions Day

Tuesday, July 21, 2015 from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM (EDT)

Gillette Stadium
1 Patriot Place
Foxborough, MA 02035

 

Why Should You Attend?

The Oracle Solutions Day is designed to be an interactive session to help you and your staff learn about solutions and strategies to optimize your Oracle environments. Please join our EMC, Oracle experts and your peers as we talk about how we can help you along your journey to optimize your Oracle environments.

 

This session will share best practices and experience to leverage Oracle software and features in combination with technologies such as all-flash-arrays, hybrid-cloud computing, backup, data protection and database-as-a-service. We will also discuss advanced topics such as database licensing strategies.

 

Agenda

9:00 - 9:15

Arrival & Breakfast

9:15 – 9:30

Welcome & Agenda Review

9:30 – 11:00

Redefining Oracle Database Infrastructure with Flash

11:00 – 11:45

Optimizing and Deploying Oracle “As-A-Service”

11:45 – 12:30

Oracle Licensing Optimization – House of Brick

12:30 – 1:00

Lunch

1:00 – 2:00

Oracle Continuous Data Protection with RAC

2:00 – 3:30

Faster and More Efficient Backups with De-duplication

3:30 – 4:00

Wrap-Up & Next Steps

4:00 – 5:30

Stadium Tour & Reception

To register go here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/boston-oracle-solutions-day-tickets-17412886412

Please Join Us
Philly Oracle

Solutions Day

 

Event Details
Thursday, September 16th, 2015
9:00am – 4:00pm

Breakfast & Lunch will be provided

Reception to follow

4:00pm – 5:30pm

 

Philadelphia Marriott Downtown

1201 Market Street

Philadelphia, PA 19107

 

Why Should You Attend?

The Oracle Solutions Day is designed to be an interactive session to help you and your staff learn about solutions and strategies to optimize your Oracle environments. Please join our EMC, Oracle experts and your peers as we talk about how we can help you along your journey to optimize your Oracle environments.

 

This session will share best practices and experience to leverage Oracle software and features in combination with technologies such as all-flash-arrays, hybrid-cloud computing, backup, data protection and database-as-a-service. We will also discuss advanced topics such as database licensing strategies.

 

Agenda

9:00 – 9:15

Arrival & Breakfast

9:15 – 9:30

Welcome & Agenda Review

9:30 – 11:00

Redefining Oracle Database Infrastructure with Flash

11:00 – 11:45

Optimizing and Deploying Oracle “As-A-Service”

11:45 – 12:30

Oracle Licensing Optimization – House of Brick

12:30 – 1:00

Lunch

1:00 – 2:00

Oracle Continuous Data Protection with RAC

2:00 – 3:30

Faster and More Efficient Backups with De-duplication

3:30 – 4:00

Wrap-Up & Next Steps

4:00 – 5:30

Reception

 

 

To register go to https://www.eventbrite.com/e/philly-oracle-solutions-day-tickets-17690641184

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Snapshots are created by capturing the state of data in volumes at a particular point in time; once created, users are allowed to access snapshot data when needed, even when the source volume has changed.  Storage array snapshots have historically utilized one of three different designs:  source volume clone, copy-on-write, or redirect-on-write.  However, each method required one or more of the following:  some amount of reserve space required, compromises to write or read performance, and metadata overhead that causes performance to degrade over time.  XtremIO's snapshots as shown in Figure 1 require no reserve snapshot space, allow for the creation of immutable copies and/or writable clones of the source volume, are created instantaneously, and do not affect the performance of either the source volume or the snapshot itself.

 

 

Figure 1 XtremIO Snapshot Feature

 

XtremIO's snapshot technology is implemented by leveraging the content-aware capabilities of the system (Inline Data Reduction).  It is optimized for SSD media and uses, a unique metadata tree structure that directs I/O to the right timestamp of the data as shown in Figure 2. This allows for efficient snapshots that can sustain high performance, while maximizing the media endurance, both in terms of the ability to create multiple snapshots and the amount of I/O that a snapshot can support.

 

 

Figure 2  XtremIO Snapshot Metadata Tree

 

 

Validating the storage capacity and performance overhead of XtremIO snapshots

 

EMC's proven solution team validated the storage capacity and the performance impact of XtremIO snapshots on a database random I/O workload, both during and after snapshot creation.  To conduct this testing, they used a 20TB physical Oracle 12c two-node RAC production database, a 1TB virtual Oracle 11g single instance production database, and a 1TB virtual Oracle 12g single instance production database as shown in Figure 3.

 

 

Figure 3   The test environment

 

 

Creating XtremIO Snapshot

 

Creating an XtremIO snapshot is intuitive and simple.  By using the XtremIO Storage Management Application console, snapshots can be created with just a few clicks as shown in Figure 4.

 

 

Figure 4 Creating a Snapshot with XtremIO Storage Management Application Console

 

 

You can also create XtremIO snapshots from the AppSync console.  AppSync uses the XtremIO snapshot feature to create copies of a database that can be used restore and/or repurpose the database as shown in Figure 5

 

 

Figure 5 Creating a snapshot with AppSync

 

 

Performance validation detail and results

 

The steps that were used to conduct snapshot performance testing using the environment that was described earlier were:

 

  1. Run a SLOB workload on the production database to get a performance baseline
  2. Run the SLOB workload again while creating a first generation copy and a second generation
  3. copy at the same time
  4. Collect the performance statistics from the Oracle AWR report generated
  5. Create an additional 62 second generation copies and then run the same SLOB workload
  6. against the physical production database and collect the performance statistics from the Oracle AWR generated
  7. Delete all of the repurpose copies that have been created on the XtremIO array

 

 

A summary of the test results can be seen in Table 1.

