Today we published our press release on being named a “Cool Vendor” in storage technologies by Gartner. While we are grateful to Gartner for this recognition, the “Cool Vendor” designation is a reflection of the importance of computational storage in the larger information technology (IT) market, especially when you also consider the creation of the new Storage Networking Industry Association (SNIA) Technical Working Group (TWG) on computational storage (which I will be co-chairing!). In my first year at NGD Systems, these two milestones, and the release of our Newport Computational Storage Platform, are is probably the best set of accomplishments that I could be a part of!
Those of you who have been following NGD Systems for a while know the problem that we (and the rest of the computational storage ecosystem) are trying to solve: minimizing data movement from storage systems and storage devices to servers and CPU memory. While storage was the long pole in the performance tent as few as five year ago, the network (whether data center fabrics such as Ethernet, Fibre Channel, or InfiniBand, or the PCIe bus inside servers) is now clearly the slow link. At a macro level, it is the same problem that content delivery networks (CDNs) have and other distributed cluster computing applications have. The macro level problem was solved (at least in part) by using Hadoop MapReduce, which enabled applications to be moved to where the data was, rather than vice-versa. This concept, also known as data locality, is exactly the approach that Computational Storage embodies. For petabyte-scale problems in real-time analytics, utilizing data locality at the system level can have a huge impact on performance
As with any new approach to a problem, the challenge is to get people to consider doing things differently than they do today. Our hope is that the Gartner’s recognition of NGD Systems as a “Cool Vendor” for storage technologies will help to move both application vendors and big data users to consider how Computational Storage can mitigate the impact of data movement on petabyte-scale applications. NGD Systems will also continue to expand our network of application partners, and as we do we will make sure that you are the first to know. Thanks again!