NVM Express (NVMe) has been tempting data center operators around the globe with its groundbreaking method of accessing storage media. Often looked at as the latest industry darling, NVMe lowers power consumption by reducing latency in the host software stack—all while increasing input/output operations.
Just how beneficial is NVMe? In terms of drive speed evolution, if SSDs were a major upgrade to slow-moving hard drives and spinning disks, then NVMe is like strapping a rocket ship to your SSD environment.
4 things data center professionals should know about NVMe:
1) Reach your "full flash potential"
NVMe enables data centers to realize full flash potential without compatibility issues. It’s an optimized, high-performance, scalable host controller interface with a streamlined register interface and command set. NVMe was designed specifically for flash memory communication and allows SSDs to connect to the system using the PCIe bus.
2) The 1U petabyte has arrived
In 2017, the world learned that a petabyte of data can be crammed into a single 1U server rack—thanks to NVMe technology. This new “ruler” form factor currently supports Intel SSDs, optimizes rack efficiency, delivers unparalleled space-efficient capacity and simplifies serviceability. The all-flash NVMe solution boasts more than double the capacity per rack unit and is 40% more thermal efficient.
3) "NVMe over Fabrics" is making headway
NVMe over Fabrics is a technology specification designed to extend NVMe onto fabrics, such as Ethernet, Fibre Channel and InfiniBand. Benefits include enabling a frontside interface into storage systems, scaling out to large numbers of NVMe devices and extending the distance within a data center (over which devices and subsystems can be accessed).
NVMe over Fabrics is designed to work with any suitable storage fabric technology. The specification is designed to enable NVMe message-based commands to transfer data between a host computer and an SSS device or system over a network.
4) Experience mind-blowing RAID configurations
New chipsets are available that support up to 20 devices in a bootable RAID partition. Users can load up to four M.2 NVMe PCIe drives into a single x16 card. If you’re dropping high-speed NVMe storage into M.2 and spare PCIe slots, you can select random subsets of those drives to create a crazy-fast RAID 0 array. And heat isn’t a problem, thanks to optimal heat sink, thermal pads and active fans.
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