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Computational storage

That’s a big question! We’re just at the early stage of deploying CS. As an industry, we are still working through all the standards to enable computational storage to reach its full potential. Over time, CSDs can contribute to the efficiency of connecting data to compute and memory for a more efficient and higher performing data center.
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I have seen instances in which users try to use client-grade drives for server applications, setting themselves up for disappointing failure rates. Using server management tools and working with system integrators / VARs to properly set up their systems to meet their needs is a good starting point.

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ScaleFlux has been the first to bring drive-based compression to market in a NVMe SSD. Enabling the full benefit of compression to expose extra capacity in the drive required a significant enhancement to the controller design and to the firmware architecture. Yes, a couple of other vendors have brought compression into the SSDs recently. Storage array vendors have deployed host-based compression (taxing the CPUs, low throughput, not highly scalable) for many years.

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We are seeing many companies repatriate workloads from the cloud to on-prem! Not every workload is well suited to cloud – or is economical to run on the cloud.

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Workstations are possible. Computational storage drives are industry standard form factors (U.2 today, others coming). If the workstation can provide ample airflow for an enterprise NVMe SSD, it’s an option. We do have some customers looking into using the drives to improve performance and local capacity for workstations.

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Cloud storage is an architectural choice typically requiring you to migrate your data to a 3rd party’s infrastructure. Computational Storage Drives can be used by cloud service providers to reduce their costs of delivering their service (which may or may not get passed on to their customers) or by companies with their own on-prem or co-lo infrastructure.

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Computational storage refers to offloading storage-centric computing tasks from the CPU to a device that’s closer to the storage media. In the case of ScaleFlux, we are talking about Computational Storage Drives – drives with built-in compute or data-processing functions.

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SSDs from ScaleFlux are natively NVMe, using the standard NVMe drivers available with any OS. There is no host-awareness requirement. All the benefits are transparent, so the host is not even aware. This is the same for applications. You get the benefits without any software changes or reconfiguration.

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I have seen instances in which users try to use client-grade drives for server applications, setting themselves up for disappointing failure rates. Using server management tools and working with system integrators / VARs to properly set up their systems to meet their needs is a good starting point.

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Monitor the computational storage standards at www.snia.org

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