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Storage Processor Claims Data Access Up to 100x Faster

The Pliops Storage Processor is designed to give organizations the power needed for complex, intensive tasks.

Determined to break through speed, performance and power barriers, startup Pliops has developed a storage processor it says will allow users to access data up to 100 times faster. The company claims strong and consistent performance without excessive flash degradation and taxing host compute resources.

According to the company, the Pliops Storage Processor (PSP) uses just a fraction of the computational load and power consumption of its software-based competitors.

According to Pliops President Steve Fingerhut, PSP replaces data structures optimized for limited CPU resources by limiting the granularity of data structures. It is deployed as a low-profile PCIe accelerator card and a cloud-based storage service. This provides flexibility across different storage deployment models and solid-state drives (SSDs), he added.

The hardware-based storage processor is designed to give organizations the power and efficiency required for more complex, intensive tasks. These include applications that involve transactional and analytics-based workloads in the cloud, and those in the data center that require premium performance.

The company claims that databases can gain seven times the performance in the same infrastructure simply by dropping in PSP, and 10 times the performance for write-heavy workloads, reducing latency. It accomplishes these goals by offloading the resource-intensive storage engine function that can consume 40% to 80% of server cores, Fingerhut said. In one case, MySQL transactional performance increased by seven times, while the flash storage required was decreased by up to 50% over MySQL compression.

“The new data structure and architecture is optimized for variable-sized data, resulting in offload and power reduction, but also a 10x decrease in expensive write traffic across the network and to flash,” Fingerhut added.

Pliops also claims that the new storage processor can accelerate storage engine performance per core by more than 60 times.

“Acceleration achieved from the new architecture yields a 13x improvement in performance on core storage workloads by consuming less than 20% of the CPU cores,” Fingerhut explained. That enables applications to scale with the higher storage performance offered by Pliops. This is accomplished with an architecture optimized for variable-sized data, applied with massive offloaded compute resources.”

Joseph Unsworth, a research vice president at Gartner, said the Pliops solution will compete most directly with conventional SSDs. But it’s not the only one. Unsworth said that PSP is part of an emerging class of storage processors predicated on additional computational capabilities beyond just managing flash, referred to as computational storage. Competitors in this area include NGD Systems and ScaleFlux, with Samsung on the way.

Pliops’ technology is currently being demonstrated and is on the fast track to being productized. The company expects a product to be available by the end of the year.

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