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The 2022 Open Compute Project (OCP) Summit includes several digital storage and memory related announcements, from the OCP Foundation as well as various vendors. Here we discuss the OCP Grand Canyon HDD storage system, CXL support from Astera Labs, new data Center SSDs from Kioxia as well as computational storage SSDs from ScaleFlux and Pliops and a new OCP rack compliant tape system from IBM.

As part of a suite of AI support platforms, called Grand Teton, the OPC Foundation and Meta introduced its Grand Canyon HDD storage system. The image below shows Meta’s AI contributions for data centers since 2016 (when it introduced Big Sur). Meta points out that deep learning recommendation models (DLRMs) have on the order of tens of trillions of parameters and can require a zettaflop of compute to train.

Grand Teton is a follow-up to the company’s Zion-EX platform. It has multiple performance enhancements over Zion such as 4X the host-to-GPU bandwidth, 2X the compute and data network bandwidth and 2X the power envelope. Grand Teton also has an integrated chassis. The Grand Canyon storage system has several improvements over the prior Bryce Canyon storage system, including support for dual actuator HDD adoption.

According to the specification released in September 2022, the Grand Canyon storage system supports up to 72 drives and two compute modules. Each compute module connects to a Storage Controller Card (SCC) hat controls 36 drives and is logically separate from the other compute module and the 36 drives it controls. The only common component shared by these two compute-storage groups is the Drive Plane Board assembly and incoming power (12V).

Grand Canyon will also design in an SFF NIC and 2 E1.S SSDs per compute node in the chassis. All the highest failure rate components are hot-swappable without affecting the other host in the same enclosure. The image below shows the Grand Canyon storage system.

Astera Labs introduced a set of CXL Memory Pooling solution platforms at the 2022 OCP Summit. The image below shows various memory solutions using the current generation of CXL products.

CXL enables memory expansion for individual CPUs, memory sharing between CPUs and memory pooling and should be available in server systems by late 2022 or early 2023.

Kioxia introduced a new data center SSD at the 2022 OCP Summit, the XD7P E1.S SSD. They advertised it as a low latency high reliability PCIE 4.0 with NVMe 2.0 HDD with storage capacities up to 7.68TB and with three height dimensions depending upon the size of the heat sink. The figure below shows some of the specifications and images of the three drive form factors.


ScaleFlux has been a pioneer in computational storage (CS) and said that CS is going mainstream with NVMe compatible SSDs. ScaleFlux includes computational capabilities built into their SSDs and has been an active contributor to the CS effort. In particular ScaleFlux talked about using the CS inside their SSDs to do fast, no overhead compression/decompression on the SSD. With real time compression/decompression the SSD gets a capacity and also a performance boost and lower latency. The company includes CS-based compression/decompression across all of its SSD offerings (CSD 2000, CSD 3000 and NSD 3000). In addition, the CSD and NSD 3000 also do CS-based encryption/decryption.

Pliops announced its SDP-Rocks, an accelerated Key-Value store. According to the company, “XDP-Rocks streamlines architecture and eliminates complexities to deliver breakthrough levels of workload performance, scalability and efficiency. XDP-Rocks increases throughput by 20x while reducing tail latency by 100x and normalized CPU by 10x in RocksDB-based databases.”

XDP-Rocks is compatible with RocksDB. The performance improvement is on NVMe storage with Plips Extreme Data Processor (XDP) accelerator hardware. The company says that, XDP-Rocks optimizes CPU and storage resources resulting in:

• Massive application performance acceleration

• Lower infrastructure costs

• Greater scalability with use of larger data sets

• Faster analytics and time-to-insight

• Reduced blast radius

• Increased endurance

IBM introduced its Diamondback tape library system at the OCP Summit. The company says that this is a high-density archival storage solution that is physically air-gapped to help protect against ransomware and other cyber threats in hybrid cloud environments. It provides long-term storage (27PB in an OCP-sized rack) using LTO-9 tape. IBM is advertising the library as providing a significantly smaller carbon footprint compared to flash or HDD storage with a lower cost of ownership. The image below shows the IBM Diamondback tape library.

In particular, IBM says that there are three main benefits of the Diamondback Tape Library:

Sustainability: IBM Diamondback greatly reduces power and cooling requirements, with a 97% lower carbon footprint versus spinning disk storage, as it sits idle in automated libraries consuming no energy until accessed. Its long-term endurance allows tape to store data for up to 30 years.

Ransomware protection and cyber resiliency: Organizations worldwide are pressured to strengthen their defenses against malware and data breaches. Tape provides physically air- gapped isolation to increase resiliency against threats.

Data capacity and storage costs: IBM Tape is approximately one-quarter the total cost of spinning disk storage and public cloud archival services, creating a significant cost advantage.

IBM also recently announced the transition of Red Hat storage to IBM storage along with new cybersecurity products including IBM Spectrum Sentinel for SAP HAND and IBM Spectrum Protect Plus Online Services for Salesforce. These can be combined with the expanded IBM Spectrum Archive software to support direct access to file and directories stored on tape.

The 2022 OCP Summit featured the Grand Canyon HDD storage system, Astera Labs CXL chips, a new data center SSD from Kioxia as well as computational storage SSDs from ScaleFlux and Pliops and the IBM Diamondback tape library.


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