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Microsoft Fast Track Data Warehouse Reference Architecture for Huawei

1. Executive summary
Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Fast Track Data Warehouse (FTDW) Reference Architecture from
Huawei enables IT architects and managers to build optimized data warehouse solutions with
tested and tuned server, storage, network, and software configurations. The reference
architectures present implementation guidelines and best practices for a variety of data warehouse
configurations. This approach significantly reduces time of deployment, service and costs while
maximizing performance and reliability.
Leveraging decades of experiences in producing mission critical Information and Communication
Technology systems, Huaweis enterprise class servers, storage and networking products form a
solid foundation for deploying enterprise critical IT services such as data warehouses and business
analytics.
IT managers, database architects, CXOs interested to explore and deploy data warehouses and BI
applications could take advantage of Huaweis engineering, integration and optimization effort to
build their next data warehouses.

Proven Configurations: Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Fast Track Data Warehouse
Reference Architectures from Huawei documents the design, components, settings, and best
practice to deploy a Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Fast Track Data Warehouse. Users can now
procure the exact configuration of hardware and software and turn on new data warehouse
services in the shortest amount of time, with minimal risk.

Performance: The Reference Architectures provide the best practice implementation that has
been tested and tuned to deliver best performance. It also provides database management
suggestions to keep the data warehouse at its best performance level.

Costs: The Reference Architectures design has taken considerations of selecting the right
hardware components to maximize performance while keeping costs low.

Three configurations are included in this Reference Architectures document covering a broad
range of capacity and performance requirements.

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2. Fast Track Reference Architecture Overview


This document focuses on the system level implementation of Microsoft SQL 2012 Fast Track
Data Warehouse built on top of Huawei Tecal 2288 v2 Enterprise Servers. A summary of key
Microsoft SQL Server parameters will also be provided. This document intends to complement
Microsoft Fast Track Data Warehouse Reference Guide for SQL Server 2012.

Workload Assumptions
The Microsoft SQL Server Fast Track Data Warehouse for Huawei reference architectures
described in this document target scan-intensive, large-request, analytical data warehousing
workloads. Contrary to OLTP databases, this type of data warehouse workloads typically involve
much larger data requests and benefit from the increased total throughput potential of sequential
disk scans. With Fast Track data warehousing workloads an emphasis is placed on achieving
consistently high I/O scan rates (measured in MB/s) rather than the more traditional focus on
operations per second (measured in IOPS).
In order to enable data warehouses to support large volumes of data and wide-range of queries,
traditional use-case specific optimizations will only work to a certain extent but very often increase
complexity, costs, maintenance overhead and perhaps even reduce performance. Fast Track
Data Warehouse is a different way of optimizing for data warehouse workloads. By aligning
database files and configuration with efficient disk scan (rather than seek) access, performance
achieved from individual disks can be significantly higher. The resultant per-disk performance
increase reduces the number of disks needed to generate sufficient I/O throughput to satisfy the
ability of SQL Server to process data for a given workload. Furthermore, you can avoid some
index-based optimization techniques used to improve disk seek.

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FTDW Reference Architecture Components Overview

Figure 1 Huawei Tecal RH2288 V2 Rack Server

Tecal RH2288 V2 rack server is an enterprise class 2U rack server that is designed to

provide best performance and scalability in its class of servers. The RH2288 V2 can support up to
16 computing cores, a memory capacity of 768 GB, and a storage capacity of 24 TB. The RH2288
V2 is an ideal product for mission critical enterprise applications.

High-performance that can scale


The RH2288 V2 uses the latest Intel Xeon E5-2600 series central processing units (CPUs).
This CPU based on a new architecture has up to eight cores, 20 MB L3 caching, QuickPath
Interconnect (QPI) in 8 GT per second, and power management to improve performance while
reducing power consumption.
The RH2288 V2 has 24 dual in-line memory modules (DIMMs) for memory expansion. The
RH2288 V2 uses the 2H DDR3 memory technology that supports up to 768 GB of memory.
The RH2288 V2 supports the Huawei ES series peripheral component interconnect express (PCIe)
expansion card for solid state disks (SSDs) to provide the input/output (I/O) performance that can
resolve the I/O bottlenecks of hard disks.

