Product Introductions During The 2021 OCP Summit – Forbes

Blur event hall in large exhibition center with people walking background people
There were many vendors and sponsors showing initiatives and products during the conference and in exhibits during the 2021 OCP Summit.  These included products from Samsung, Inspur, ScaleFlux, Kioxia, SK hynix, Fadu, Silicon Motion and Seagate Technology.
Samsung and Inspur announced in the 2020 OCP Summit an open source Poseidon V1 high performance NVMe-oF reference storage system based upon the E1.S SSD form factor.  This year Samsung and Inspur jointly launched the Poseidon V2 PCIe Gen5-based open hardware for composable architectures based upon the E3.x SSD form factor.  The V2 includes EDSFF E3 1TB and 2TB PCIe Gen5 SSDs, DDR5 near memory (low latency) as well as CXL expander interfaces for far memory (higher latency).  The system can also support AI/ML accelerators.  The key components of the Poseidon V2 is shown below. 
Samsung and Inspur Poseidon V2 reference storage system
The V2 come in a Type 1 format that can be configured for higher performance shared storage with e.g. 24 1TB E3.S SSD or a Type 2 format that can be used either as a high-memory server for the cloud with e.g. 8 CXL DRAM expanders and 8 E3.S SSDs.  The Type 2 format can also be used as an accelerator server for AI/ML applications with e.g. E3 1TB SSDs and 2TB SmartSSDs.
Samsung SSD and DRAM products for the Poseidon V2 include their ZNS+QLC SSD, PCIe Gen5 SSD, SmartSSD, Z-SSD, CXL Expander and DDR5 DRAM memory.  The Poseidon Storage OS is a NVMe-oF reference solution for system integration with various storage and memory device and storage and memory system operations.  Initial Poseidon V2 products should be available in 2022 with higher volume expected in 2023.
There was a presentation on computational storage drives from ScaleFlux (who also had a poster and an exhibit at the Summit.  These are enterprise PCIe SSD that include a compute offload engine in the drive.  This is another path to lessening the movement of data common in traditional von Neumann computers by processing data near where it is stored.  This puts some additional cost into the storage nodes but allows various offload tasks to be done locally.  Earlier in November ScaleFlux announced its new 3000 (SFX 3000) storage processing units and computational storage optimized software to make it easier for customers to adopt and use computational storage.
Mahsa Bayati from Samsung spoke about high performance disaggregated object storage for AI applications with a Disaggregated Storage Software (DSS) storage solution.   This implements an object Key-Value API on top of NVMe over Fabric (NVMe-oF).  This supports storage remote access protocols such as RDMA and facilitates disaggregation of storage and computational storage to enable greater scaling.
DSS also provisions the bandwidth demands of each application running on each client server to avoid congestion and bandwidth inconsistency.   The figure below shows the general architectural design.
Dissagregated storage software (DSS) storage solution architecture
Samsung modified MinIO open source object storage to run in a distributed shared-everything Key-Value environment for improved scaling and performance.  Erasure code was used for data consistency despite faulty drives and random bit flipping.  SNIA Swordfish API and authentication ran on a Unified Fabric Manager (UFM) to manage the KV storage devices as well as the fabric (SNIA also had an exhibit at the OCP Summit).  The client servers access the storage servers by performing S3 operations PUT/GET/DEL/LIST.  User requests are load balanced to the endpoints.  A testbed running S3 benchmark achieved 180-275GB/s for read (GET) and 26-38GBs for write (PUT).
Kioxia was a sponsor/exhibit at the OCP Summit.  The company announce production availablilty of its EM6 Series Enterprise NVMe-oF SSD for Ethernet bunch of Flash (EBOF) systems.  The SSD uses the Marvell 88SN2400 NVMe-oF converter controller that convers an NVMe SSD into a dual-ported 25Gb NVMe-oF SSD.  Following are key features of the new SSD.
EM6 Series Key Features 
·      Single or dual 25Gb Ethernet and RoCEv2 network connectivity 
·      NVMe-oF 1.1 and NVMe 1.4 specification compliant 
·      2.5-inch 15mm Z-height form factor
·      1 DWPD endurance with 3,840 GB, 7,680 GB capacity options 
Kioxia also introduced its EDSFF CD7 E3.S Data Center SSD, shown below. 
KIoxia CD7 EDSFF E3.S data center SSD
CD7 Series Key Features 
·      EDSFF E3.S form factor with capacities up to 7.68TB
·      Designed to latest PCIe 5.0 specification and optimized for x2 PCIe lane performance 
·      Using fewer PCIe lanes increases number of PCIe devices that can be supported 
·      Built on KIOXIA BiCS FLASHTM 3D TLC flash memory 
·      Up to 6,450 MB/s read throughput and 1,050K random read IOPS 
·      75μs read and 14μs write latencies, which are 17% and 60% lower latencies than previous generation PCIe 4.0 SSDs, respectively. 
SK hynix was an exhibitor/sponsor at the Summit and revealed an HBM3 memory module with 24GB capacity and 6.4 Gbps data rates.
Fadu announced the development of its PCIe 5 X4 NVMe 1.4a OCP Cloud Spec 2.0 SSD controller and SSD solution.  The Gen 5 family includes the FADU FC5161 SSD Controller and the FADU Echo SSDs in E1.S, U.2, E3, and E1.L form factors.  The product has sequential read speeds of 14.6GB/s and sequential write at 10.4GB/s.  Random read and write throughput is 3.4M IOPs and 735K IOPS respectively with an average power of less than 5.2W.
Silicon Motion introduced their latest SSD controllers, single chip SSD for boot drive, all flash array and software defined storage solutions for enterprise and data center customers.  The company’s enterprise SSD controllers are:
·      SM8266: 2nd generation 16 Channel high performance PCIe Gen 4 NVMe SSD controller 
·      SM8208: 8 Channel PCIe Gen4 NVMe controller supporting the E1.S form factor 
·      SM2271: 8 Channel SATA 6Gb/s SSD controller
Silicon Motion’s SSD solutions, AFA and software defined storage for enterprise are:
·      FerriSSD: PCIe NVMe single-chip SSDs: Sustain high performance and robust data retention for the boot drive 
·      VirtualStor® FlashGo NVMe AFA Solutions: 2U24NVMe enclosure with dual controllers enabling high performance and low-latency storage 
·      Bigtera VirtualStor® Scaler-Out SDS Solutions: Ulta-high performance Hyperscale unified storage platform
Seagate Technology was showing a prototype native NVMe HDD in the experience center of the OCP Summit.  In 2020 I wrote about talks by Seagate, WDC and Microsoft on NVMe protocol interfaces for HDDs.  The SNIA and OCP form factor specifications include form factors that supported 3.5-inch HDDs.   Seagate had an earlier NVMe HDD prototype using a converter board—see image on the right below.  
The HDD with a native NVMe interface at the 2021 OCP Summit used a Seagate NVMe SSD controller.  Seagate said that NVMe levels of performance will be needed for dual actuator HDDs (although probably only with one PCIe channel) and that NVMe could replace SATA HDD interfaces. 
Comparison of NVMe native HDD and HDD with NVMe converter board
New products supporting enterprise hyperscale customers were introduced at the 2021 OCP Summit.  These included storage boxes with EDSFF E3 storage modules and CXL, computational storage, high performance object storage, new SSDs and SSD controllers and a native NVMe HDD.

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