New Storage Model Could Replace POSIX


Object storage model could be the scalable file system interface Linux in the enterprise needs.

POSIX has been around for a long time, but within the realm of enterprise computing, it has its issues which limit the scalability of compliant systems. This is especially true for systems that make use of deep learning, artificial intelligence, and other data-intensive use-cases. 

That's where object storage comes in. This particular model doesn't require a hierarchical data structure. Instead, object storage makes use of flat pool data (where each piece of data is defined by its associated metadata). This type of storage has no scalability limitations, which could be a boon for large-scale applications.

A group of engineers (including Henry Scott Newman, Chief Technology Officer at Seagate Government Solutions) created mmap_obj(), which makes it possible for object storage systems to process data within memory. The mmap_obj() protocol is a software abstraction for low-latency access to files. Although not yet in production, this breakthrough could mean accessing data in file system storage would no longer be a challenge for systems that must work with very large amounts of data.

The mmap_obj() model creates a new mapping in the virtual address space and would greatly benefit low-latency hardware storage hardware, such as NVMe over Fabrics (NVMeoF) and Storage Class Memory (SCM). 

To read more about nmap_obj(), check out the paper written by John Michael Bent, Ujjwal Lanjewar, Nikita Danilov, Scott Hoot, Henry Scott Newman, titled "User-level low-latency access via memory semantics to objects in object storage."


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