Samsung has announced the production of a prototype key-value (KV) solid-state drive (SSD), based on the Storage Networking Industry Association (SNIA)'s open standard, which it claims improves scalability, longevity, and CPU requirements over traditional drives.

Recently approved for public consumption by the Storage Network Industry Association (SNIA), the Key Value Application Programming Interface (KV API) standard sees storage devices moving away from the block-device operation that has dominated the industry for decades and towards a more database-like approach which shifts selected operations from the host to the drive. The result, its proponents claim, is a storage system which has considerably lower CPU overhead on the host, particularly for block operations and garbage collection, can scale to a greater number of drives before hitting CPU bottlenecks, dramatically reduces write amplificaiton issues and thus reduces the wear on write-limited solid-state memory, and improves the efficiency of storage software.

'SNIA's KV API is enabling a new generation of architectures for shared storage that is high-performance and scalable. Cloud object stores have shown the power of KV for scaling shared storage, but they fall short for data-intensive applications demanding low latency,' claims Hugo Patterson, co-founder and chief scientist at Datrium, of the standard. 'The KV API has the potential to get the server out of the way in becoming the standard-bearer for data-intensive applications.'

looking to capitalise on this potential, Samsung has announced the production of its first KV API SSD prototype, though it has not shared performance figures from the move to a key-value system. It has, however, claimed that the prototype is sufficiently advanced to allow for immediate use by software development houses looking to implement the KV API, and says it is working with Datrium as well a FairCom, MinIO, Nexenta, Pliops, and Zettar on building the KV API ecosystem out.

'Our KV SSD prototype is leading the industry into a new realm of standardised next-generation SSDs,' claims Hangu Sohn, vice president for NAND product planning at Samsung Electronics, 'one that we anticipate will go a long way in optimising the efficiency of network storage and extending the processing power of the server CPUs to which they’re connected.'

No commercial availability nor pricing for Samsung's first KV API drive has yet been announced.

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