NVMe (non-volatile memory express) is a high-performance and scalable NUMA (non-uniform memory access) storage protocol that connects the machine to the memory subsystem, optimized for non-uniform memory access. The protocol is very new and rich in characteristics and from the ground up is developed for non-volatile memory media (NAND and Permanent Memory). The protocol is based on PCIe lanes with high speed. The connection PCIe Gen 3.0 may provide more than 2x transfer speeds than the SATA interface.
The NVMe protocol builds on parallel low-latency data paths, similar to high-performance processor architectures, in the underlying media. This provides considerably higher efficiency and less latency than conventional SAS and SATA protocols. This not only speeds up existing high-performance systems but also enables new applications and real-time computing capacities in the data center and on the Edge.
Conventional protocols use several CPU cycles to provide data for applications. These wasteful measurement periods cost real money to corporations. The budgets for IT infrastructure do not increase at the pace of data and are under tremendous pressure to maximize infrastructure returns both in storage and in computing. Since NVMe has a smaller infrastructure footprint that can manage rigorous operational burdens, businesses can cut overall ownership costs and speed up business growth.
Let’s go deeper into the architecture of NVMe and how it achieves low latency and high performance. With a 64 K entry each queue, NVMe will support multi-I / O queues. Legacy SAS and SATA are only able to support individual queues, and each has 254 and 32 entries. Following device set-up and the planned working load, the NVMe host program will build queues up to the maximums permitted by the NVMe controller. NVMe supports dispersion/gathering IOs, minimizes overhead Processor transfer, and also allows you to change your preferences depending on requirements for workloads.
This architecture between host and NVMe controller enables applications to simultaneously begin, run and complete multiple I / O requests, and to optimize speed and minimize latencies through the underlying media.
NVMe is a protocol that is NUMA-optimized. This enables the possession of queues, their priority as well as arbitration and atomic structures of commands to be shared among many CPU core classes. NVMe SSDs can therefore scatter/collect commands and turnaround them to deliver much higher IOPS and lower data latencies.
A collection of specifications, controlled by a consortium, is responsible for the creation of the NVMe specification. The PCIe solid-state drives for all form factors are now the industry norm. Forms like the standard form factor 2.5″U.2, the internally mounted M.2, the AIC, and various form factors for EDSFF.
Adding features of standard features, including multiple queues, merging IOs, specifying ownership and priority set-up, multi pathways and virtualization of I / Os, collecting asynchronous system updates, and several other business features that did not exist before, are quite important. My next blog explores these features and how they open up new opportunities for companies powered by data.
In more cases, we can see the standard used. Zoned storage and ZNS SSDs are one example. The Technical proposal under review by NVMe Zoned Namespace (ZNS) is an NVM Express agency. It has been confronted by large-scale implementations of networks by transferring smart data placement from the drive to the hosts. To do so, the LBA of a name space is divided into regions, which must be written in sequence and specifically reset once written. This specifies a new NVMe drive type that offers various advantages over conventional NVMe SSDs, such as:
- Higher productivity by reducing writing amplification
- Better capacity by less over-supply
- Reduced DRAM footprint SSD controller costs
- Latencies improved
The SDTM and microSDTM Express cards combine the SD and microSD card with PCIe and NVMe connections are another interesting case to see here. This is an example of mobile computing’s next-generation capabilities.
Finally, the NVMe protocol can also be used as a networking protocol and NvMe over fabrics, not just linking flash drives. A high efficiency of the storage networks can be a standard structure for several transports with this new networking protocol.
Why does NVMe matter to your company?
Business systems are usually hungry for data. Data and demands from new technologies can grow exponentially, and SSDs can be reduced. Given some of the new challenges of fast data, even high-performance SSDs linked to old storage protocols can experience lower reliability, higher latencies, and poor service quality. The unique features of NVMe help avoid bottlenecks for all forms of scale-up application, evolving Edge computing architectures and scale, to satisfy new data demands.
NVMe is the only protocol that features extremely challenging and compute-intensive businesses, cloud, and edge data environments for high-performance and non-volatile storage media.
I hope that this helps you understand what NVMe is and why it’s so important for business everywhere.