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    Object Drives Now Have a Management Standard

    March 9th, 2017
    The growing popularity of object-based storage has resulted in the development of Ethernet-connected storage devices, also referred to as IP-Based Drives, that support object interfaces, and in some cases the ability to run applications on the drives themselves. These scale-out storage nodes consist of relatively inexpensive drive-sized enclosures with IP network connectivity, CPU, memory and storage.  Continue Reading...

    SNIA Storage Developer Conference-The Knowledge Continues

    October 13th, 2016

    SNIA’s 18th Storage Developer Conference is officially a success, with 124 general and breakout sessions;  Cloud Interoperability, Kinetiplugfest 5c Storage, and SMB3 plugfests; ten Birds-of-a-Feather Sessions, and amazing networking among 450+ attendees.  Sessions on NVMe over Fabrics won the title of most attended, but Persistent Memory, Object Storage, and Performance were right behind.  Many thanks to SDC 2016 Sponsors, who engaged attendees in exciting technology discussions.

    For those not familiar with SDC, this technical industry event is designed for a variety of storage technologists at various levels from developers to architects to product managers and more.  And, true to SNIA’s commitment to educating the industry on current and future disruptive technologies, SDC content is now available to all – whether you attended or not – for download and viewing.

    20160919_120059You’ll want to stream keynotes from Citigroup, Toshiba, DSSD, Los Alamos National Labs, Broadcom, Microsemi, and Intel – they’re available now on demand on SNIA’s YouTube channel, SNIAVideo.

    All SDC presentations are now available for download; and over the next few months, you can continue to download SDC podcasts which combine audio and slides. The first podcast from SDC 2016 – on hyperscaler (as well as all 2015 SDC Podcasts) are available here, and more will be available in the coming weeks.

    SNIA thanks all its members and colleagues who contributed to make SDC a success! A special thanks goes out to the SNIA Technical Council, a select group of acknowledged industry experts who work to guide SNIA technical efforts. In addition to driving the agenda and content for SDC, the Technical Council oversees and manages SNIA Technical Work Groups, reviews architectures submitted by Work Groups, and is the SNIA’s technical liaison to standards organizations. Learn more about these visionary leaders at http://www.snia.org/about/organization/tech_council.

    And finally, don’t forget to mark your calendars now for SDC 2017 – September 11-14, 2017, again at the Hyatt Regency Santa Clara. Watch for the Call for Presentations to open in February 2017.


    The Changing World of SNIA Technical Work – A Conversation with Technical Council Chair Mark Carlson

    August 3rd, 2016

    carlson_mark_resizeMark Carlson is the current Chair of the SNIA Technical Council (TC). Mark has been a SNIA member and volunteer for over 18 years, and also wears many other SNIA hats.   Recently, SNIA on Storage sat down with Mark to discuss his first nine months as the TC Chair and his views on the industry.

    SNIA on Storage (SoS):  Within SNIA, what is the most important activity of the SNIA Technical Council?

    Mark Carlson (MC): The SNIA Technical Council works to coordinate and approve the technical work going on within SNIA. This includes both SNIA Architecture (standards) and SNIA Software. The  work is conducted within 13 SNIA Technical Work Groups (TWGs).  The members of the TC are elected from the voting companies of SNIA, and the Council also includes appointed members and advisors as well as SNIA regional affiliate advisors. SNIA_Technology_Infographic_4

    SoS:  What has been your focus this first nine months of 2016?   

    MC: The SNIA Technical Council has overseen a major effort to integrate a new standard organization into SNIA.  The creation of the new SNIA SFF Technology Affiliate (TA) Technical Work Group has brought in a very successful group of folks and standards related to storage connectors and transceivers. This work group, formed in June 2016, carries forth the longstanding SFF Committee work efforts that has operated since 1990 until mid-2016.  In 2016, SFF Committee leaders transitioned the organizational stewardship to SNIA, to operate under a special membership class named Technology Affiliate, while retaining the long standing technical focus on specifications in a similar fashion as all SNIA TWGs do.

    SoS:  What changes did SNIA implement to form the new Technology Affiliate membership class and why?

    MC: The SNIA Policy and Procedures were changed to account for this new type of membership.  Companies can now join an Affiliate TWG without having to join SNIA as a US member.  Current SNIA members who want to participate in a Technology Affiliate like SFF can join a Technology Affiliate and pay the separate dues.  The SFF was a catalyst – we saw an organization looking for a new home as its membership evolved and its leadership transitioned.  They felt SNIA could be this home but we needed to complete some activities to make it easier for them to seamlessly continue their work.   The SFF is now fully active within SNIA and also working closely with T10 and T11, groups that SNIA members have long participated in.

    SoS:  Is forming this Technology Affiliate a one-time activity?

    MC: Definitely not.  The SNIA is actively seeking organizations who are looking for a structure that SNIA provides with IP policies, established infrastructure to conduct their work, and 160+ leading companies with volunteers who know storage and networking technology.

    SoC:  What are some of the customer pain points you see in the industry?

    MC: Critical pain points the TC has started to address with new TWGs over the last 24 months include: performance of solid state storage arrays, where the SNIA Solid State Storage Systems (S4) TWG is working to identify, develop, and coordinate system performance standards for solid state storage systems; and object drives, where work is being done by the Object Drive TWG to identify, develop, and coordinate standards for object drives operating as storage nodes in scale out storage solutions.  With the number of different future disk drive interfaces emerging that add value from external storage to in-storage compute, we want to make sure they can be managed at scale and are interoperable.TC org chart 2016

    SoS:  What’s upcoming for the next six months?