Power consumption control feature that improves the power efficiency


The RH2288 V2 has excellent power efficiency that meets the 80 PLUS GOLD standard and the
Energy Star standard. Like all the other Huawei servers, the RH2288 V2 obtains the China Energy
Conservation and Environmentally-Friendly Certification.
The RH2288 V2 supports 460 W or 800 W right-sized power supply units for optimal power
efficiency.
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The RH2288 V2 has multiple sensors at strategic internal locations that monitor the temperature of
key components and send the data to the basic input output system (BIOS) to dynamically adjust
the fan speed to cool the server precisely. This ensures that the server runs reliably while
consuming a minimum level of power.
The dynamic configuration technology on maximum power can limit the power of the data center
server within a preset range, without affecting the performance of the server.

Simple management and maintenance


The RH2288 V2 uses the fault recording technology that is similar to the black boxes of airplanes
to record a fault quickly when the system breaks down unexpectedly.
The RH2288 V2 has an independent baseboard management controller (BMC) to provide the
comprehensive and high-performance remote control.

Figure 2 Huawei Tecal ES3000 PCIe SSD Card

Huawei Tecal ES3000 High Performance PCIe SSD Card is a Full-Height

Half-Length PCIe card that delivers maximum read IOPS Performance of 600K@4KB and

maximum write IOPS Performance of 220K@4KB. Huawei FTDW configurations based on


Huawei Tecal ES3000 significantly improve IOPS and reduce latency as compared to HDD based
solutions.

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Turbo-charged FTDW Performance

Small size: Full-Height Half-Length

Large capacity: 800GB, 1.2TB, 2.4TB

High bandwidth: PCIe 2.0 x8 interface, up to 3.0GBps bandwidth

High IOPS: random read 600K@4kB, random write 220K@4kB

Low latency: 13us

Industry-leading Reliability

Power-down Protection to ensure data Integrity

Embedded ECC engine and RAID5 engine combine to two-dimensional error


detection/correction mechanism

Embedded DATA Scrubbing engine prevent the data errors in advance

Dynamic RAID algorithm used in all the channels, to share resources, and keep the reliability
with the multiple chip failure

Support TRIM & sophisticated wear algorithms, to enhance the recovery efficiency, reduce the
write wear, extend service life

Easy to Maintain

Support online upgrade to meet the customized needs

Integrated querying & management tool: provide querying the type/capacity/version/wear/bad


block information of SSD device

Log function: record the key events

Support SNMP protocol for unified management system

With solid state storage for user data, the FTDW reference architectures have many more
advantages besides higher performance, including simplified management, I/O resiliency, and
lower operational cost.

Simplified Management: The IO throughput of solid state storage is not as sensitive to


sequential or random I/O patterns as its spinning disk counterparts, and FTDW built upon solid
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state storage does not require fragmentation management. The complex steps in the DW load
process that often involves single threaded loading to avoid page fragmentation can be simplified,
and this will bring customers faster DW load time.
In addition, larger disk groups and lower volume counts can be used to achieve a given throughput
target, which further simples DW management in terms of filegroup creation and maintenance.

I/O Resiliency: With its exceptional random I/O performance, solid state storage has minimal
performance degradation under high concurrency (large user numbers) or page fragmentation.
Mixed random read (seek) workload does not negatively impact large request (scan) I/O patterns.
It enables real-time DW updates while the DW is in use with minimum query response time
degradation.

Lower Operational Cost: Less management efforts outlined above translates into lower
operational cost. Additionally, solid state storage offers a more efficient balance of I/O throughput
to capacity per unit. Usually fewer SSDs are required to achieve a given DW throughput target
when compared with HDDs, which reduces the power consumption, generates less heat (thus less
HVAC capacity), and often supports higher density solutions.
More about solid state storage in FTDW including configuration guidelines can be found in
Microsoft Fast Track DW Reference Guide for SQL Server 2012 at
http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/hh918452.aspx.

