Seagate moves more potential to Kinetic

by Robin Harris on Thursday, 30 January, 2014

Seagate’s Kinetic Vision moves closer to reality.

Seagate is continuing their Kinetic Open Storage program with a couple of tools announced and demo’d at the Open Compute conference in San Jose today. I’m not there, but I’m glad to see the continued focus.

For those who came in late, KOS is pushing a new architecture: using the computes in today’s drive controllers to turn each drive into a node in a distributed object store.

As StorageMojo noted last year:

Seagate proposes a radically stripped-down architecture that includes the following:

  • A new class of key/value ethernet drives plus an API and associated libraries.
  • An Ethernet backbone.
  • And new hard, hybrid and SSD drives that have an Ethernet interface and implement the key/value store interface – gets, puts, deletes – and handle block management internally.

. . . Especially interesting is peer-to-peer communication among drives, enabling recovery from full or partial drive failures without involving a storage server.

Moving more potential into Kinetic Seagate announced 2 new development tools at the Open Compute Summit V this week.

One is a Kinetic Ethernet Drive interface to enable current chassis designs to transition to Ethernet backplanes. Second is a Kinetic T-Card development adapter so software developers can write and test applications on Kinetic Open Storage hard drives.

The StorageMojo take
While I’d like to learn more about the architecture – I’ve requested a briefing through Seagate’s PR folks – my bigger concern is Seagate’s follow-through. While not huge steps, these announcements are progress.

Object storage is the fastest growing piece of the storage market and has been for 10 years. It makes sense to reduce its cost to make it more attractive at smaller scales as well as more scalable.

Using the intelligence in today’s drives – each more powerful than a VAX11-780 super mini – is a bold move of great promise. Keep the ball rolling, Seagate!

Courteous comments welcome, of course. What else does Seagate need to do to grow momentum?

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Tim Wessels February 10, 2014 at 6:21 pm

Well, the first thing developers will be waiting for is access to a Seagate Kinetic Open Storage SDK, which Seagate said it would be shipping in Q1 2014. Pactron will be building a 4-drive chassis of Kinetic HDDs with a couple of GbE ports, which will be part of Seagate’s Kinetic SDK. So far object storage vendors Basho (Riak CS), Scality (RING) and SwtiftStack (Swift) have publicly stated that they are working with Seagate’s Kinetic Open Storage platform.

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