As traditional hard drives are being slowly but surely replaced by flash-based SSDs and become more mainstream, the SATA transfer protocol is no longer sufficient to deliver the speeds required for businesses to get the most out of their SSD storage investments.
As such, Non-Volatile Memory Express (NVMe), the newer storage protocol that was specifically developed for non-volatile memory such as NAND-based flash storage, will become a staple in many data centres in the future. Analysts such as IDC believe that NVMe will supplant legacy storage protocols, especially for latency-sensitive primary workloads and looks set to generate over 50% of the revenues associated with primary external storage shipments.
In this article, we share some of the biggest benefits that NVMe-enabled storage can bring to your business.
Unlock the True Power of SSDs and Eliminate Storage Bottlenecks
For a long time, SAS and SATA storage protocols have served the data centres well, but the problem is that they were not designed for flash storage, limiting its potential. NVMe, however, was purpose-built for flash storage and allows it to utilise its native behaviour as rapid memory rather than imitating spinning drives within a typical system. Therefore, NVMe will help you accelerate applications and workflows, significantly reduce data analysis times and eliminate the bottlenecks that were always present when using legacy SAS/SATA protocols.
Empower the Use of AI
Speaking of data analysis and demanding workloads, none fits the bill more than artificial intelligence (AI). Organisations are discovering so many new ways to use AI to automate tasks, make decisions, predictions and provide valuable insights. But a major challenge is that today’s AI and machine learning applications rely on the speedy processing of large data sets, especially for the algorithm training process. Due to its much higher bandwidth and lower latency, NVMe is definitely the better choice for AI storage.
Improved Storage Network Fabric Communications
Now, the performance and faster speeds of NVMe isn’t just limited to benefiting individual DAS systems, but across your IT infrastructures. This can be achieved by leveraging NVMe over Fabrics (NVMe-oF), which is designed to connect hosts to storage across a network fabric using the blazing fast NVMe protocol and eliminates latency issues associated with the storage network. NVMe-oF supports Fibre Channel, RDMA and TCP/IP protocols. It allows NVMe-based storage to be shared across multiple servers or CPUs, and scaled from a few SSDs to thousands of NVMe SSDs.
Enable More VMs (Without the Typical Hiccups)
Modern VM environments are storage resource hoggers. But with NVMe arrays and NVMe-oF, organisations are able to not only accelerate their VM performance, but also provision more VMs on the same physical server and significantly decrease the time taken for VM snapshots. The I/O capabilities provided by NVMe means that you can deploy denser VMs (since you don’t have to spread out your VMs across multiple storage arrays), and you get consistently fast response times.
Future-Ready Your IT Assets
Besides paving the way for NVMe over Fabrics, the best part about NVMe is that it can enable organisations to future-proof their data centre by leveraging more flexible and composable infrastructures. After all, NVMe was not created just for flash storage (although it is quickly becoming more mainstream as time goes on). It can also be used for other non-volatile storage solutions that could become the next evolutionary step for storage, such as the PCM (Phase Change Memory) or MRAM (Magnetoresistive Random Access Memory) that are currently in development.
In this age of digital transformation, data has now become a valuable asset, enabling businesses to derive more value over time. A technology like NVMe, which blurs the performance gap between memory and disk drives, opens up a new paradigm for businesses to design and build their applications and services.
It is a vital step for any organisation in their modernisation efforts and move towards the next generation data centre.