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3. Huawei FTDW Reference Architectures


Huawei currently offers three FTDW reference architectures for SQL Server 2012. All of the
configurations are based on Huawei Tecal 2288 v2 server introduced in the previous section. Each
configuration accommodates varying storage capacity and data warehouse (DW) throughput. The
first configuration is equipped with all enterprise class SAS HDDs delivering optimized $/GB, and
the base configuration has 5TB Fast Track rated capacity. The second configuration delivers 4TB
Fast Track rated capacity using one PCIe SSD card for the DW storage. There is an option for
doubling the PCIe SSD cards to achieve higher level of data redundancy. The third configuration
supports 10TB Fast Track rated capacity with two PCIe SSD cards. The PCIe SSD-based systems
deliver optimized $/DW throughput.

3.1 Cost Optimized Configuration with SAS HDD


The following diagram shows the FTDW configuration with SAS HDDs for user data storage.

Figure 3 Huawei 5TB FTDW RA with SAS HDDs

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The following table provides details of the hardware configuration.

Table 1 Hardware Configuration of Huawei 5TB FTDW RA w/ SAS HDD


Components

Descriptions

Server

Tecal 2288 V2

CPU

1x Intel Xeon E5-2643, 3.3GHz, 4 cores per socket, 4 cores


total

Memory

96GB DRAM
(4x 16GB DDR3 DIMMs and 4x 8GB DDR3 DIMMs @
1600MHz)

Internal Hard Drives

2x 600GB 10K 2.5 SAS HDD (OS/SQL Server) Rear Bay


18x 300GB 10K 2.5 SAS HDD (User Data)
4x 300GB 10K 2.5 SAS HDD (Logs)
2x 600GB 10K 2.5 SAS HDD (Hot Spare)

RAID Controller

Huawei SR620 with BBU

Operating System

Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 Enterprise Edition

Database Software

Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Enterprise Edition

RAID Configuration
Huawei SR620 is an enterprise-class RAID controller that provides disk management capabilities,
high-availability, as well as improved storage performance. The RAID configurations play an
important role of the data warehouse performance, and the following shows how the disk drives
are configured in Huawei 5TB FTDW RA.

18x 300GB disks for user data and TempDB: Nine RAID 1 groups are created, and each
configured with a single virtual disk.

4x 300GB disks for database logs: One RAID 10 group is created and configured with a single

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virtual disk.

2x 600GB disks for Windows Server and SQL server: One RAID 1 group is created and
configured with a single virtual disk for OS and software installation.

Two additional 600GB disks are reserved as hot spare to further improve system availability.

Stripe Element Size


Huawei SR620 creates RAID groups with a default stripe element size (strip size) of 64KB. In the
Fast Track validation testing, 256KB stripe element size was used. Huawei recommends testing
various stripe element sizes depending on the workload characteristics of customers application.

3.2 Performance Optimized Configurations with PCIe SSD


To significantly boost I/O performance, PCIe SSD cards can be used as database storage. Each
Huawei ES3000 series of PCIe SSD cards offer up to 2.4TB storage capacity per card while
delivering super-high IOPS that significantly speeds up throughput and response time of the data
warehouses.
The following diagrams describe the high level architecture of the PCIe SSD based FTDW
configurations. A system with one 2.4TB PCIe SSD card provides 4TB of Fast Track rated
capacity. A second 2.4TB PCIe SSD card can be added to mirror (RAID 1) the original PCIe SSD
card for high availability.

4TB PCIe SSD Based FTDW RA

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Figure 4 Huawei 4TB FTDW RA with One PCIe SSD

The following table provides details of the hardware configuration.

