Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Samsung's prototype Key Value SSD offloads processing from server

Samsung Electronics announced the first standards-based prototype of a new type of SSD that moves the storage workload from the server CPUs into the SSD.

Samsung’s KV SSD prototype is based on a new open standard for a Key Value Application Programming Interface (KV API) that was recently approved by SNIA.


Samsung says there are numerous benefits of KV storage technology. Rather than operating as a block device, the KV SSD moves resource-draining storage operations from the host CPU to the SSD itself. This results in:

  • Much-improved system-level performance
  • Freeing the CPU from computational work, such as block operations and storage-level garbage collection
  • Substantially greater scalability in the number of linked SSDs by reducing CPU overload
  • Greatly reduced write amplification (WAF)
  • Much less wear on each SSD
  • Greater software efficiency

SNIA’s KV API standard was developed in response to growing concern that as the speed of SSDs further increases, system-level performance was reaching the point of saturation, allowing relatively few SSDs to be optimally interlinked. As the performance of SSDs continues to improve, the situation is expected to worsen when ever-increasing loads are placed on the CPU to manage block operations.

While there are other approaches to this now under development, KV SSD technology is likely to be the most cost-efficient for use with many storage appliances and IT systems.

“The SNIA KV API specification, which provides an industry-wide interface between an application and a Key Value SSD, paves the way for widespread industry adoption of a standardized KV API protocol,” said Michael Oros, SNIA Executive Director.

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