Western Digital (WD) and Samsung have come together to better adopt and implement the former’s pioneering work on Zoned Storage. WD has been actively contributing to the Linux kernel and open-source software community to improve the utilization and efficiency of the next generation of storage media. Together, Samsung and WD could help create a better ecosystem for Zoned Storage solutions.
Samsung and WD have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to “standardize and drive broad adoption of next-generation Data Placement, Processing and Fabrics (D2PF) storage technologies”. This is the first time both the giants in the storage solutions space have come together. Their goal is to “create widespread alignment and stimulate awareness for important storage technologies”.
The companies will initially focus on storage solutions for enterprise and cloud applications. However, the partnership could lead to enhanced collaboration around technology standardization and software development for D2PF technologies like Zoned Storage. Speaking about the collaboration, Rob Soderbery, EVP and GM, Flash Business Unit at Western Digital, said:
Storage is the essential foundation for how people and businesses consume and use data. To enable today’s needs and tomorrow’s next big ideas, we must innovate, collaborate and keep pace as an industry in bringing new standards and architectures to life. In order for a technology ecosystem to be successful, overall frameworks and general solution models must come together so they do not suffer from fragmentation, which delays adoption and adds unnecessary complexity for software stack developers.
Zoned Storage might sound complicated, but is in fact, a method of standardization for the way data is categorized, clustered, organized, and stored. It basically deals with accepting multiple types of data, serializing the same, and sorting it into “zones” that are designated inside a storage media.
Samsung and WD have already started a new initiative called Zoned Storage devices. These include Zoned Namespaces (ZNS) SSDs and Shingled Magnetic Recording (SMR) HDDs. Together, the duo hopes to work with Storage Networking Industry Association (SNIA) and the Linux Foundation to define high-level models and frameworks for next-generation Zoned Storage technologies.
The companies have also formed Zoned Storage Technical Work Group (TWG). Approved by the SNIA late last year, the group is helping define and specify common use cases for Zoned Storage devices, as well as host/device architecture and programming models.
At the consumer level, the parameters and guidelines that emerge from the collaboration between the two industry leaders could help streamline and improve computational storage and storage fabrics for emerging technologies such as NVMe over Fabrics (NVMe-oF).