New Developments in Cloud Storage Acceleration Layer (CSAL), an FTL in SPDK


At SNIA SDC 2022, we introduced Cloud Storage Acceleration Layer (CSAL), a host based FTL deployed at scale at Alibaba, which doubled VM density and cut time to insight in half in their cloud services. To deliver these technology benefits to more customers, we released CSAL to open source in SPDK v22.09 and at SNIA SDC 2023 we are announcing a reference design published on the SPDK website. With Intel winding down Optane and the increased availability of dense QLC SSDs, the need for CSAL has increased. Accordingly, Solidigm has acquired the CSAL technology and development team. Solidigm is committed to continuing the CSAL project as open-source software.

Since last year, Alibaba’s original use case has evolved, and a new CDN use case has emerged. CSAL has made significant feature enhancements including support for SLC (replacing Optane) and RAID5F. Solidigm is excited about collaborating with the industry to develop a CSAL-based full NVMe-oF TCP target reference solution. To start this journey, we’re collaboratively building a reference design that closes key gaps in building out a complete SPDK NVMe-oF target. In this CSAL 2023 update, we will dive into Alibaba’s two use cases, key feature enhancements and more details about the NVMe-oF TCP target reference solution.

Kapil Karkra
Intel Corporation
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