NVMe Storage Goes Mainstream


2017 is the year that NVMe interfaces running on the PCIe bus become mainstream. All the flash memory component and systems companies at the Flash Memory Summit were focused on NVMe products and systems along with the networking extension, NVMe over Fabric (NVMe-oF). NVMe is the first standardized storage interface designed from the ground up for solid state storage, rather than HDDs. A strong and active industry group supports the NVMe efforts. They organized a number of sessions at the FMS 2017. Let’s look at several interesting NVMe related announcements at FMS 2017.

1U rack server NVMe flash storage was an important focus at the 2017 FMS with Intel introducing its Ruler product and Samsung showing its NGSFF SSD, as described in my last blog. The Samsung NGSFF was designed for server storage while the Intel Ruler with its SFF-TA-1002 connector is geared towards dense aggregated storage systems. This 3D NAND product enables up to 1 PB of flash memory in a single 1U box. The company also indicated that Optane (3D XPoint) SSDs could also be made with the Ruler form factor. In the long run, it will be interesting to see if two similar small form factors like this will survive.

itech-dude-contents-Intel-Ruler NVMe Storage Goes Mainstream | iTech Dude - The Technology Blog Tom Coughlin from 2017 FMS

Intel Ruler NVMe SSD for 1U Enclosures

Intel also announced dual port 3D NAND NVMe SSDs as well as Intel Optane dual port NVMe SSDs. The dual port drives provide additional redundancy and fail-over, important for mission critical and high availability applications. The company looks for these dual port SSDs to replace SAS SSDs and HDDs and to deliver more IOPS, higher bandwidth and lower latency than SAS SSDs.

itech-dude-contents-Intel-Dual-Port-NVMe-SSDs NVMe Storage Goes Mainstream | iTech Dude - The Technology Blog Tom Coughlin from 2017 FMS

Intel Dual Port NVMe SSDs

Micron introduced its 9200 Series NVMe SSD family. The Micron 9200 SSDs deliver sequential read/write transfer speeds up to 5.5 and 3.5 GB/s. Random read/write transfer speeds reach up to 900K and 275K IOPS to turn data into information with low latency and high performance. These products have storage capacities up to 11 TB. According to Micron, “The Micron 9200 SSD family is designed as the storage foundation for the Micron SolidScale™ platform, providing greater capacity for more efficient workload optimization and reducing TCO. With the 9200, SolidScale will be capable of over 250TB per node, scaling over 5PB per rack of the highest performance NVMe SSD available in shared storage today.”

itech-dude-contents-Micron-9200-NVMe-SSD NVMe Storage Goes Mainstream | iTech Dude - The Technology Blog Tom Coughlin from 2017 FMS

Seagate announced their Nytro 5000 M.2 NVMe SSD. Seagate says that “The Nytro 5000 NVMe M.2 SSD is a cost-effective, lower-power technology ideal for the demands of today’s data center environments with 2TB of industry-leading capacity. It also boosts random write performance levels as high as 67,000 input/output operations per second (IOPS) — double the performance levels of the previous version.” The company says that these products will be available later this year.

Tom Coughlin consults and writes on digital storage and applications. He is chairman of the Storage Visions and Creative Storage Conferences, tomcoughlin.com

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