#215 – Stateless Compute Machines

#215 – Stateless Compute Machines

Chris Evans Garbage Collection, NVMe, SmartNICs, Storage Hardware, Storage Unpacked Podcast

In this week’s episode, Chris and Martin discuss network booting and the ability to create completely stateless servers. The idea of SAN booting has been around for two decades, enabling both the operating system disk and data disks to be delivered from SAN storage. NVMe/TCP and other NVMe-oF protocols promise the ability to implement the same capability for modern systems. Can this be done today? Why are more servers not booted from SAN? Is this a technical issue or one of practicality and comfort? With large-scale computing platforms, perhaps network booting will make (or already …

#195 – Fungible Data Processing Units

#195 – Fungible Data Processing Units

Chris Evans Fungible, Guest Speakers, SmartNICs, Storage Unpacked Podcast 2 Comments

This week’s podcast episode continues the discussion on SmartNICs and DPUs with Fungible, a company that claims to have originally coined the term DPU. Chris and Martin talk with Pradeep Sindhu (CEO and co-founder) and Jai Menon (Chief Scientist) about Fungible’s storage cluster and host-based DPU. The Fungible architecture aims to solve the challenges of disaggregation, a topic we first looked at back in September 2017. This discussion highlights some interesting challenges that new technology such as NVMe-oF is introducing into the data centre. As we move to a model of highly parallelised workloads, the …

#194 – ScaleFlux & Computational Storage Devices

#194 – ScaleFlux & Computational Storage Devices

Chris Evans SmartNICs, Storage Unpacked Podcast 1 Comment

In this week’s episode, Martin and Chris discuss Computational Storage with Tong Zhang, Chief Scientist and co-founder at ScaleFlux. Computational Storage devices add value to traditional NAND by offloading data processes directly onto the storage media. ScaleFlux offers two families of CSDs, including the CSD 2000 series, which implements inline data compression to improve endurance and logical device capacity. In this conversation, Tong covers the benefits of using CSDs as well as some of the challenges of implementation. It’s likely we will se CSDs being used for AI/Analytics pre-processing, especially in the public cloud. More …

#190 – NVIDIA BlueField SmartNICs & DPUs

#190 – NVIDIA BlueField SmartNICs & DPUs

Chris Evans Guest Speakers, NVIDIA, SmartNICs, Storage Hardware, Storage Unpacked Podcast 2 Comments

This week, Chris and Martin chat to Kevin Deierling, SVP of Marketing for Networking Products at NVIDIA. SmartNICs and DPUs (Data Processing Units) are starting to become mainstream as application use-cases such as AI and analytics drive a need for greater data throughput and performance. Kevin explains the design and thinking behind BlueField, NVIDIA’s family of DPU products that combine offloaded network, storage and security functionality. Elapsed Time: 00:47:36 Timeline 00:00:00 – Intros 00:01:30 – We’re not a networking podcast! 00:02:15 – Why will we need DPUs and SmartNICs? 00:04:30 – Von Neumann is diverging …

#96 – Discussing SmartNICs and Storage with Rob Davis from Mellanox

#96 – Discussing SmartNICs and Storage with Rob Davis from Mellanox

Chris Evans Guest Speakers, SmartNICs, Storage Unpacked Podcast 5 Comments

In this podcast, recorded live at Dell Technologies World 2019, Chris talks to Rob Davis, VP of Storage Technology at Mellanox, about the development of SmartNIC technology and storage.  SmartNICs offload tasks such as encryption, compression and protocol traffic from core CPUs.  This allows system vendors to create more efficient and cheaper products.  It can also provide a backward compatibility for legacy applications and operating systems. Rob takes us through the implementation of SmartNICs on both the initiator (host) and target (array) side of the storage network.  We discuss vendors using the technology and what …