Key R&D Areas

Overview


The Data Center Technologies (DCT) Division was first established in July 2000. It was previously known as the Network Storage Technology (NST) Division and was renamed to DCT in December 2010. DCT aspires to be at the top of the information management and storage industry value chain by creating and developing innovative technologies and solutions for the data center and storage industry. Research done at the division primarily focuses on five key areas, namely:

  • Next Generation Non-Volatile Memory (NVM) Technologies
  • Emerging Disk Storage Systems
  • Distributed Large Scale Storage
  • Data Security
  • Performance Benchmarking and Interoperability 

Overview of DCT Research Areas

In the process of achieving its objectives, the division also facilitates the development of the local storage industry through the transfer of expertise, technology and capability. In 2002, the DCT division also established the first vendor-neural Network Storage Laboratory (NSL) in Asia which serves as a premier center to promote research and deployment of interoperable storage networking technologies. The heterogeneous laboratory offers comprehensive facilities and test suites to assist industry partners as well as end users in evaluating and benchmarking storage technologies and solutions.

 

Storage networking system architecture for future data centers


Who to Contact:
Mr Yong Khai Leong
Division Manager, DCT
E: YONG_Khai_Leong@dsi.a-star.edu.sg

Dr Khin Mi Mi Aung
Assistant Division Manager, DCT
E: Mi_Mi_AUNG@dsi.a-star.edu.sg

Emerging drive technologies such as Shingled Magnetic Recording (SMR) and Hybrid Hard Disk Drive offer advantages over current hard drive technology in terms of capacity, performance and energy consumption. While SMR technology delivers next generation of drives with higher storage capacity, Hybrid HDD combines the speed of solid state storage with the capacity of a large drive and reduces energy consumption by storing portions of the hot data in the embedded solid state media.  Our main work involves integrating these emerging drives into the storage system designs to deliver higher performance, capacity and energy efficient. Our primarily goal is to develop a new architecture for data centers based on NVM and emerging drive technologies to meet the performance, scalability and capacity demands at lower energy demand and at cost effective structure.

Emerging Disk Technologies for Future Data Centers

With data growing at an exponential rate,  data centers  face with complex challenges such as performance, scalability, high energy consumption, physical estate space and costs. To address the challenges faced by data centers, we proposed data center future architecture based on next generation NVM.

Next generation non-volatile memory (NVM) technologies such as Spin-Torque Transfer Magnetic RAM (STT-MRAM) and Resistive random-access memory (RRAM) have very low latency access time (in terms of nanoseconds), provide data persistent against power loss, and has higher capacity scaling than current DRAM technology. Next generation NVM can be integrated as main memory, storage or in a hybrid manner in data centers of the future. It provides the solution to address the growing performance gap between data storage and compute/memory speed, and the possibility of reducing energy usage in computer memories. By integrating next generation Non-Volatile Memory (NVM) technologies into the current storage system architecture, the new system is able to achieve better operating efficiency in terms of performance, cost, capacity and power consumption. 

DSI’s research programme in NVM takes an integrated approach with research spanning from the device to system and application layers. 

The NVM research in DCT primarily  focuses on the mechanisms and techniques at both the hardware (NVM controller) and software (OS and file system stacks, and programming model) layers for optimum  integration of next generation NVM into enterprise storage and computing systems to achieve systems with  low latency and high throughput performance, scalable, and energy  and cost efficient.

Application demands on storage have increased tremendously in recent years. Current applications found in large data centers and HPC environments demand high capacity (in the range of petabytes), high IO throughput (greater than 200 GB/s) and large IOP (Input/output per second). To cope up with these demanding workloads, modern storage systems are now moving away from the conventional SAN (Storage Area Network) and NAS (Network Attached Storage) models to highly parallel architectures. DSI researchers have designed and developed a large scale hybrid storage system to adopt the next generation NVM technologies into the storage system architecture at the storage cluster level for achieving high performance and capacity scaling at reasonable costs.

Many organizations face the challenge of implementing data protection and security system because the threat can significantly disrupt and damage their enterprise. Data security is the convergence of disciplines, technologies and methodologies for the purpose of protecting and securing digital assets. With the increasing importance and emphasis on security in ever growing enterprise storage network, new scalable and transparent security controls for future data center are required to cope with the constantly changing advance attacks.

The Network Storage Laboratory (NSL) aims to promote local storage and data centre industry by providing comprehensive facilities and test suites to assist industry partners as well as end users in evaluating and benchmarking storage technologies and solutions:

  • Performance benchmarking, analysis & investigation 
  • Interoperability, solution development and Proof of Concepts (POCs) 
  • Test suites investigation and development 
  • Technology workshops and demonstrations lab