Table 2 Hardware Configuration of Huawei 4TB FTDW RA w/ One PCIe SSD


Components

Descriptions

Server

Tecal 2288 V2

CPU

1x Intel Xeon E5-2643, 3.3GHz, 4 cores per socket, 4 cores


total

Memory

64GB DRAM (4x 16GB DDR3 DIMMs @ 1600MT/s)

Internal Storage

1x 2.4TB ES3000 PCIe SSD (User Data)


2x 600GB 10K 2.5 SAS HDD (OS/SQL Server) Rear Bay

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4x 300GB 10K 2.5 SAS HDD (Logs)


1x 600GB 10K 2.5 SAS HDD (Hot Spare)
HBA

Huawei SR120

Operating System

Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 Enterprise Edition

Database Software

Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Enterprise Edition

Huawei ES3000 PCIe SSD card exhibits industry-leading reliability with features including
embedded ECC engine and RAID5 engine combined to provide two-dimensional error
detection/correction mechanism. However, for customers who are accustomed to traditional RAID
protection, a second PCIe SSD card can be added in this FTDW RA to mirror the original one.

Figure 5 Huawei 4TB FTDW RA with Mirrored PCIe SSD


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The following table provides details of the hardware configuration.

Table 3 Hardware Configuration of Huawei 4TB FTDW RA w/ Mirrored PCIe SSD


Components

Descriptions

Server

Tecal 2288 V2

CPU

1x Intel Xeon E5-2643, 3.3GHz, 4 cores per socket, 4 cores


total

Memory

64GB DRAM (4x 16GB DDR3 DIMMs @ 1600MT/s)

Internal Storage

2x 2.4TB ES3000 PCIe SSD (User Data / Mirrored)


2x 600GB 10K 2.5 SAS HDD (OS/SQL Server) Rear Bay
4x 300GB 10K 2.5 SAS HDD (Logs)
1x 600GB 10K 2.5 SAS HDD (Hot Spare)

HBA

Huawei SR120

Operating System

Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 Enterprise Edition

Database Software

Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Enterprise Edition

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10TB PCIe SSD Based FTDW RA

To fully utilize the potential of two PCIe SSD cards, the following FTDW configuration effectively
boost the Fast Track rated capacity from 4TB to 10TB while doubling the query throughput at the
same time.

Figure 6 Huawei 10TB FTDW RA with Two PCIe SSD

The following table provides details of the hardware configuration.

Table 4 Hardware Configuration of Huawei 10TB FTDW RA w/ Two PCIe SSD


Components

Descriptions

Server

Tecal 2288 V2

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CPU

2x Intel Xeon E5-2643, 3.3GHz, 4 cores per socket, 8 cores


total

Memory

128GB DRAM (8x 16GB DDR3 DIMMs @ 1600MT/s)

Internal Storage

2x 2.4TB ES3000 PCIe SSD (User Data)


2x 600GB 10K 2.5 SAS HDD (OS/SQL Server) Rear Bay
4x 300GB 10K 2.5 SAS HDD (Logs)
1x 600GB 10K 2.5 SAS HDD (Hot Spare)

HBA

Huawei SR120

Operating System

Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 Enterprise Edition

Database Software

Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Enterprise Edition

RAID Configuration
All the PCIe SSD based FTDW RAs share the same RAID configurations for the hard disks.

4x 300GB disks for database logs: One RAID 10 group is created and configured with a single
virtual disk.

2x 600GB disks for Windows Server and SQL server: One RAID 1 group is created and
configured with a single virtual disk for OS and software installation.

One additional 600GB disk is reserved as hot spare to further improve system availability.

In Huawei 4TB FTDW RA with redundant 2.4TB PCIe SSDs, the two SSDs are mirrored by
Windows Server Disk Management in Server Manager.

Stripe Element Size


Huawei SR120 creates RAID groups with a default stripe element size (strip size) of 64KB.

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3.3 Application Configuration


The following sections explain the settings applied for the operating system and database layers
for Fast Track Data Warehouse.

Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1

Enable Lock Pages in Memory: This Windows policy determines which accounts can use a
process to keep data in physical memory preventing the system from paging the data to virtual
memory on disk. For more information, see How to: Enable the Lock Pages in Memory Option
(http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=141863).

