Flash Storage/NVMe

Flash Storage/NVMe

You need scalable, flexible solutions that are reliable, efficient and easy to manage.

Flash storage/NVMe (Non-Volatile Memory Express) is a scalable, high performance CPU PCI-E Gen3 direct connect to NVMe devices; designed for Client and Enterprise server systems using Solid State Drive (SSD) technology that was developed to reduce latency and provide faster CPU to data storage device performance.

By deploying NVMe, our customers can benefit from reduced latency, increased Input/Output Operations Per Second (IOPS), and lower power consumption. This means that customer solutions can perform more work in less time, translating into lower costs and increased revenues. Thus the ROI benefits for customers from NVMe enabled servers is immediate and substantial. Supports standard NVMe drivers.

NVMe Benefits

  • Large throughput gains (6x)
  • Substantial latency improvements (7x)
  • Shared common backplane improves flexibility of drive choice
  • 2.5″ U.2 (SFF-8639) form factor for improved serviceability vs. PCI-E Flash cards (hot-swap)
  • Improved power efficiency

Hands holding fast Flash Storage/NVMe SSD - solid state drive and Hard Drive Disk HDD

The capacity of flash storage systems will continue to rise: the first flash modules of 4 terabytes (TB) in only 2.5 inches are appearing. Which is six times better than the most recent record. And the price / capacity ratio will continue to improve. Prices will fall further: in 2018, the price of one terabyte of flash memory will be the same than conventional hard disks. The “100% Flash” approach is already proving more economical. Studies show that, as of now, the overall cost of SSDs, including operation and maintenance, is less than that of conventional discs.

Performance Measurements and Results

  Measurement NVME SSD SATA3/SAS3 SSD NVMe Improvement
Bandwidth vs. SATA3 128K Sequential Read 2788.77 MB/s 470.60 MB/s 5.93x
128K Sequential Write 1838.98 MB/s 453.33 MB/s 4.06x
Bandwidth vs. SAS3 128K Sequential Read 2788.77 MB/s 980.34 MB/s 2.84x
128K Sequential Write 1838.98 MB/s 421.25 MB/s 4.37x
Latency vs. SATA3 4K Sequential Read 15.9 µs 47.3 µs 2.97x
4K Sequential Write 17.6 µs 51.4 µs 2.92x
Latency vs. SAS3 4K Sequential Read 15.9 µs 114.1 µs 7.18x
4K Sequential Write 17.6 µs 109.853 µs 6.24x

Performance Measurements

For the bandwidth test, Supermicro ran the IOMeter benchmarking tool on two SYS-1028U-TNR4T+ Ultra 1U servers, the first with standard SAS3 and SATA3 SSDs, and the second with NVMe SSDs. The upgraded configuration with NVMe delivered a maximum of 5.9x the performance of the server with standard SSDs.

For latency, the table shows the upgraded configuration with NVMe performed with up to 7.2x improved latency compared to the servers with standard SSDs.

While the base configuration delivered excellent performance, the dramatic performance improvement offered with the NVMe SSDs makes this upgrade an excellent investment for any business looking to improve the performance of its IT.

Some of Our Most Popular NVMe Capable Servers

Supermicro 1U SuperServer 1029P-NR32R

1U SuperServer
1029P-NR32R

Up to 32 Hot-Swap EDSFF NVMe Drives

Shop 1U 1029P-NR32R

Supermicro 2U SuperServer 2113S-WN24RT

2U SuperServers
2113S-WN24RT

Up to 24 Hot-Swap SAS/SATA/NVMe 2.5″.

Shop 2U 2113S-WN24RT

Now is the time to let Aspen Systems establish a strategy that encompasses where, how, when, and why you will remove data center and server storage I/O bottlenecks with NVMe. NVMe should be part of your hardware and software strategy. Now is the time to devise that strategy and refine your NVMe plans.

Why NVMe Is Revolutionary

Flash Storage Solid State Drive (SSD)

Flash Storage/NVMe leverages the experience gained with known block storage access and unlocks the performance capabilities of newer and faster devices. It can be implemented in a variety of topologies and configurations, from dedicated direct-attached storage (DAS) on a server or storage system (e.g., back end) or as a shared front-end alternative to block storage protocols.

While initially being deployed as DAS back-end storage in servers or storage systems accessing fast flash storage, NVMe will eventually be used in other ways. The SCSI command set, for example, gradually found its way from SAS to iSCSI, Fibre Channel Protocol (FCP), and others, both on the back end to access hard disk drives (HDDs) or SSDs, as well as on the front end for servers to access storage systems.

Intel 750 400GB NVMe PCIe Gen3 x4 AIC SSD

While SATA allowed for one command queue capable of holding 32 commands, NVMe enables 65,536 (64K) queues with 64K commands per queue. As a result, the storage I/O capabilities of flash can now be fed across PCIe much faster, enabling modern multi-core processors to complete more useful work in less time.

Like the robust PCIe physical server storage I/O interface it leverages (e.g., the data highway), NVMe provides both flexibility and compatibility, while removing complexity, overhead, and latency. Some environments, however, might phase in emerging external NVMe-based shared storage systems. Over time we can also expect to see NVMe being deployed across more servers and inside storage systems (or appliances) to access fast NVM flash-based storage.

Other Flash Storage Form Factors

In addition to PCIe, flash storage comes in other form factors, such as the M.2 form factor, as well as Samsung’s proprietary NF1 form factor, and Intel’s EDSFF form factor. These form factors allow for flash storage to be packed in to a very small space, in some cases allowing up to a Petabyte of storage in a single 1U chassis.

M.2

Samsung M.2 Form Factor

Formerly called Next Generation Form Factor (NGFF), the M.2 specification replaces the mSATA standard, and allows for PCIe, serial ATA 3, and USB 3 logical bus interfaces. M.2 cards come in a wide variety of sizes up to 110mmX30mm.

Samsung NF1

Samsung NF1 Form Factor

Also known as Next Generation Small Form Factor (NGSFF), NF1 uses the same connector as other M.2 storage devices, but is not directly compatible. NF1 uses the largest M.2 compatible form factor (110mmX30mm), and uses more power (12V vs 3.3V). It provides up to four-times the capacity of contemporary M.2 SSDs, and extends the capabilities of M.2 by having a keyed connector to prevent backwards insertion, and adding hot-swap capability, allowing you to swap out storage drives from a front panel, without downtime.

Samsung NF1 Front loading

Easily swap out drives from the front panel

Intel EDSFF

Intel Ruler Form Factor

The Enterprise & Data Center SSD Form Factor (EDSFF — Formerly called “Ruler”) is a high-capacity SSD technology from Intel, allowing for up to 1 Petabyte of data in a single 1U chassis server. Like NF1, EDSFF drives are hot-pluggable from the front-end. Intel’s new SSD D5-P4326 SERIES have been designed from the ground up to optimize capacity per drive and be switched out easily, to making scaling as seamless as possible.

Intel Ruler Front loading

Convenient access to hot-swappable drives.

Reduce your data center storage footprint with high-capacity servers

SUPERMICRO 1U SUPERSERVER 1029P-NMR36L

Up to 32 Samsung NF1 Drives

SUPERMICRO 1U SUPERSERVER 1029P-NMR36L

Configure Now (Up to 480TB in 1U)

SUPERMICRO 1U SUPERSERVER 1029P-NR32R

Up to 32 Intel EDSFF Drives

SUPERMICRO 1U SUPERSERVER 1029P-NR32R

Configure Now (Up to 256TB in 1U)