IP-Based Object Drives Q&A

At our recent SNIA Cloud Storage webcast “IP-Based Object Drives Now Have a Management Standard,” our panel of experts discussed how the SNIA release of the IP-Based Drive Management Standard eases the management of these drives. If you missed the webcast, you can watch it on-demand.

A lot of interesting questions came up during the live event. As promised, here are answers to them:

Q. Am I correct in thinking that each IP based drive will have a unique IP address?

A. Each Ethernet interface on the drive will have its own unique IP Address. Object Drives may be deployed in private address spaces (such as in a fully configured rack). In such configurations, two Object Drives might have the same IP address, but would be on completely separate networks.

Q. Assuming vendors will be using RedFish, will the API calls be made through existing middleware or directly to the BMCs (baseboard management controllers, specialized service processors that monitors the physical state of a computer) on the platforms?

A. Redfish can be supported by host based middleware, the enclosure’s BMC, or may be supported directly from the drive.

Q. Would a drive with native iSCSI protocol and an Ethernet interface be considered an “IP Drive”?  

A. Yes. This is why we use the generic IP Drive term as it allows for multiple protocols to be supported.

Q. What are the data protection schemes supported in the existing products in this space?

A. Examples of data protection typically used with IP drives include erasure encoding and traditional RAID.

Q. Is this approach similar to the WD Ethernet Drive?

A. The WD Ethernet Drive is an IP based drive.

Q. Do you expect to see interposers with higher Ethernet bandwidth that could be used with SSD vs. HDDs?

A. Yes, there are multiple examples starting to appear in the market of interposers for SSDs.

Q. Is this regular Ethernet or NVMe over Fabrics?

A. Regular Ethernet. This does not require Converged Ethernet, nor anything layered on that. NVMe over Fabrics could utilize IP based Drive Management in the future.










IP-Based Object Drives Now Have a Management Standard

The growing popularity of object-based storage has resulted in the development of Ethernet-connected storage devices, also referred to as IP-Based Drives, that support object interfaces, and in some cases the ability to run applications on the drives themselves. These scale-out storage nodes consist of relatively inexpensive drive-sized enclosures with IP network connectivity, CPU, memory and storage.

While inexpensive to deploy, these solutions require more management than a traditional drive. In order to simplify management of these drives, SNIA has developed and approved the release of the IP-Based Drive Management Specification. On April 20th, the SNIA Cloud Storage Initiative is hosting a live webcast, “IP-Based Object Drives Now Have a Management Standard.” It will be a unique opportunity to learn about this specification from the authors who wrote it. In this webcast, we’ll discuss:

  • Major components of the IP-Based Drive Management Standard
  • How the standard leverages the DMTF Redfish management standard to manage IP-Based Drives
  • The standard management interface for drives that are part of JBOD (Just A Bunch Of Disks) or JBOF (Just A Bunch Of Flash) enclosures

This standard allows drive management to scale to data centers and beyond, enabling high degrees of automation and software only management of data centers. Reserve your spot today to learn more and ask questions to the folks behind the spec. I hope to see you on April 20th.