Object Storage Device - The OSD Standard

The OSD Standard

The SCSI command set for Object Storage Devices was developed by a working group of the Storage Networking Industry Association (SNIA) for the T10 committee of the International Committee for Information Technology Standards (INCITS). (T10 is responsible for all SCSI standards.) The initial OSD standard, "Object-based Storage Device Commands" (OSD), was approved in 2004.

In the OSD standard, objects are specified with a 64-bit partition ID and a 64-bit object ID. Partitions are created and deleted within an OSD, and objects are created and deleted within partitions. There are no fixed sizes associated with partitions or objects; they are allowed to grow subject to physical size limitations of the device or logical quota constraints on a partition.

An extensible set of attributes describe objects. Some attributes are implemented directly by the OSD, such as the number of bytes in an object and the modify time of an object. There is a special policy tag attribute that is part of the security mechanism. Other attributes are uninterpreted by the OSD. These are set on objects by the higher-level storage systems that use the OSD for persistent storage. For example, attributes might be used to classify objects, or to capture relationships among different objects stored on different OSDs.

A list command returns a list of identifiers for objects within a partition, optionally filtered by matches against their attribute values. A list command can also return selected attributes of the listed objects.

Read and write commands can be combined, or piggy-backed, with commands to get and set attributes. This ability reduces the number of times a high-level storage system has to cross the interface to the OSD, which can improve overall efficiency.

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