The Storage Networking Industry Association (SNIA) has released the first edition of a new set of standards designed to pave the way for a new breed of storage products: CSxes.
Short for computational storage devices, CSxs are different from ordinary SSDs or hard disks in that they handle data processing on board, minimizing bottlenecks caused by the need to pass data between storage and the CPU, GPU, and RAM.
The new standards issued by SNIA have been created to encourage interoperability between the various CSDs currently under development and to support the work of software architects and other programmers.
Computational Storage: The Next Big Thing?
Computational storage has been billed by market players as one of the next big things in computing for a number of years now.
In general, there are two types of CSDs: CSDs that incorporate processors into the storage device itself and CSDs that pass computer operations to a nearby storage accelerator.
While computational storage isn’t right for every use case, it has the potential to dramatically accelerate applications limited by I/O performance rather than computational power.
“There is clearly a broad class of applications that benefit from porting compute functions from a main CPU to a more efficient processing engine more suited to the specific problem of interest,” explains Richard New, VP of Research at Western Digital. from. of TechRadar Pro.
“In the context of storage, we can consider applications such as video transcoding, compression and database acceleration as falling into this category. A video transcoding device tightly coupled to a storage device can enable a video server to stream content more efficiently at many different quality levels, while minimizing unnecessary I/O and data transfers through the system.”
In addition to providing guidance to suppliers for developing new CSxes, the advent of the SNIA standards establishes a set of common definitions that can be used to properly categorize the products coming to market.
“The 1.0 model has a nice foundation for definitions – before there were none, but now we have Computational Storage Devices (CSxes), Computational Storage Processors (CSPs), Computational Storage Drives (CSDs), and Computational Storage Arrays (CSAs), and more,” said David McIntyre, chair of the computational storage special group at SNIA.
Vendors from Samsung to sk Hynix are already beginning to demonstrate and release computer storage devices. But by bringing standardization to the market, the new SNIA specification could provide the necessary foundation for widespread adoption.
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