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  Title Virtualization technology for data storage systems
  Laboratory Computer Architecture and VLSI Systems
  Contact person Angelos Bilas
Associate Professor of Computer Science
  Description Today's primary storage market is based on traditional RAID architectures. It is produced in two forms, Network Attached Storage (NAS) and Direct Attached Storage, and sold into multiple market segments primarily based on features for performance and availability using redundant hardware. FORTH's technology enhances these features by providing data management capabilities at the block level that are transparent to the host Operating System and File System.

Also, it adds features over traditional storage controllers in a complementary fashion. This allows for existing storage companies to take advantage of new added value features, such as Versioning, Compression, SSD-caching, and Error Detection & Correction, in a transparent manner and while protecting their current investments in traditional solutions. An integral part of the offered technology is a data management framework that provides the foundation for offering advanced storage management products.

The technology offered consists of software components that implement value-added virtualization features on a data storage controller. The software components operate at the operating system level and implement specific algorithms, that have been designed to provide a configurable number of storage features while maintaining high performance. The form factor of the storage controller hardware can vary from a server-grade PC that can be used as an advanced network-attached storage (NAS) box, to an embedded storage controller. More specifically, the current system software prototype consists of Linux kernel loadable block device driver modules and user-level tools that control and manage the kernel components.

Through this technology, value-added data storage features such as Versioning, Compression, Deduplication, SSD-caching or Integrity checking that are currently found only in some high-end, expensive storage arrays can be implemented with reduced effort on commodity hardware, such as storage controllers and server-grade PCs. Moreover, it offers performance advantages over existing commercial products with the same hardware, as our current prototype evaluation has shown.

FORTH's key personnel includes researchers and engineers with more than 15 years of experience in building scalable systems. FORTH is currently seeking funding for a spin-off company that will complete the first commercial product based on the current prototype and will make it available to the storage market.