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How NVMe over Fabrics is transforming storage

July 02, 2020

How NVMe over Fabrics is transforming storage
The NVMe (Non-Volatile Memory Express) protocol lets you access large amounts of data at incredibly high speeds, offering a definite step forward compared to older storage technology. These speed gains can make a huge difference for companies analyzing data at scale, potentially giving them a significant performance boost.
NVMe over Fabrics
NVMe over Fabrics is a specific architecture that utilizes a variety of networking fabrics supporting NVMe block storage protocol over a storage networking fabric, which allows non-local large-scale data sharing. Protocols for NVMe over Fabrics and local NVMe are almost the same, differing only in these four key areas:
Key Differences PCI Express (PCIe) NVMe over Fabrics
Identifier Bus/Device/Function NVMe Qualified Name (NQN)
Discovery Bus Enumeration Discovery and Connect commands
Queuing Memory-based Message-based
Data Transfers PPs or SGLs SGLs only, added Key
NVMe developers need to take special note of these differences when creating products, like NVMe drives, to ensure device drivers will support both local and remote NVMe protocols.
Why NVMe/NVMe over Fabrics?
What’s the business application for this new innovation in storage? Speed and efficiency, plain and simple. Instead of relying on individual data paths, NVMe’s protocol takes advantage of parallel architecture which operate at much lower latency. This means NVMe drives can deliver higher performance than SATA and SAS technology. It also means that applications businesses already use will get faster, and a whole new frontier of real-time data analysis is now available to explore. And NVMe over Fabrics allows this innovative architecture to be non-local, allowing businesses to leverage it over larger and larger distances.
In the past, SAS or SATA protocols required a lot of CPU cycles in order to deliver viable data. Extra cycles mean wasted time and money for businesses. NVMe’s parallel architecture can perform intense workloads while requiring less of an infrastructure footprint. This means businesses can save on infrastructure while accelerating performance and growth. 
Today’s massive amount of data and intensive new applications can put a strain even on solid state drives (SSD). Top-of-the-line SSDs working with SATA or SAS protocols are not immune from high latency and sub-par performance when attempting to handle the most demanding storage workloads.
This is where the benefits of NVMe and NVMe over Fabrics are so apparent as they can provide a way to eliminate the data bottlenecks associated with traditional architectures. NVMe and NVMe over Fabrics present themselves as truly unique storage solutions for companies looking for high performance, smaller footprint and greater efficiency.
For more information on how hybrid architecture can help your customers, contact the experts at Ingram Micro.