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Part V – NVMe overview and primer (Where to learn more, what this all means)

March 21, 2016 – 8:07 pm

Part V – NVMe overview and primer (Where to learn more, what this all means)

server storage I/O trends

This is the fifth in a five-part mini-series providing a primer and overview of NVMe. View Part I, Part II, Part III, Part IV, Part V as well as companion posts and more material at

Where to learn more

Several vendors are working on, or have already introduced NVMe related technologies or initiatives. Keep an eye on among others including Cisco (Servers), Dell (Servers), EMC (DSSD), HPE, Intel (Servers, Drives and Cards), Lenovo, Micron, Microsoft (Drivers, Operating Systems, Storage Spaces), NetApp, OCZ, Oracle, PMC, Samsung, Seagate, Supermicro, VMware and Western Digital (acquisition of SANdisk and HGST).

There is a five-part series including companion introduction to NVMe as well as well Why NVMe will be in your data center compliments of Micron. You can read those five article posts along with other companion content here.

View all the posts in this series:

  • NVMe overview and primer – Part I
  • Part II – NVMe overview and primer (Different Configurations)
  • Part III – NVMe overview and primer (Need for Performance Speed)
  • Part IV – NVMe overview and primer (Where and How to use NVMe)
  • Part V – NVMe overview and primer (Where to learn more, what this all means)

In addition to the above material, read more about NVMe at as well as the Server StorageIO micro sites and

What this all means

The storage I/O capabilities of flash can now be fed across PCIe faster to enable modern multi-core processors to complete more useful work in less time, resulting in greater application productivity. NVMe has been designed from the ground up with more and deeper queues, supporting a larger number of commands in those queues. This in turn enables the SSD to better optimize command execution for much higher concurrent IOPS. NVMe will coexist along with SAS, SATA and other server storage I/O technologies for some time to come. But NVMe will be at the top-tier of storage as it takes full advantage of the inherent speed and low latency of flash while complementing the potential of multi-core processors that can support the latest applications.

With NVMe, the capabilities of underlying NVM and storage memories are further realized Devices used include a PCIe x4 NVMe AiC SSD, 12 GbpsSAS SSD and 6 GbpsSATA SSD. These and other improvements with NVMe enable concurrency while reducing latency to remove server storage I/O traffic congestion. The result is that application demanding more concurrent I/O activity along with lower latency will gravitate towards NVMe for access fast storage.

Like the robust PCIe physical server storage I/O interface it leverages, NVMe provides both flexibility and compatibility. It removes complexity, overhead and latency while allowing far more concurrent I/O work to be accomplished. Those on the cutting edge will embrace NVMe rapidly. Others may prefer a phased approach.

Some environments will initially focus on NVMe for local server storage I/O performance and capacity available today. Other environments will phase in emerging external NVMe flash-based shared storage systems over time.

Planning is an essential ingredient for any enterprise. Because NVMe spans servers, storage, I/O hardware and software, those intending to adopt NVMe need to take into account all ramifications. Decisions made today will have a big impact on future data and information infrastructures.

Key questions should be, how much speed do your applications need now, and how do growth plans affect those requirements? How and where can you maximize your financial return on investment (ROI) when deploying NVMe and how will that success be measured?

Ok, nuff said (for now)


Greg Schulz – Author Cloud and Virtual Data Storage Networking (CRC Press), The Green and Virtual Data Center (CRC Press) and Resilient Storage Networks (Elsevier)
twitter @storageio

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