Computational Storage 2019: Onwards and Upwards!
- Written by: Super User
Eideticom is a leader in Computational Storage! Computational Storage is a new computer architecture initiative that aims to improve the performance, efficiency and cost of computer systems by moving computation tasks closer to the storage layer.
In this blog we will look back on a great 2018 for the Computational Storage initiative and look forward to 2019 and discuss some of the things we expect to see.
2018: A banner first year for Computational Storage
The conception of Computational Storage can be attributed to a 7am birds of a feather meeting at Flash Memory Summit 2018 which Eideticom organized. At this meeting over 20 people unanimously agreed to approach the Storage Networking Industry Alliance (SNIA) to request a Technical Working Group (TWG) be formed around Computational Storage.
Figure 1: The founders of Computational Storage discuss the conception of the initiative at the BoF at Flash Memory Summit 2018.
Within three months a fully-operational SNIA TWG was established with Scott Shadley (NGD Systems) and Tom Friend (SK Hynix) as co-chairs and over 40 members from over 20 companies actively participating! In fact this growth was so monumental that I was awarded the SNIA award for SNIA New Contributor of the Year Award 2018 and the Computational Storage TWG was awarded SNIA’s award for Best New Technical Working Group!
2019: Moving the needle for Computational Storage
Here are some of the things I expect (hope) to see for Computational Storage in 2019. Call them predictions if you like ;-).
- More companies will get involved in the SNIA TWG in 2019. As of January 2019 the participating companies are below. Expect to see more companies join the TWG as the momentum and narrative around Computational Storage grows. I am hoping to see a mix of incumbents and startups. Also I am hoping to see both software companies and end-users join the TWG to make sure what we are building is consumable by operating systems and software stacks that matter.
- The TWG will help raise industry awareness around Computational Storage. The member companies of the TWG have already been spreading the word about Computational Storage. Expect this to continue in 2019 along with a vendor-neutral message from the TWG itself. Right now the TWG is working on definitions that are important to the TWG. For example “What is Computational Storage?” and “What types of products can we expect to see in the Computational Storage space?”. Expect to see the TWG and the member companies represent at events like Open Compute Summit, NVM Workshop, Flash Memory Summit and SNIA’s Storage Developers’ Conference.
- The work of the TWG will start to be driven into industry standards. While the TWG is currently still developing standard-agnostic architecture and programming models, this work will solidify over the first half of 2019. Then we will start to see that work manifest itself in standards the TWG members care about. One obvious target will be NVM Express. Even prior to any visible effects there will be interaction between the TWG members and NVM Express to help set the start for Computational Storage support in NVMe.
- More pre-standard Computational Storage products will come to market. While larger companies can afford to wait for standardization there are several startups (including Eideticom) that are bringing pre-standard products to market. Eideticom uses NVM Express as transport, not just as a storage protocol. Our mission to make NVMe the one driver to rule them all will deliver computational storage services like compression, encryption, AI inference and analytics to operating-systems and software stacks via a unified NVMe driver and management stack.
- The emergence of Computational Storage over Fabrics. Most of the discussion in the Computational Storage space today is around devices that reside in the storage server. However storage networking plays a huge role in today’s storage architectures. So I expect the see the same discussions apply to Computational Storage. For example Eideticom has already demonstrated how computation can be accessed via NVMe over Fabrics. Expect to see more discussion (and possibly even product offerings) in this space in 2019.
Figure 2: The Computational Storage TWG member companies as of January 2019.
Figure 3: NVM Express as “the one driver to rule them all” to present storage, networking and computation via a common driver and management stack.
That wraps up my predictions. Regardless of what actually happens I know 2019 will be a banner year for Computational Storage and that Eideticom will be front and center in this space!