September 16, 2021

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Startup Pliops launches its own computational storage technology

The eXtreme Data Processor (XDP) from the startup Pliops moves applications to flash storage for data processing where they are located rather than loaded into memory.

The startup Pliops has come out of stealth mode with innovative data processing technology. Instead of loading data into main memory, as usual, Pliops technology offloads the data and the application to the PCI Express card in order to process the data where it is stored, freeing the CPU for storage. The concept of so-called computational storage has been around for some time, but like many technological innovations, it was way ahead of its time. Technology had to catch up with the concept. On the other hand, this can never be achieved with mechanical hard drives, and it requires more efficient SSD media. Recently, Samsung and Xilinx teamed up to provide a Xilinx FPGA-based SSD storage computing device for offload processing work.

Founded in 2017, Pliops has finally launched its flagship product, Pliops XDP, which stands for eXtreme Data Processor. On their website, Pliops explains: “Just as GPUs overcame processing deficiencies to accelerate AI and analytics performance, Pliops’ XDP eXtreme data processor overcomes storage deficiencies to dramatically accelerate performance and significantly reduce costs. Application Infrastructure current”. While the Samsung / Xilinx SSD provides some computing capacity and dynamic memory for local processing, the Pliops card provides a state-of-the-art RAID controller for all-flash storage. XDP is a specially designed low-end (LP) accelerator that sits between NVMe SSDs and data-requiring applications. In practice, the card takes applications running on the system and transfers them directly to storage, where processing takes place. This unloading reduces or removes the load on the CPU. Pliops claims that the CPU load relief can be as high as 80%, freeing up performance for other tasks.

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Performance gain multiplied by 10

The Pliops website also states that “XDP’s ultra-fast hardware storage engine takes advantage of advanced data structures and algorithms to deliver performance equivalent to that of hundreds of Intel Xeon Gold cores for common data processing and storage management tasks. This helps eliminate bottlenecks, reduce latency, and increase workload.” significantly over the existing infrastructure.

Pliops claims that the XDP card increases overall performance gains for databases, analytics, and AI/ML tasks by 10 times. Since it requires fewer servers to do more work on applications, Pliops estimates that an XDP card can reduce data center infrastructure costs by up to 5 times, because with an XDP card it is necessary to reduce materials to perform the same task. Of course we are used to these big promises. But remember, however, that last February Intel and Nvidia invested $65 million. With this support, it can be assumed that there must be something to be learned from the Pliops technology.