The Benefits of NVMe in Enterprise

The Benefits of NVMe in Enterprise

Why NVMe Matters in the Data Center

Storage protocols are improving as organizations invest in the ongoing digital transformation that is happening in the data-heavy enterprise environment. Until now, SATA (supports SSD and spinning disk hard drives) was the dominant protocol but with the rise of non-volatile memory express, the gears are shifting towards a new kind of technology.

NVME LogoKnown as NVMe, the new storage protocol empowers data centers and enterprise environments to fully take advantage of high-performance flash memory. Because the SATA interface was built for hard drives, it has many inefficiencies when paired with flash memory based SSDs. While the SATA protocol is available in both SSDs and HDDs, NVMe is particularly designed for SSDs. As a result, the difference in performance between SATA and NVMe SSDs is impressive.

Fig. 1 above shows IOPS and bandwidth differences in SATA and NVMe

SATA III boasts speeds up to 600MB/s but is unable to sustain this kind of performance consistently. SATA based SSDs are proficient for some data center workloads since there are many legacy servers in the field that only support SATA/SAS SSDs, but they will eventually be limited and capped in their performance.

By enabling numerous I/O operations at the same time, NVMe makes possible the multicore processing necessary for organizations to compete in efficiently accessing, manipulating and processing data in enterprise environments. This Quality of Service (QoS) is what provides an exceptional balance of consistent I/O delivery with high read and write IOPS performance to manage a wide range of workloads.

Why NVMe Over SATA?

The benefits of switching over to NVMe include having faster speeds and multiple simultaneous streams of data taking full advantage of CPU and GPU utilization. NVMe also supports multiple form factors including M.2, U.2 and EDSFF connections which makes it versatile for many storage platforms from servers for all-flash arrays.

NVMe allows for data to be divided and streamlined so that data gets written at the same time. In addition, NVMe enables six times the bandwidth, a triple latency improvement, multicore support and 4K efficiency. Not only that, NVMe includes several commands for communicating with NVMe SSDs. This results in faster interfaces and optimized routines for writing data to the SSD.

Businesses and organizations in enterprise environments are investing heavily in creating, manipulating, analyzing and storing data to remain competitive. The new PCIe and NVMe protocols greatly improves storing, managing and accessing data efficiently without sacrificing performance by eliminating bottlenecks and limitations found in protocols of the past.

It’s also important that the enterprise NVMe SSD incorporate QoS enhancements into the firmware and hardware design. A NVMe SSD that delivers good QoS ensures predictable I/O and latency delivery that an application can depend on to deliver desired performance for developers all the way downstream to the end user interface. NVMe is leading the frontier for storage technology changing the way businesses operate with data for the better.

NVMe Performance in Enterprise

NVMe’s performance boost will benefit latency-sensitive workloads and other areas such as real-time big data analytics or database environments with heavy workloads. The NVMe protocol leverages parallel, low-latency data paths that are like industry standard processor architectures. This offers significantly higher performance and lower latencies compared to legacy SATA protocols. It allows workloads to accelerate existing applications that require faster speeds while enabling new applications and capabilities for real-time workload processing in the data center and at the Edge.
  • High-Performance over 3GB/s
  • Predictable Low-latency and High I/O Consistency
  • Reduce Application Latencies

Fig. 2 above shows latency difference between SATA and NVMe

Industries such as healthcare, finance and telecom all depend on extremely fast computers with high-performance and low latency. Healthcare and telecom companies leverage NVMe speeds for fast and complex workloads since it nearly eliminates processor wait times when reading data from storage. Finance companies use NVMe as extra storage to accelerate high amounts of transactions.

Online transactional processes (OLTP) databases and big data benefit from high-performance reads as well. In databases, businesses can use SSD cache to pin data, metadata and indexes without slowing read speeds. This improves query speeds which ultimately improves database performance. Business analysts can make real-time decisions with fast accessible data since big data intensive workloads no longer run into bottlenecks. NVMe isn’t limited to only one specific type of workload since it improves performance for other applications as well.

Fig. 3 above shows OLTP testing

NVMe allows admins to optimize virtualized environments by increasing the number of virtual machines the virtual network can support. Usually, virtual environments need to partition the network by workload, latency or IOPS. This can lead to expensive costs and increased workload for management. NVMe is intentionally built to manage clusters and optimized performance across workloads which enables the virtual environment to boost network speed and performance without the need for complex partitions

Why Switch to NVMe?

With the rise of big data, enterprise systems require new solutions to meet the demands and challenges of this new data frontier. Even high-performance SSDs connected to legacy protocols can experience lower performance, higher latencies and poor Quality of Service (QoS) in the face of big data.

NVMe’s new technology helps avoid bottlenecks, enable full utilization of all CPU and GPU cores, allow for traditional scale-up database applications along with emerging edge computing architectures that need to be scaled to meet new demands.

NVMe is designed for high-performance and non-volatile storage media and is the only protocol that can rise to meet the demands of big data and provide for data-heavy enterprise environments including cloud storage and edge computing ecosystems. It is leading the way to help businesses store, manage and access data more efficiently while improving performance, reliability and consistency.


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