NVM Express* Technology Goes Viral – From Data Center to Client to Fabrics

Amber Huffman, Sr Principal Engineer, Storage Technologies Group at Intel

For Enterprise, everyone is talking about "Cloud," "Big Data," and “Software Defined X," the latest IT buzzwords. For consumers, the excitement is around 4K gaming and 4K digital content creation. At the heart of all this is a LOT of data. A petabyte of data used to sound enormous – now the explosion in data is being described in exabytes (1K petabytes) and even zettabytes (1K exabytes). The challenge is how to get fast access to the specific information you need in this sea of information.

NVM Express* (NVMe*) was designed for enterprise and consumer implementations, specifically to address this challenge and the opportunities created by the massive amount of data that businesses and consumers generate and devour.

NVMe is the standard interface for PCI Express* (PCIe*) SSDs. Other interfaces like Serial ATA and SAS were defined for mechanical hard drives and legacy interfaces are slow, both from a throughput and a latency standpoint. NVMe jettisons this legacy and is architected from the ground up for non-volatile memory, enabling NVMe to deliver amazing performance and low latency. For example, NVMe delivers up to 6x the performance of state of the art SATA SSDs1.

There are several exciting new developments in NVMe. In 2015, NVMe will be coming to client systems, delivering great performance at the low power levels required in 2-in-1s and tablets. The NVM Express Workgroup is also developing “NVMe over Fabrics,” which brings the benefits of NVMe across the data center and cloud over fabrics like Ethernet, Fibre Channel, InfiniBand*, and OmniPath* Architecture.

NVM Express is the interface that will serve data center and client needs for the next decade. For a closer look at the new developments in NVMe, look Under the Hood with this video. Check out more information at www.nvmexpress.org.

1Tests document performance of components on a particular test, in specific systems. Differences in hardware, software, or configuration will affect actual performance. Configuration: Performance claims obtained from data sheet, Intel® SSD DC P3700 Series 2TB, Intel® SSD DC S3700 Series: Intel Core i7-3770K CPU @ 3.50GHz, 8GB of system memory, Windows* Server 2012, IOMeter. Random performance is collected with 4 workers each with 32 QD. Configuration for latency: Intel® S2600CP server, Intel® Xeon® E5-2690v2 x2, 64GB DDR3, Intel® SSD DC P3700 Series 400GB, LSI 9207-8i, Intel® SSD DC S3700.

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