Seeing this I started to look around at what ZNS is and found a presentation from someone at WD from mid last year. Interesting that these are already coming to market having been added to the NVME standards. Further interesting in how they sequential right zoned SSDs like these can also play nice with SMR hard drives in the same file systems.
So for better or worse it seems there will be larger SMR “data center” drives in the future.
The whole process isn’t nearly the same as I was thinking to how Nimble does their all flash array writes. They use a cache controller or pairs of them to absorb the host writes that then get pushed out to traditional SSDs in sequential writes to reduce write amplification. ZNS the OS/File system talks to the drives and determines what has what blocks available for a write operation and finds the best place for it. Also at least for WD they can convert existing NVME drives to zone ones with just different firmware. Or so they said in their presentation.