Patently Pavilion

I’m proud to work for a company that values intellectual property. Writing patent claims is no easy task. It takes creativity and technical diligence to define the future, citing prior art, and put up with the legal eagles. In some environments where I have worked, creating patents was frowned upon as it takes time away from getting to market faster.

My belief is that patents are a mark of great engineers working together and doing the really hard work to prove their invention is worthy of merit in the context of history and in the definition of the next big thing.

Today Pavilion Data announced the award of three additional patents bringing our current total to 20. While there are more to come, I thought it might be helpful to explain the value of a few of these.

Patent 9720598: Storage array having multiple controllers. While there is much prior art relating to multi-controller storage arrays, Pavilion takes the concept to a new level with up to 20 controllers supporting an OpenChoice of NVMe SSDs. A very powerful instantiation of this is how we swarm controllers together for the rebuild of a failed drive. For a 2TB NVMe drive, rebuild time is less than 5 minutes compared to 25+ minutes with traditional Direct-Attached Storage (DAS).

Patent 9712619: Virtual non-volatile memory express drive. Hmmm, if I wanted to create an NVMe storage controller that was the front-end to an entire array of NVMe SSDs, and I did not want to carry forward all of the target and initiator code written for SATA or SAS, maybe starting from scratch to virtualize an NVMe SSD would be a good idea…

Patent 9565269: Non-volatile memory express over ethernet. Looks a lot like what we now call NVMe-oF™. Filed November 4, 2014. ‘Nuff said!

Patent 9652182: Shareable virtual non-volatile storage device for a server. Why someone would want to share an NVMe SSD anyway? No application would ever need a device with such low latency and high speed to be shared. After all, these SSDs are tiny. No one would ever want one that is 30TB. Just kidding…

Patent 10216423: Streams across multiple controllers to improve solid state drive performance. I was reading recently about the most powerful storage array on the planet. It can have up to 16TB of DRAM to cache writes and significantly improve write performance. In 80U, with this massive cache, you can get 150GB/sec of bandwidth. The above patent is what we refer to internally as “cacheless writes.” With a design for NVMe, we simply establish stream tags and get out of the way – delivering up to 90GB/sec in 4U. I like to think of this as saving “cache money.” More on this is a future blog.

There are many others that speak to the ingenuity of our technical team and our company’s respect for intellectual property. You can peruse them at your leisure here. In the meantime, know, like I do, that Pavilion Data is constantly defining the future, and yet bringing the reality of performance storage to your data center today.