    MC: The TC is currently working on a white paper to address data center drive requirements and the features and existing interface standards that satisfy some of those requirements.  Of course, not all the solutions to these requirements will come from SNIA, but we think SNIA is in a unique position to bring in the data center customers that need these new features and work with the drive vendors to prototype solutions that then make their way into other standards efforts.  Features that are targeted at the NVM Express, T10, and T13 committees would be coordinated with these customers.

    SoS:  Can non-members get involved with SNIA?

    MC:   Until very recently, if a company wanted to contribute to a software project within SNIA, they had to become a member. This was limiting to the community, and cut off contributions from those who were using the code, so SNIA has developed a convenient Contributor License Agreement (CLA) for contributions to individual projects.  This allows external contributions but does not change the software licensing. The CLA is compatible with the IP protections that the SNIA IP Policy provides to our members.  Our hope is that this will create a broader community of contributors to a more open SNIA, and facilitate open source project development even more.

    SoS:  Will you be onsite for the upcoming SNIA Storage Developer Conference (SDC)?

    MC: Absolutely!  I look forward to meeting SNIA members and colleagues September 19-22 at the Hyatt Regency Santa Clara.  We have a great agenda, now online, that the TC has developed for this, our 18th conference, and registration is now open.  SDC brings in more than 400 of the leading storage software and hardware developers, storage product and solution architects, product managers, storage product quality assurance engineers, product line CTOs, storage product customer support engineers, and in–house IT development staff from around the world.  If technical professionals are not familiar with the education and knowledge that SDC can provide, a great way to get a taste is to check out the SDC Podcasts now posted, and the new ones that will appear leading up to SDC 2016.


    See SNIA at OpenStack Summit Tokyo

    October 6th, 2015

    Are you headed to the OpenStack Summit in Tokyo later this month? If so, I encourage you to stop by two “Birds of a Feather” (BoF) sessions I’ll be hosting on behalf of SNIA. Here’s the info on both of them:

    Extending OpenStack Swift with S3 and CDMI Interfaces – Tues. Oct. 27th 11:15 a.m.

    Cloud application developers using the OpenStack infrastructure are demanding implementations of not just the Swift API, but also the S3 defacto and CDMI standard APIs. Each of these APIs not only offers features in common, but also offers what appear to be unique and incompatible facilities. At this BoF, we’ll discuss how to: Implement a multi-API strategy simply and effectively, sensibly manage the differences between each of the APIs, map common features to each other, take advantage of each of the APIs’ strengths, avoid lowest common denominator implementations

    Object Drive Integration with Swift – Thurs. Oct. 29th 9:00 a.m.

    With the emergence of disk drives and perhaps solid state drives with Key/Value and other object interfaces, what are the implications on solution architectures and systems built around OpenStack Swift. One approach is termed “PACO” where the Object Node speaks Key/Value to the drive and is hosted with other Swift Services. Are there other approaches to this? Are you developing products or solutions based on Object Drives? Come to this BoF to discuss these issues with fellow developers.

    I expect both of these BoFs will be full of lively discussions around standards, emerging technologies, challenges, best practices and more. If you have any questions about these sessions or about work that SNIA is doing, do not hesitate to contact me. I hope to see you in Tokyo!

     

     

     


    Cloud Storage Development Challenges – An SDC Preview

    July 27th, 2015

    This year’s Storage Developer Conference (SDC) is expected to draw over 400 storage developers and professionals. On August 4th, you can get a sneak preview of key cloud topics that will be covered at SDC in this live Webcast where David Slik and Mark Carlson Co-Chairs of the SNIA Cloud Technical Work Group, together with Yong Chen, Assistant Professor at Texas Tech University will discuss:

    • Mobile and Secure – Cloud Encrypted Objects using CDMI
    • Object Drives: A new Architectural Partitioning
    • Unistore: A Unified Storage Architecture for Cloud Computing
    • Using CDMI to Manage Swift, S3, and Ceph Object Repositories

    You’ll learn how encrypted objects can be stored, retrieved, and transferred between clouds, how Object Drives allow storage to scale up and down by single drive increments, end-user and vendor use cases of the Cloud Data Management Interface (CDMI), and we’ll introduce Unistore – an innovative unified storage architecture that efficiently integrates heterogeneous HDD and SCM devices for Cloud storage systems.

    I’ll be moderating the discussion among this expert panel. It should be an enlightening and lively hour. I hope you’ll register now to join us.

     


    New Webcast: Visions For Ethernet Connected Drives

    February 20th, 2015

    Mark your calendar for March 25th as SNIA-ESF, together with the Dell’Oro Group, will be hosting a live Webcast, “Visions for Ethernet Connected Drives.” The arrival of mass-storage services, the emergence of analytics applications and the adoption of object storage by the cloud-services industry have provided an impetus for new storage hardware architectures. One such underlying hardware technology is the Ethernet connected hard drive, which is in early stages of availability.

    Please join us on March 25th to hear Chris DePuy, Vice President of Dell’Oro Group share findings from interviews with storage-related companies, including those selling hard drives, semiconductors, peripherals and systems, as he will present some common themes uncovered, including:

    • What system-level architectural changes may be needed to support Ethernet connected drives
    • What capabilities may emerge as a result of the availability of these new drives
    • What part of the value chain spends the time and money to package working solutions

    We will also present some revenue and unit statistics about the storage systems and hard drive markets and will discuss potential market scenarios that may unfold as a result of the object storage and Ethernet connected drive trends.

    I’ll be hosting the event and together with Chris, taking your questions. I hope you’ll join us.