SQL Server 2012 Enterprise Edition

Startup Options
o

-E must be added to the start-up options. This increases the number of contiguous
extents in each file that are allocated to a database table as it grows. This improves
sequential disk access. For more information about this option, see Microsoft
Knowledge Base Article 329526 (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/329526). It is
important to ensure that the -E option has taken effect at database startup. The option is
case-sensitive and format-sensitive. White spaces before or after the option can prevent
initialization.

-T1117 should also be added to the start-up options. This trace flag ensures even
growth of all files in a file group in the case that autogrow is enabled. The standard
FTDW recommendation for database file growth is to pre-allocate rather than autogrow
(with the exception of TempDB).

-T834 should be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. This trace flag can improve
throughput rates for many data warehousing workloads. This flag enables large page
allocations in memory for the SQL Server buffer pool. For more information about this
and other trace flags, see Microsoft Knowledge Base Article 920093
(http://support.microsoft.com/kb/920093).
Note: At this time SQL Server 2012 does not support the use of -T834 if ColumnStore
indexes are in use on the database. If you plan to use ColumnStore indexes, do not use
this trace flag. It was not used in the Fast Track validation testing.

SQL Server Maximum Memory: For SQL Server 2012 no more than 92 percent of total
server RAM should be allocated to SQL Server. If additional applications are to share the
server, the amount of RAM left available to the operating system should be adjusted

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accordingly. This setting is controlled by the max server memory option. In the Fast Track
validation testing, the maximum server memory was set at 92% of total server RAM.

Resource Governor: In default settings for SQL Server 2012, Resource Governor provides a
maximum of 25 percent of SQL Server memory resources to each session. This setting can be
used to reduce the maximum memory consumed by each query, and there is a trade-off
between lowering constraints that offer higher performance for individual queries and more
stringent constraints that guarantee the number of queries that can run concurrently. In the
Fast Track validation testing, Resource Governor memory grant was set at 19%.

Maximum Degree of Parallelism (MaxDOP): This setting controls the number of logical
cores that SQL Server uses for the parallel execution of a query. The default value of
MaxDOP is 0, which dictates SQL server will dynamically allocate work up to the total number
of CPU cores seen by the SQL Server service. In the Fast Track validation testing, MaxDOP
was set at 8 for one-socket systems and set at 16 for two-socket systems. Also
Hyper-Threading was turned on in the tests.

As with all Fast Track performance benchmarks, actual results for customers data and workload
may vary. Testing at various Resource Governor and MaxDOP settings can reveal best results for
specific situations.

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4. Huawei FTDW RA Performance Benchmarks


The Microsoft Fast Track program offers a rigorous validation and benchmarking process that
helps ensure the hardware and software components are optimized and thoroughly tested. All
Huawei FTDW Reference Architectures have passed the validation and deliver high throughput
performance as a result of our complete control of the entire hardware stack enabling deeper
hardware and software tuning. Our 5TB SAS HDD-based FTDW reference architecture delivers
maximum performance, thanks to the fast 1600MHz memory and optimized I/O configuration. The
performance optimized PCIe SSD-based reference architectures potentially double the Fast Track
rated throughput as compared to HDD-based configurations at the same Fast Track rated
capacity.

Fast Track Data Warehouse Validation with Column Store Index (CSI)
Microsoft SQL Server 2012 features a new non-clustered indexing feature based on columnar
storage technology, called xVelocity in-memory Column Store Index (CSI). It could significantly
improve query performance for a wide range of queries. The FTDW validation testing is based on
non-CSI enabled workloads, since FTDW systems are designed to run effectively even without
columnar optimization. After a Fast Track configuration is validated, CSI will be added to the test
database and the throughput performance will be recorded.
During the Fast Track validation testing, we used simulated data warehouse workloads to gauge
performance of each Fast Track configuration. These tests use workloads with varying sizes
ranging from 5 to 40 concurrent queries, running from 30 minutes to 1 hour each.
The following table lists the performance metrics of the Fast Track reference architectures
presented in this paper.

