Co-authors: Naveen Krishnamurthy from VMware, Jayamohan Kallickal from Broadcom
General availability (GA) of VMware vSphere 7.0 is a major milestone for VMware. The new release supports many new features that can facilitate transformation of modern data centers. One key feature available with vSphere 7.0 is NVMe over Fabrics (NVMe-oF) support.
Broadcom, NetApp, and VMware have a long history of developing infrastructure technologies that modernize data centers. NVMe over Fabrics solutions based on Fibre Channel (FC) deliver the next level of performance required by traditional and real-time applications for various use cases such as AI, machine learning, and real-time analytics.
Highly optimized storage solutions have become a key piece in the digital transformation puzzle. In the first phase of storage modernization, administrators embraced flash storage to accelerate business-critical applications. Increasingly, organizations are looking for further ways to improve the speed and responsiveness of the applications that control their key operations. Because the performance of these applications is tightly linked to time to value and to stakeholder satisfaction, it’s critical that they operate at the highest levels of efficiency. Getting value and insights quickly and reliably from a range of mixed-workload environments can differentiate organizations and accelerate efficiency.
Enter NVMe (NVM Express), a new protocol for accessing high-speed storage media that offers many advantages over legacy protocols. NVMe has become the industry-standard interface for PCIe SSDs, with a streamlined protocol and command set and with fewer clock cycles per I/O operation. NVMe supports up to 64,000 queues and up to 64,000 commands per queue, which makes it more efficient than the existing SCSI-based protocols such as SAS and SATA. The NVMe-oF standard was created to extend the benefits of NVMe to shared storage. It was designed to support many transport protocols, including FC, RDMA over Converged Ethernet (RoCE), InfiniBand, and TCP. The NVMe/NVMe-oF protocol provides very high throughput, low CPU utilization, and ultralow latency, all of which required creating a lightweight NVMe stack that is parallel to SCSI, as well as a redesign of drivers. The NVMe-oF architecture supports many hosts connected to multiple targets through multiple switches.
Most enterprises already entrust their mission-critical applications to FC SANs because of their consistent performance, reliability, and resilience. As your organization considers accelerating business-critical applications, VMware, Broadcom, and NetApp have partnered to create a complete server-to-fabric-to-storage solution that is easy to deploy.
NVMe over Fibre Channel (NVMe/FC) brings the following enterprise-class storage services to NVMe-oF:
Praneeth Kavuri is a Product Manager at NetApp, responsible for SAN - Enterprise Applications. Praneeth focuses on enabling customers to deliver business outcomes and simplifying operations through NVMe-oF and other SAN product enhancements. He has 8 years of experience in the high-tech industry with previous stint at Ericsson and an MBA from University of Notre Dame. In addition to technology, traveling and reading fascinate him.