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Modern applications like big data analytics, facial recognition, IoT and video streaming, as well as next generation applications like artificial intelligence and machine learning place unique demands on both the compute and storage infrastructures. Most of the modern and next generations operate against a vast store of data. The application makes a query against that data set, which is processed in some way yielding the answer. They all require vast amounts of data to be stored and then count on compute to identify the subset of data the application needs to respond to the queries.

The Problems with Moving Storage Closer to Compute

The most common strategy to addressing the challenges presented by modern and next generation applications is to move storage closer to compute. The strategy is install storage inside each compute node and let the data reside there. Each query requires a large section of data, in some case all of it, is sent to the compute tier to identify the needed sub-section. Moving storage to the compute as a strategy does reduce network latency. However, while the CPU-to-media interconnect has improved with advancements like NVMe, there is still latency in the connection. There is also a complication of making sure the right process has access to the right data locally.

Moving Compute Closer to Storage

The first step in the process for most of these modern and next generation applications is to reduce the working set of data. Essentially, if the data set is the haystack, the application lives to find the needles in that haystack. If this is the case, it may make more sense to move the compute to the storage. That way the media can perform the data reduction or qualification before data is sent to the main compute tier. For example, a facial recognition program searching for Elon Musk dressed in black may send out a request to each drive for images of Elon Musk. Those images are sent to the main compute tier which does the more fine-grained search for Elon Musk wearing black. The first value of such an architecture is the compute for the environment scales, and does so at a very granular level, at the drive. The second value is the amount of bandwidth required to transfer the data to the main compute tier is greatly reduced since the drives are sending a much smaller subset of data instead of all of it. The third value is the compute tier does not have to scale as rapidly because the drives are doing more work.

Introducing NGD Systems

NGD Systems is announcing the availability of the industry’s first SSD drive with embedded processing. This is not a processor for running flash controller functions (it has that too) this is a processor specifically for off-loading functions from the primary applications. Developers of these modern and next generation applications will find adopting their applications to take advantage of the new drives relatively straightforward. The NVMe Catalina 2 is now available in PCIe AIC and U.2 form factors.

In-Situ Processing

While not a controller company NGD Systems does incorporate an “in storage” hardware acceleration that puts computational capability on the drive itself. Doing so eliminates the need to move data to main memory for processing, reducing bandwidth requirements and server RAM requirements. It also reduces the pace the compute tier needs to scale, which should lead to reduced power consumption.

Elastic FTL

Beyond onboard compute, the drives themselves also have top notch controller technology. The controllers (separate from the compute) on the NGD Systems SSD use proprietary Elastic FTL and Advanced LDPC Engines to provide industry leading density, scalability and storage intelligence. It enables support of the event changing availability of drive types including 3D TLC NAND, QLC NAND as well as future NAND specifications. The company also claims the lowest watt-per-TB in the industry.

StorageSwiss Take

Moving compute to the storage is the ultimate in “divide and conquer”, which may be the best strategy for applications needing to operate on large data sets. If every drive in the environment can reduce the amount of data that needs to be transferred into main memory for processing the environment becomes infinitely more scalable. Unlike many flash memory announcements, the NGD Systems solution should have immediate appeal to hyperscale data centers looking to improve efficiency while increasing response times. NGD Systems will show a demonstration of the technology at Flash Memory Summit 2017, August 8-10 in Santa Clara, CA. Vladimir Alves, CTO and co-founder of NGD Systems, will also make a presentation on August 10th, at Flash Memory Summit Session 301-C, entitled, “Get Compute Closer To Data”.

IRVINE, Calif.July 25, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — NGD Systems, a pioneer creating intelligent solid state drives (SSD) for public and private cloud data centers, today announced the availability of the industry’s first in-situ processing enabled SSD. Capable of running advanced applications directly on the the drive using in-situ processing, the Catalina 2 is now available in PCIe AIC and U.2 form factors.
“Orange, like most telecom companies, experiences unique computational demands that extend from the data center to the edge of the network,” said Jerome Laudouar, VP Infrastructure, Technologies and Engineering at Orange. “By moving compute-intensive tasks from servers to the source of the data storage, we would be able to deploy significant computational capabilities with very low power consumption to the network edge, where power is at a premium.” In a recent demonstration of its capabilities, NGD Systems developed in collaboration with Orange Silicon Valley (OSV), a wholly owned subsidiary of Orange SA, a facial recognition application utilizing a weightless neural network algorithm ran directly on an NGD Systems SSD including the training phase, without needing to transfer data to the host. “NGD Systems’ vision of bringing intelligence to storage is now a reality. Advanced applications like embedded Artifical Intelligence (AI) and machine learning, which are by nature IO intensive, can run within the storage device,” said Nader Salessi, Founder & CEO at NGD Systems. The in-situ processing platform running on an SSD will take distributed processing to the next level, by first moving computation to the edge where the data resides, and second significantly increasing computational parallelism as storage devices are added in the system, allowing all the drives in the system to process data simultaneously. By significantly reducing data movement, the actual execution time for the overall application is accelerated while reducing the power consumption and heat generation. NGD Systems will show this demonstration at Flash Memory Summit 2017, August 8-10 in Santa Clara CA. Please contact NGD Systems to arrange a briefing or a demonstration. Vladimir Alves, CTO and co-founder of NGD Systems, will be presenting on August 10th, at Flash Memory Summit Session 301-C, in a presentation titled “Get Compute Closer To Data.” About Orange Orange is one of the world’s leading telecommunications operators with a turnover of €40.9 billion in 2016 and 154,000 employees as at 31 March 2017, 95,000 of them in France. Present in 29 countries, the Group had a total customer base of 265 million customers worldwide as at 31 March 2017, including 203 million mobile customers and 19 million fixed highspeed broadband customers. Orange is also a leading provider of telecommunication services to multinational companies under the Orange Business Services brand. In March 2015, the Group presented its new strategic plan, “Essentials2020”, which places customer experience at the heart of its strategy with the aim of allowing them to benefit fully from the digital universe and the power of its highspeed networks. Orange is listed on Euronext Paris (symbol ORA) and on the New York Stock Exchange (symbol ORAN). For more information (on the internet and on your mobile): or to follow us on Twitter: @presseorange. Orange and any other Orange product or service named in this press release are trademarks of Orange or Orange Brand Services Limited. Press contact: Vanessa  Clarke, +44 7818848848 About NGD Systems Founded in 2013 with offices in Irvine, Calif., NGD Systems (formerly NxGnData) is a venture-funded company focused on the design and manufacture of a new generation of intelligent SSD solutions. NGD Systems SSD controllers use proprietary Elastic FTL and Advanced LDPC Engines to provide industry leading capacity scalability and storage intelligence. The company is led by an executive team that helped drive and shape the flash storage industry, with decades in leadership positions with storage companies such as Western Digital, STEC, and Memtech. Media Contact: For Media inquiries, contact (949)870-9148   SOURCE NGD Systems

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