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Huawei OceanStor Dorado – Product Brief

Last updated June 25th, 2020 for updates to V6 models. Concise 6-page product review of Huawei OceanStor Dorado. Product Brief includes EvaluScale Reviewing Methodology. Download the free Product Brief now!


The Huawei OceanStor Dorado V6 all flash storage family consists of the 3000, 5000, 6000, 8000, and 18000. The OceanStor Dorado line is similar to the Huawei OceanStor storage systems, with the Dorado designation signaling all flash systems. The V6 systems are the newest generation of Dorado systems, bringing performance increases and significant technology updates to the previous V3 systems.

Huawei uses custom built SSDs, termed HSSDs, in the OceanStor Dorado Systems. All models feature support for either SAS or NVMe HSSDs, with the exception of the lower end 3000 model which supports SAS only.

In addition to custom designed SSDs, Huawei has implemented a full set of custom chips in the OceanStor Dorado V6 models. V6 models utilize a total of five specialized chips that serve a variety of purposes. The custom Huawei chips used in the V6 Dorado models include a front-end interface chip (Hi1822), a Kunpeng 920 chip, an Ascend AI chip (Ascend 310), an SSD controller chip, and a baseboard management controller (BMC) chip (Hi1710).

Huawei has a wide range of storage products and the Dorado systems are all-flash, performance oriented systems that compete with other vendor systems across entry level, midrange, and high-end offerings. The Dorado models are traditional dual controller storage systems with active-active operation for performance and high availability. All Dorado V6 models are able to scale to accommodate up to 16 controllers, with the high end 18000 model capable of supporting up to 32 controllers.

Storage enclosures for the Dorado systems include options for a traditional SAS enclosure, a Smart SAS enclosure, or a Smart NVMe enclosure. The “Smart” designation indicates the inclusion of a Kunpeng 920 chip and DDR memory to assist in the offloading of computation from the controllers. The smart device enclosures connect with controllers via 100 Gb/s RDMA while the traditional SAS enclosures utilize 12 Gb/s SAS.

Connectivity for block access is through Fibre Channel, InfiniBand and iSCSI. NVMe-oF is available with 32 Gb/s NVMe over FC. The system uses a traditional RAID group architecture that has been adapted with storage pooling for thin provisioning. The maximum capacity is limited by number of device enclosures supported.
Advanced features of the OceanStor Dorado systems include:

  • Remote replication
  • Snapshots
  • Stretched Clusters
  • Virtualization of 3rd party attached storage
  • QoS
  • Deduplication
  • Compression


The Huawei OceanStor Dorado V6 all flash storage systems are designed for use in environments with high performance demands and supporting multiple workloads running on the same storage system. The capacity and features set supported target the Dorado systems for acceleration usage such as databases, VDI, and server virtualization. The availability and resiliency designed into the system meet the expected storage capability for that market.

  • Characteristics
    • Block access support
    • Performance – The all solid-state systems provide high performance. Vendor reported 20 million IOPs.
    • Availability – Dual controllers provide non-disruptive HA.
    • Replication for BC/DR – Both asynchronous and synchronous remote replication is available as is the ability to make snapshot LUN copies.
    • Data reduction – compression and deduplication
    • Storage virtualization – virtualizes 3rd party storage systems
  • Applications
    • OceanStor systems are targeted at applications that use block I/O.
    • The OceanStor systems include thin provisioning, snapshots and replication at no additional cost.
  • System environments
    • The Huawei OceanStor systems provide block storage accessed using Fibre Channel (FC), InfiniBand, or iSCSI with standard drivers on host systems.
  • Deployment and Administration
    • The installation of OceanStor is designed for IT users familiar with storage systems. For customers without the required knowledge, reseller or Huawei service specialists can be used.
    • Management is provided through a management console for multiple nodes, a Replication Director to manage disaster recovery software, and multi-pathing software called UltraPath.
    • Remote Management and Call Home support is also available and is enabled through a Cloud Service.

Evaluator Group EvaluScale™: Huawei OceanStor Dorado – SAN Storage

Evaluator Group product review methodology “EvaluScale” assesses each product within a specific technology area. The definitions of the criteria and explanations of how products are reviewed can be found in the Evaluation Guides.

Evaluator Group Opinion: Differentiating elements for Huawei OceanStor Dorado

The Huawei OceanStor Dorado systems are targeted to be used for critical performance demanding applications such as databases, virtual desktops, and server virtualization storage. The non-disruptive HA and resilience capabilities are significant features that enable the OceanStor system to meet the same expectations as primary storage systems.

The V3 generation of the Dorado systems were a major advance, bringing many of the capabilities of the OceanStor systems to the Dorado line, and the V6 generation has further expanded on this. Support for the latest NVMe SSDs makes them a competitive with other vendors offering high performance SAN products. In addition, the use of multiple custom designed chips may be a differentiator when compared to systems using standard hardware.

The Dorado systems, like all other Huawei systems, suffers from lack of distribution in North America, which would expand opportunities and help with maturity from competitive demands. Evaluator Group would like to see more customer use cases and experience with the system for a better understanding of the maturity of the system and its features.

Huawei OceanStor Dorado Product Brief Includes:

Model Comparison
Evaluator Group Comments

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