Peter Desnoyers, Northeastern University – November 2019

Zoned namespace SSDs: Challenges and Opportunities

Zoned NameSpaces (ZNS) are a mechanism proposed in the NVM Express Workgroup to provide features and functionality similar to that of Open Channel SSD, but fully integrated with the NVMe model using a zone concept similar to that in the ZAC/ZBD extensions for SMR disk. The goals of this research are to investigate applications for ZNS SSD, in particular (a) RAID-like functionality over ZNS SSD, (b) strategies for file system support for ZNS, and (c) interfaces and strategies for direct application usage of ZNS SSD.

Prof. Desnoyers proposes an approach based on evaluation using prior-generation Open-Channel devices (e.g. from CNEX Labs), augmented with performance-accurate simulation using SimpleSSD or similar tools; if necessary this will be augmented with whole-system simulation using gem5.

The work builds on Prof. Desnoyers’s background and prior results in translation layers, file systems, and devices. If successful, the work will help make use of next-generation SSD systems designs at the file system and application level.