What is NVMe?

NVMe is a device specification that vastly increases the speed of accessing stored data on SSDs by eliminating the use of traditional data buses on a host controller.

Configuration files containing infrastructure specifications are created, making it easy to edit and distribute configurations while ensuring you consistently provision the same environment every time. With IaC, programmers can create sandbox environments so that they can build applications in isolation. QA professionals can then take a copy of the same infrastructure to run tests to ensure that applications work properly. In the final step, another copy of the infrastructure and code goes to production for deployment.

Why was NVMe developed?

The non-volatile memory express (NVMe) storage access and transport protocol for flash and next-generation solid-state drives (SSDs) delivers the highest throughput and fastest response times yet for all types of enterprise workloads. It was developed as a way for systems to seek, read and access data faster than the capabilities of data buses at the time. It effectively replaced the SATA standard that had been used with mechanical, platter-based hard drive storage.

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Why do organisations choose NVMe?

The NVMe specification takes advantage of non-volatile memory in all kinds of computing environments. It’s also future-proof and can be extended to work with persistent memory technologies, even those that may not yet be available on the market.

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What are the benefits of NVMe?

By creating a standardised protocol across all solid-state drive devices, eliminating the use of a host-based data controller and connecting directly to the host system via the PCIe data bus, NVMe is capable of incredibly fast data seek and transfer speeds.

There are two main advantages to NVMe in modern data centres:

  • It provides an end-to-end standard for all devices
  • It significantly increases speed in search-intensive applications

The NVMe protocol allows for multiple form factors, including M.2, U.2 and EDSFF connections, making it a versatile standard for servers and arrays. It allows data to be divided, giving a six-fold increase in bandwidth and 300% less latency.

NVMe’s performance benefit particularly appeals to workloads that are sensitive to search and write latency. Large databases and real-time data analytics are two particular areas where NVMe’s parallel and low-latency advantage over the SATA protocol is significant. Not only does this enhance existing applications, but it also enables the acceleration and creation of new applications and capabilities.

How is NVMe used?

With unrivalled search speed and data throughput, NVMe can lend tremendous advantages to enterprise computing. This is particularly helpful in Big Data, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) applications where extensive amounts of data need to be analysed, interpreted and put to use. Similarly, advanced analytics applications are able to leverage the specification’s near-zero latency and faster transfer speeds.

Healthcare, telecommunications and finance all require lightning-fast, high-performance speed to handle complex workloads. By virtually eliminating processor wait times, more queries, more transactions and more connections can be made than were previously possible. DevOps applications are now greatly enhanced with NVMe, allowing more iterations to be run in far less time.

While NVMe works well for directly attached storage, storage networks have other requirements. The NVMe over fabric (NFMf) protocol is used to transfer NVMe storage commands between client nodes and the target nodes. When using NVMf in conjunction with Kubernetes, distributed computing within sites becomes much easier. Applications can be broken apart into their individual elements and deployed where they’re needed most.

NVMe with HPE data storage

HPE produces a wide array of products designed to unlock the power of NVMe-based storage for enterprise clients. The HPE Nimble Storage platform is built to support NVMe with AI-assisted, fully automated storage. This is made possible with HPE InfoSight, which collects infrastructure information and deploys analytics to predict where and when storage is needed most.

As the demands on data centres continue to increase, HPE continues to manufacture and support faster low-latency storage. Whether it’s for web analytics, business intelligence or real-time trading applications, the near-instant results of HPE’s NVMe-equipped data storage and servers enable modern, data-intensive applications to search faster and smarter.

HPE NVMe Mainstream Performance Read Intensive (RI) SSDs are advanced data centre drives optimised for greater performance and endurance in a cost-effective design. Designed to utilise the high bandwidth of PCIe Gen3 and PCIe Gen4 in select servers, these drives are well suited for workloads such as read caching, social media and bulk storage.

And NVMe storage infrastructure with the performance, scale, agility and efficiency your business needs can be yours in days with HPE GreenLake, which offers a set of workload-optimised, consumption-based solutions built on an intelligent data platform and delivered to you entirely as a service. Built-in buffer capacity eliminates the risk of overprovisioning by ensuring that you will be able to handle any unexpected demand and HPE will work with you to add resources before your business needs additional capacity.