Monthly Archives: August 2014

Atomic Commands Part IV: Wrapping it Up

At the May T10 meeting in Vancouver BC, a revision of the atomic write proposal was brought in by Samsung, HP, and NetApp (SBC-4 SPC-5 Atomic writes and reads (14-043) [Martin, Ballard, Knight]) and was accepted by the committee. This provides for a single atomic write and associated information regarding atomic boundaries and granularities. It is unlikely that any vectored command will be proposed unless a strong champion arrives.

This is probably unlikely in the near term, given the unprecedented consolidation now occurring in the solid state storage industry. For example, LSI was acquired by Avago and then sold the SandForce organization to Seagate, while Sandisk acquired Fusion-io. It is more likely that the features that flash technologies can provide will become available through proprietary software stacks for the time being.

Perhaps the most interesting work around persistent memory is occurring in the SNIA Non Volatile Memory technical work group (NVMP). This group has been dealing with some of the changes required by software applications to accommodate using non-volatile memory as storage. Discussions around atomics and transactional operations are routine in this work group, and participation by industry leaders has been steadily growing, a good indication of interest in this technology. The first draft specification is available now, and works in continuing on dealing with further topics, including remote persistent memory and isolation.