Storage Interfaces for Computer Systems

Speakers: Amber Huffman, distinguished Fellow and CTO, Intel; Jai Menon, Chief Scientist, Fungible; Grant Saviers, Digital Equipment Corp (retired); Tom Gardner, moderator
Meeting Date: Tuesday, May 11, 2021
Time: Presentation at 1:30 PM (PDT)
Cost: none
Summary: The Valley is the home of the hard disk drive industry. Its companies, products and technologies have been the subject of much historical interest. The history of their attachment to systems is the little-explored subject of this webinar. The focus is primarily on disk drives (SSD and HDD) and their control, but much of the history is common to other storage devices like tape. Storage connects to systems thru layers with interfaces between the layers that have evolved over time — smaller size, lower cost and higher performance. Early on, “dumb” interfaces evolved in the market from the wide interfaces of dominant mainframe and minicomputer interfaces, e.g., DEC RP0x, SMD, etc. Over time, the interfaces became smarter, serial, and sponsored by industry consortia (e.g., SCSI, SATA, NVMe), while at the same time function moved around in the various layers (e.g. RAID, Caching, etc.) Four industry participants will share with you their experiences in making storage work with computers.

Bio: Amber Huffman is a distinguished Fellow and Chief Technologist in the IP Engineering Group at Intel Corporation. Huffman has devoted her career to I/O and memory interfaces since joining Intel in 1998 with her early work focused on Serial ATA (SATA) technology. A respected authority on storage, memory and IO architecture, she defined, created and drove the NVMe storage standard including forming and chairing the NVM Express (NVMe) Workgroup and continues to chair the board of directors for the NVMe Workgroup and the Open NAND Flash Interface (ONFI) Workgroup. Huffman earned a bachelor’s degree in computer engineering from the University of Michigan and a master’s degree in electrical engineering from Stanford University and has been granted more than 20 patents in storage architecture.

Bio: Jai Menon is the Chief Scientist at Fungible, a pioneer in data-centric computing. Previously he served as CTO for multi-billion dollar Systems businesses (Servers, Storage, Networking) at both IBM and Dell. At IBM, he impacted every significant IBM RAID product between 1990 & 2010, and he co-invented one of the earliest RAID-6 codes in the industry called EVENODD. He was also the leader of the IBM Research team that initiated and drove the creation of the industry’s first, and still the most successful, storage virtualization product. Jai holds 53 patents, has published 82 papers, and is a contributing author to three books on database and storage systems. He is an IEEE Fellow and an IBM Master Inventor, a Distinguished Alumnus of both Indian Institute of Technology, Madras and Ohio State University, and a recipient of the IEEE Wallace McDowell Award and the IEEE Reynold B. Johnson Information Systems Award.

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