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Table 5 Huawei FTDW RA Performance Metrics


Benchmark

Benchmark

FTDW RA

Logical

Physical

Model

Scan Rate

Scan Rate

MB/s

MB/s

1181

Fast Track

Fast Track

Rated IO

Rated CSI

MB/s

IO MB/s

772

976.5

2766.5

1380

1443.5

1081.5

1262.5

2714

2004

1498

1133

1315.5

2749

2003

2852.5

2053

2452.75

4411

3865

Peak Scan
Rate MB/s

5TB
RH2288V2 w/
SAS HDD

4TB
RH2288V2 w/ 1x
PCIe SSD
4TB
RH2288V2 w/ 2x
Mirrored PCIe
SSD
10TB
RH2288V2 w/ 2x
PCIe SSD

In the above table,

Benchmark Logical Scan Rate measures how fast data can be read from buffer cache.

Benchmark Physical Scan Rate measures how fast data can be read from physical disks.

Fast Track Rated IO is the average of the benchmark logical and physical scan rates.

Fast Track Rated CSI IO is the average of the logical and physical scan rates when Column
Store Indexing is enabled.

Peak Scan Rate is the maximum scan rate observed during testing.

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Fast Track Data Warehouse Capacity Summaries


The following table lists the capacity summaries of the Fast Track reference architectures
presented in this paper.
Table 6 Huawei FTDW RA Capacity Summaries
Fast Track
FTDW RA Model

Raw Space for


User Data

TempDB Space

Rated User Data


Capacity

Maximum User
Data Capacity
(with Compression)

(with Compression)

5TB
RH2288V2 w/

2565 GB

769 GB

5 TB

6.1 TB

2280 GB

684 GB

4 TB

5 TB

2280 GB

684 GB

4 TB

5 TB

4560 GB

1048 GB

10 TB

12 TB

SAS HDD
4TB
RH2288V2 w/ 1x
PCIe SSD
4TB
RH2288V2 w/ 2x
Mirrored PCIe
SSD
10TB
RH2288V2 w/ 2x
PCIe SSD

In the above table,

Maximum User Data Capacity is the raw data space minus the recommended space for
TempDB database files, multiplied by the Fast Track compression factor, which is 3.5 for SQL
Server 2012. It does not include any disk headroom that is practically required.

Fast Track Rated User Data Capacity is the optimal, Fast Track validated user data capacity.
It takes into account the Fast Track Rated IO throughput, as well as the available storage
capacity. The rated performance of the Fast Track system is valid when user data does not
exceed this capacity.

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5. Conclusion
Huawei Microsoft Fast Track Data Warehouse reference architecture aims to document a set of
hardware and software optimized configurations that are tested and tuned to deliver high
performance and cost effective solutions.
This document describes two classes of configurations. The cost optimized configuration based on
enterprise class SAS HDDs delivers 5TB of rated data capacity at superior performance as
compared to recently published alternative solutions. The performance optimized configurations
based on PCIe SSD cards deliver up to double the rated capacity and more than double the rated
IO throughput as compared to the SAS HDD based configuration.
Huaweis decades of experiences in designing and manufacturing mission critical Information and
Communication Technology solutions allow us to offer a broad range of data warehouse solutions
based on Microsoft SQL Server 2012 that are cost effective, highly available and higher in
performance than alternative SMP solutions on the market.

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Last Revised January 11th, 2013.

Copyright Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd. 2012. All rights reserved.


No part of this document may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means without prior
written consent of Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd.
Trademark Notice
HUAWEI and Huawei logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd.
Other trademarks, product, service and company names mentioned are the property of their respective
owners.
General Disclaimer
The information in this document may contain predictive statements including,
without limitation, statements regarding the future financial and operating results,
future product portfolio, new technology, etc. There are a number of factors
that could cause actual results and developments to differ materially from those
expressed or implied in the predictive statements. Therefore, such information
is provided for reference purpose only and constitutes neither an offer nor an
acceptance. Huawei may change the information at any time without notice.

HUAWEI TECHNOLOGIES CO., LTD.


Huawei Industrial Base
Bantian Longgang
Shenzhen 518129, P.R. China
Tel: +86-755-28780808
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