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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
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    Montreal, Que, Canada
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    My Imagining (Dreaming) about the Future for SSD's

    Introduction

    Since the advent of the SSD, much of the Linux bios dealing with seeks, NCQ, etc are set aside. The SSD contents are actually managed as a large array of blocks, where the bios within the SSD manages the blocks, block updates and low level error management. The SSD firmware does this under the cover. The Linux system is not implicated with block location or management. One benefit of using an SSD is that there is no need for defragmenting the SSD as its near instant table lookup for the desired block contents.




    Why is there not more done in the SSD?

    The Linux IOCS (Input/output Control (sub) System) is managing disks, directories, free space and a whole lot of activities for each locally attached I/O block device. My question is “Could that work be moved to the SSD and it’s bios?” Can one treat the SSD as a co-processor?




    As I see it, a future SSD will become a co-processor. You tell it that you want to read / write / update / delete a file or logical record, and the SSD does it for you. Linux does not need to know how the SSD does it, Linux just issues high level commands to it.

    Two new features that could I see with SSD’s are performing raid, or offering dynamic storage expansion in a master/slave organization. As I think about it, the future SSD would have a bi-directional port that could be connected to one or more slave SSDs.

    If you configure the future SSD coprocessor as raid, then the slave SSD (connected via that port) would be informed of the I/O request. For any read, the master SSD could determine if it or the slave satisfies the read request. A whole world of possibilities opens up.

    Another mode that I see concerns dynamic data storage expansion. You note that your SSD’s available storage capacity is shrinking and you add a slave SSD via that port. The Master SSD recognizes that the slave has more free space than it, and directs file I/O to it. Dynamic addition of storage capacity is the outcome.


    If the SSD electronics is augmented to allow what I mentioned, would that transfer of IOCS cpu activity to the SSD free up Linux to do other things? How much would be off-loaded from Linux to the coprocessor?

    A possible feature if the SSD is essentially co-processor interfaced, is to allow dynamic offline backup and restores. The Linux system just initiates the backup and waits for a confirmation. The SSD could do its own backups.

    If the SSD was mounted on a co-processor card that had a small battery, SSD corruption due to power failures could be avoided.


    Summary

    I see so many new features coming to systems that we forget to take notice of new technologies. IOT devices just cry out for a smarter SSD. If Bluetooth transfers are able to be done in high speed, (relative to a spinning disk), the SSD could be a Bluetooth interfaced co-processor located in a box, situated in close proximity to the main cpu. We are still in the horse and buggy stage with Linux/Windows. Hopefully some universities are looking at the future of FOSS and that we will see major new hardware designs within the coming decade.
    .
    The above is my rambling thoughts. Let your imagination run wild and suggest features that we would in "hardware" for the near future.
    Leslie in Montreal

    Interesting web sites list
    http://forums.fedoraforum.org/showth...40#post1697840

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
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    Re: My Imagining (Dreaming) about the Future for SSD's

    I suspect the SSD is just an intermediate form, designed to require minimal changes to other hardware or software.

    In the longer term the line between primary (RAM) and secondary (DISK) will fade away so that we have machines with terabytes of non-volatile ram.

    Beyond that, the requirements for AI and neural networks could see processing power being pushed out into the memory space.

    The next major step will probably have to be in the amount of power used by electronic devices.
    https://www2.eecs.berkeley.edu/Pubs/...S-2015-171.pdf

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
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    Re: My Imagining (Dreaming) about the Future for SSD's

    Hi Ocratato,
    Thanks for the "https://www2.eecs.berkeley.edu/Pubs/...S-2015-171.pdf" reference.

    I truly could see the file system within a File processor consisting of non volatile ram. After all, we still want to have physical sharing of data, and ability to take that storage to a off-site location. And take away storage (like USB? with a few terabytes of capacity).
    My conscern with storage technology is it's sensitivity to electrical noise and the physical medium's sensitivity to temperature changes.
    Leslie in Montreal

    Interesting web sites list
    http://forums.fedoraforum.org/showth...40#post1697840

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