News New Processor Promises 3 to 15x Faster Server Storage

GoatGuy

Honorable
Feb 22, 2016
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Wow... "it moves applications from CPU into the card".

That "IT" is definitely a Djinni!!! An application, lest we forget so easily, is a bunch of high-level code ultimately translated into machine code, which is executed byte by byte, instruction by instruction, by the CPU. In CPU-native instructions. This thing would either have to emulate X86 code perfectly, and much faster, which is not likely, or the "IT" is a marketing guru brain-fart.

Now if 'they' had made the claim that the device uses advanced predictive access metrics, based on prior accesses, in a window maybe 1 month long, and pre-fetches data not yet requested into a cache ... and then delivers that when dutifully requested milliseconds (or microseconds) later, well THAT would be quite an advance.

But as it stands, if 'the application is loaded to the data card', it also implies that the high-level coding gurus that actually wrote an application, would have to do quite a bit of recoding in order to have its mission-critical and time-sensitive parts to execute off-CPU.

Just saying...
GoatGuy
 
Jul 29, 2021
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Hi GoatGuy,

I work for Pliops and can clarify - the "applications" moved to the card are either:
  1. Compression/packing/garbage collection/drive fail protection for block storage (think of it as a AFA controller on a PCIe card)
  2. Storage engines like RocksDB are entirely offloaded. Storage engines are used in nearly all databases, analytics, software defined storage. If those use RocksDB as their storage engine, the Pliops device seamlessly replaces that function, allowing it to be removed from the host. If it is a different storage engine, some software changes are required.
And these functions are available to the application via existing interfaces - NVMe for block or RocksDB API for KV.

On the Data Processor itself, a complete architecture is in place to manage these functions. It's not a code shift, but a function shift. As you point out, on the XDP these are not delivered via x86 code, but because it is a dedicated design, delivers the equivalent of hundreds of x86 cores of software for those key data/storage management functions. The XDP works with any SSD model including QLC and fits in any standard server. Hope that helps!

Regards,
Steve (Pliops)
 

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