Bringing Compute to Storage with NVM ExpressBlog
By Stephen Bates, Kim Malone and Bill Martin, NVMe Computational Storage Task Group Co-Chairs
NVM Express has been incredibly successful at bringing a vendor-neutral, open standard to the storage market that provides an efficient interface for host software. According to ReportLinker, the NVM Express® (NVMe®) technology market is now growing at 29.7% CAGR and is expected to be a 163.5 billion dollar market by 2025.
Over the past three years, several companies have determined that NVM Express makes a great framework for computation as well as storage. The interest in this idea has grown and in August 2020 the NVM Express Technical Work Group voted to establish an NVMe Computational Storage Task Group.
The charter of Computational Storage Task Group is to develop features associated with the concept of Computational Storage on NVM Express devices. The scope of work encompasses how these features are discovered, configured and used inside an NVM Express architecture framework. Examples of these features include general compute (for example eBPF), compression, encryption, data filtering, image manipulation and database acceleration.
The vision for NVMe Computational Storage is to enable a vendor-neutral framework for connecting applications to NVMe Computational Storage devices that can provide compute services as well as storage services.
The benefits of this framework are:
- More efficient computer architectures. By keeping the compute closer to the data, it is possible to reduce the amount of data movement which saves cost and power.
- More performant computer architectures. Putting compute closer to the data leads to faster response times for latency critical applications like databases, AI suggestion models and content delivery networks.
- A vendor-neutral software development environment. By aligning to a standard all NVMe Computational Storage devices will be discoverable, configurable and consumable allowing open-source library and driver stack development by members of the NVMe community. This leads to greater customer choice in products and a large eco-system for vendors.
The NVMe Computational Storage Task Group has over 75 members from 25 companies and is chaired by Stephen Bates, Eideticom, Kim Malone, Intel Corporation and Bill Martin, Samsung. The group is open to all NVM Express members at contributor level or above and we invite anyone interested in this work to join.