 

Table 1:  XtremIO snapshot performance data

 

 

 

 

Capacity validation detail and results

 

The steps that were used to conduct snapshot capacity testing using the environment was described earlier were:

 

  1. Create a screen capture of the current space usage of the XtremIO array and save as the capacity baseline.
  2. Create 64 cross-consistent snapshots for the 1TB virtual 12c production databse.
  3. Create a second screenshot of the current space usage of the XtremIO array.
  4. Create 64 cross-consistent snapshots for the 1TB virtual 11g production database.
  5. Create the third screenshot of the current space usage of the XtremIO array.
  6. Create 64 cross-consistent snapshots for the 20TB physical 12c production databse
  7. Create a fourth screenshot of the current space usage of the XtremIO array

 

A summary of the capacity test results can be seen in Figure 6.

 

 

Figure 6:  XtremIO capacity test results

 

Summary

 

  • XtremIO snapshots have no performance impact on the database random I/O workload either during or after snapshot creation.
  • XtremIO snapshots are storage-efficient.
  • An XtremIO array is able to support even more Oracle database instances as multiple snapshots are created.

 

 

References:

 

Oracle 11g and 12c Database Consolidation and Workload Scalability with EMC XtremIO 3.1

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Business needs are driving data growth, both in terms of volume and velocity, more than ever before. At the same time, the need to quickly convert data into useful information that reveals business opportunities and risks is also growing. And relational database management systems, such as Oracle Database 12c, are used to support the business-critical applications that make the necessary conversions. To deliver faster response times across a range of applications, such databases require storage that has been designed for low-latency transactional input/output (I/O), high-throughput analytic workloads and space efficiency to lower cost.

 

The EMC  XtremIO all-flash array addresses the needs of  I/O-intensive database workloads by providing impressive random I/O performance and ultra-low latency. This applies equally to Oracle OLTP and OLAP workloads as well as to the consolidation of multiple workloads onto a common storage platform. XtremIO also provides new levels of speed and provisioning agility to virtualized environments with space-efficient snapshots, inline data reduction, and accelerated provisioning and compression. The results include breakthrough simplicity for storage management and provisioning, and new capabilities for both real-time analytics and test/dev cycles.

 

Thin provisioning

 

In addition to high performance, XtremIO offers thin provisioning capabilities that can be used to allocate on-demand capacity as additional space is needed without requiring any post-reclamation operations or having any impact on array-storage I/O performance.  XtremIO's thin provisioning granularity (4KB blocks) ensures a thrify use of flash capacity storage (This is consistent with how vSphere uses I/O block sizes).

 

Inline data reduction

 

XtremIO's unique Inline Data Reduction is achieved by utilizing the following techniques:

 

  • Inline Data Deduplication
  • Inline Data Compression

 

The XtremIO performs inline data deduplication using an algorithm that checks to ensure that each 4KB data block being stored on the array is not the same as existing content.  The result is that every storage I/O is deduplicated, in real time, on ingest with only unique blocks being written to the flash storage.  Moreover, deduplication on XtremIO aids performance, as SSD I/O cycles are never consumed for writing deduplicated blocks or processing undeduplicated data. This preserves the maximum I/O capability for serving host requests.

 

Inline Data Compression is the compression of already deduplicated data before it is written to flash media.  XtremIO automatically compresses data after all duplications have been removed.  Compression reduces the total amount of physical data that needs to be written to the SSD. This reduction minimizes the Write Amplification (WA) of the SSDs, thereby improving the endurance of the flash array.

 

Total data reduction

 

XtremIO's data deduplication and data compression complement each other. Data deduplication reduces physical data, by eliminating redundant data blocks. Data compression further reduces the data footprint, by eliminating data redundancy within the binary level of each data block.

 

The Figure 1 demonstrates the benefits of using data deduplication with compression.

 

Figure 1:  How the use of data deduplication and data compression can reduce data storage requirements

 

In the example depicted in Figure 1, twelve data blocks that are written by the host are deduplicated to four data blocks, demonstrating a 3:1 data deduplication ratio. The four data blocks are then each compressed, by a ratio of 2:1, resulting in a total data reduction ratio of 6:1.

 

Space-efficiency for Oracle Database

 

When Oracle database archive log mode is enabled, each time an online redo log file becomes full, an archiver process copies the redo data from the online redo log file to the archive log file destination.  The filled redo log is not available for writing by the log writer process until archiving is complete.  Because the archive log is an exact copy of the online redo log, the array does not perform physical write I/O to the back-end SSDs. Instead, it sends updated in-memory pointers and the write operation is completed instantly.

 

After the online redo log file being archived is written to a new redo log by a Log Writer (LGWR), the in-memory pointer of the online redo log file is updated so that  it points to the newly allocated physical redo blocks where the newly written redo data is stored.  The in-memory pointer of the archived redo log file is intact, which means the physical blocks consumed by the archived redo log file are not deprecated as long as they exist in the archive log destination.

 

Benefits gained from XtremIO Data Reduction

 

The XtremIO Storage Array’s Data Reduction (both Inline data deduplication and compression) reduce the amount of data that is written to flash, improving longevity of the media and driving down cost.  This functionality also offers the following benefits:

 

  • Better performance due to reduced data
  • Increased overall endurance of the flash array’s SSDs
  • Less required physical capacity to store data, thereby increasing the storage array’s efficiency and dramatically reducing the $/GB cost of storage

 

 

 

 

 

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