Higher Capacities, Lower TCO & Improved QoS
Data volumes created by enterprises, machines, and consumer-generated content continue to drive demand for data center storage capacities at petabyte, exabyte and even zettabyte scale. Today, large scale data infrastructure already uses tens of thousands of SSDs and HDDs. Managing the extreme scale of data in a cost-effective manner is quickly becoming a requirement.
Zoned Storage is an open source, standards-based initiative to enable data centers to scale efficiently for the zettabyte storage capacity era. There are two technologies behind Zoned Storage, Shingled Magnetic Recording (SMR) in HDDs and Zoned Namespaces (ZNS) in SSDs.
Zoned storage devices, such as ZNS SSDs are divided into zones, significantly simplifying the drive architecture and minimizing the need for complex data management. With a unified software stack, the host is able to intelligently place data in different zones which enables these key benefits:
Higher density and scale as virtually no over-provisioning is required
Significantly reduced DRAM requirements and fewer support logic functions are required
With minimal garbage collection required, the device controller can respond quicker
Because the data is not constantly re-written, the endurance is improved
The act of implementing Zone Storage on the host allows the system software and hardware to work together more efficiently by eliminating the multiple (duplicated) levels of indirection required for logical to physical mapping between the host and the SSD controller and the file system to the device. ZNS also reduces the need for over-provisioning and removes the issues associated with write amplification and QoS variability. In short ZNS addresses the issues of scale, QoS and TCO which hinder conventional SSDs.
Zoned Storage consists of SMR for HDDs and ZNS for SSDs. Zoned Named Spaces is an extension of the NVMe™ standard. This technology allows us to offer SSDs that are zoned similarly to SMR HDDs, thereby allowing HDD and SSD storage to be seen as though it were one technology. Zoned Storage leverages both SMR and ZNS technologies and open source standards to enhance data center scaling.
With a unified software framework, data can be intelligently placed on both SMR HDDs and ZNS SSDs to increase storage capacity, lower TCO and improve QoS. With Zoned Storage, data center and cloud providers can more cost effectively scale storage for the zettabyte age.
Device controls data placement
Applications control data placement in zones
UltraSMR technology enables 4TB higher capacity above standard CMR drives.
Western Digital and Percona deliver Ultrasar DC ZN540 ZNS SSD support for Percona Server for MySQL
A detailed explanation of both ZNS SSD and SMR HDD technologies and the software ecosystem support.
Explore the HDD technologies which enable scale for data center and enterprise drives. Achieve a better Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) with Western Digital Ultrastar SMR HDDs for data-intensive workloads
An introduction article to zoned storage in a Q & A format.
An article on Zoned Storage and why it is important for the data center.
An open-source contributed website on the latest zoned storage ecosystem, including various Linux support, applications and other tools.
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1. Source 1: What is Zoned Storage and Why Does it Matter by William G. Wong (Electronic Design, 9/20/2020)
2. Source 2: The Next Step in SSD Evolution: NVMe Zoned Namespaces Explained by Billy Tallis (AnandTech.com, 8/6/2020)