Get in the NVMe SSD game (if you are not already) with Intel 750 among others

July 26, 2016 – 4:33 pm

Get in the NVMe SSD game (if you are not already)

server storage I/O trends

Updated 2/2/2018

Get in the NVMe SSD game. If you are or have talked the Non Volatile Memory (NVM) and NVM Express (NVMe) flash SSD talk, however have not yet done the walk, there are some good opportunities to do so. One example how to start walking the talk is get something like the Intel 750 400GB NVMe PCIe Add in Card (AiC) which you should be able to find on different venues including Amazon for $400 USD or less (recently saw the 400GB version for about $309 USD delivered). Of course the question might then be what to do with a NVMe device when you get it which besides running your applications on it, you can find some benchmark and workload generator tools, scripts and examples here.

NVMe ssd storage
Various NVM flash SSD including NVMe devices

Sure there are newer, more expensive, higher capacity cards, some are general availability (GA) while others are on early preview or evaluation basis.

However a good value, cost-effective way to get into the NVMe game, or expand your footprint are devices such as the Intel 750.

I have some of these cards and they have been great for use with various workloads. The Intel 750 cards are plug and play in various systems including my TS140s among larger robust servers running Windows Server (2012 R2, 2016 TP5), Ubuntu (various) and VMware ESXi (various).

There are in the box drivers for these Intel 750 cards, however to get a little more performance recommend visiting the Intel site, get the SSD tools, update the firmware on the cards if needed, as well as try the Intel vs. native drivers.

There are many vendors with NVMe PCIe cards, as well as U.2/SFF 8639 drives and M.2 mini-cards including Intel, Micron, Seagate, WD among many others

Where To Learn More

Additional learning experiences along with common questions (and answers), as well as tips can be found in Software Defined Data Infrastructure Essentials book.

Software Defined Data Infrastructure Essentials Book SDDC

What This All Means

Time to get in the NVMe game if you have not already done so moving from talking the talk to walking the talk. With cost of early generation NVMe devices such as the Intel 750 among others there are great opportunities to get started. On the other hand if you are already using NVMe, there are some good opportunities to add extra NVMe based SSD to other servers or systems.

Speaking of NVMe talk, join me and others on a panel (Session 303) moderated by Dr. Jay Metz (@drjmetz) August 11th at Flash Memory Summit where we will discuss NVMe including NVMe over fabric networks (e.g. moving beyond the PCIe bus). Also keep in mind, with NVMe the question is not if, rather when, where, why, how with what and how to coexist and leverage existing technologies, hardware, software and people skill sets.

Ok, nuff said, for now.


Greg Schulz – Microsoft MVP Cloud and Data Center Management, VMware vExpert 2010-2017 (vSAN and vCloud). Author of Software Defined Data Infrastructure Essentials (CRC Press), as well as Cloud and Virtual Data Storage Networking (CRC Press), The Green and Virtual Data Center (CRC Press), Resilient Storage Networks (Elsevier) and twitter @storageio. Courteous comments are welcome for consideration. First published on any reproduction in whole, in part, with changes to content, without source attribution under title or without permission is forbidden.

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