Contact us

A new window will open A new window will open

Key Value Drive

New Use Cases Drive Capacity Demand

The volume of unstructured data has been growing at a tremendous rate, and cloud services have become widespread. Accordingly, both private enterprises and public organizations have started to utilize the accumulated data for various purposes, including:

Ingesting/serving content(video, audio, and images)

Retailers ingesting video surveillance streams, manufacturers collecting sensor data,  media companies streaming movies

Organizing/preserving information that needs to be archived for a long period

Pain point

Multiple commodity servers for storage management will consume more power and are more complex to manage
Retain server performance
Increase storage capacity

Analyzing large data sets in real time to drive timely business decisions

Retailers analyzing video for consumer purchasing behavior

Financial services companies use automated, real-time processing to detect credit card fraud

Pain point

Some customers want to deal with volume, variety and velocity of data simultaneously
Low-latency and high-capacity storage is very expensive similar to in-memory-computing (DRAM based)

Current Scale-out Storage Issue

There are two data storage architectures to increase storage capacity in order to handle data growth: scale-up and scale-out. Generally, it has been considered that a scale-out (distributed) model provides an easier means of adding more resources.

At the same time, it has been pointed out that, as the data volume increases, the conventional scale-out storage architecture will suffer from bottlenecks caused by the processing of metadata and consequently degrade system performance.


Too many software layers

Higher hardware and infrastructure costs to manage stack inefficiencies

Figure 1
Figure 1

Large failure domains

Rebalancing and replicating are expensive tasks impacting performance

Xeon server tax per storage

Delicate compute and storage balance to optimize performance and costs

Figure 2
Figure 2

Ethernet Drive and Object Storage

Ethernet Drive

Besides an increase in the per-disk capacity, a new type of storage called Ethernet drives has emerged. An Ethernet drive is a storage node that incorporates a processing unit and a network interface and is directly connected to an IP network.

  • IP-attached drive has processing unit and network interface, acting as “storage node”.
  • Storage is accessible by key value and easy to add incremental drive.
  • # of servers can be reduced by storage disaggregation.
  • Easier operations against failure domain with simple architecture.

Figure 3
Figure 3

Object Storage

Unlike block and file storage, object storage is configured in a distributed architecture. Since object storage uses Key-Value interface commands, it eliminates the need for driver software comprising block devices and file systems. Furthermore, object storage uses a flat structure and has a wide namespace. For these reasons, object storage devices are better suited for the handling of unstructured data than block and file storage devices.

Figure 4
Figure 4

Object Storage Advantages

Regardless of the type of storage media, object storage devices manage data as objects as opposed to block storage devices that use logical block addressing (LBA) and file storage devices that use a file system (NFS, CIFS, etc.). Moreover, multiple low-cost disks can be configured as a large-capacity storage pool by using a RAID or other disk array controller.

Distributed storage architecture provides
  • Scale-out storage expandability by adding disks incrementally
  • Multiple data replication to prevent data loss in disk crash
Using key value interface eliminates existing storage parts(Block or file system drivers ,volume manager and etc..) ; reducing overhead of server CPU

Figure 5
Figure 5

Concept of a Key Value Drive and Benefit

In general data storage, data consisting of a series of fixed-length blocks of 512 bytes each are identified by their logical block address (LBA).In contrast, in a Key-Value drive, data are identified by a key rather than an LBA. Both keys and data (called values in this parlance) can be of variable length.

Whereas general drives are primarily connected to a server via the SATA, SAS, PCIe or other interface, Key-Value drives are implemented as a kind of Ethernet drive and thus directly connect to a network via Ethernet. Consequently, each Key-Value drive can act as a node and perform part of communications directly with clients without involving a server.

A single drive provides an Ethernet drive and Key Value storage

The drive directly performs IP communications, and the integrated SoC performs storage management.
  • Eliminates the needs for a storage management server
A programmable SoC can run various storage management applications.
  • Helps reduce the number of servers required

Optimal use of multiple storage media(media management)

Controls multiple storage media such as HDDs and SSDs
  • Frees users from the burden of using different types of storage devices for different purposes

Figure 6
Figure 6

Toshiba Key Value Drive Strategy

Toshiba is exploring the possibility of delivering various Key-Value drives to meet different market needs. This section introduces HDD-based drives and hybrid drives.

Figure 7
Figure 7

Downloadable Documents

·Before creating and producing designs and using, customers must also refer to and comply with the latest versions of all relevant TOSHIBA information and the instructions for the application that Product will be used with or for.