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Disaggregated storage

Disaggregated storage definition

Disaggregated storage is an architectural approach to data storage that separates storage resources (such as hard drives) from the compute resources (like processors) in a computing system. Crucially, these resources can be separated and pooled without modifying any underlying physical connections.

See also: online data storage, private cloud storage, shared storage, storage capacity, data center storage

How disaggregated storage works

In a traditional computing setup, storage and compute resources are closely integrated within the same system. Disaggregated storage, on the other hand, decouples these resources and pools them in separate hardware units. Storage resources are housed in dedicated hardware units connected together using high-speed networking technologies.

The pooling of resources allows for the efficient and dynamic allocation of storage capacity in response to the varying needs of different applications. As data storage requirements grow, organizations can add additional storage units without necessarily adding more compute power (and vice versa).

At the same time, disaggregated storage poses some challenges related to managing the network interconnects, ensuring low-latency data access, and optimizing data placement. Disaggregated storage solutions must be carefully tailored to the task the organization has intended for them.

Disaggregated storage use cases

  • Disaggregated storage is well-suited to big data analytics because it allows for flexible allocation of resources to data processing nodes.
  • By using disaggregated storage, organizations can allocate storage resources to AI training clusters as needed, without overprovisioning compute resources.
  • Disaggregated storage is useful for content delivery networks.