Sunnyvale, Calif. – Jan. 24, 2017 – Datrium, the industry’s leading Open Convergence provider for cloud builders, today announced the one-year anniversary of NVMe-based flash customer shipments as a part of its DVX platform. NVMe-based flash represents the next major evolution of solid-state technologies beyond SATA and SAS-based flash, and Datrium customers have adopted the technology well ahead of array and hyperconvergence customers.
The Challenge with NVMe
The benefit of NVMe drives, blistering performance, is unavailable on most storage arrays today for two reasons. First, an array or hyperconverged design cycle can only adopt new drive connectivity approaches at a certain rate. As a rigid, composed system, it takes time. Second, successful flash array vendors depend on data reduction to optimize pricing. This means the controller CPU must filter data inline, which adds delay. The benefits of NVMe are subsequently small because the benefits over SAS links are bottlenecked by CPU cycles beforehand.
This issue is not new. The controller bottleneck has been widely reported with SATA and SAS based SSDs, where 15 to 20 drives are enough to saturate the array controllers. NMVe amplifies this problem, given it is typically twice the performance of SAS-based SSDs, and overwhelms most dual socket storage controllers with 5 to 10 drives.
“Shared accelerated storage can have dramatic impact on business cases where large bandwidth, high IOPS and low-latency requirements are critical to the bottom line of the enterprise,” according to Pushan Rinnen and Julia Palmer, Gartner Research Directors. “It is designed to power emerging Tier 0 workloads like: enterprise analytics; real-time, big data analyses; and high-volume transactions that require high performance, capacity and availability where you need an architecture that extends beyond modern general purpose solid-state arrays.”
Open Convergence Unshackles NVMe Performance
The Datrium Open Convergence approach is fundamentally different. For rapid adoption of new technologies, as long as the host operating system supports a new drive, DVX can take advantage of it. For performance, speed increases elastically. I/O processing resources are server-based so the DVX bandwidth increases as you add servers, up to 32 per DVX. And because NVMe is server-local, it avoids fabric bandwidth bottlenecks which can add an order of magnitude higher latency to customer workloads.
“At Northrim Bank, we measure application performance in dollars and cents—the faster our critical applications run, the greater the revenue potential for the bank,” said Benjamin Craig, EVP and Chief Information Officer for Northrim. “With NVMe, we are seeing twice the performance for about the same cost as SAS-based SSDs, and would not have been able to take advantage of NVMe at all without Datrium.”
“Like most new storage components, NVMe was first available on servers, so server-powered storage is a customer’s best bet for taking advantage of NVMe speed today,” said Brian Biles, Datrium CEO and Founder. “Flash latency benefits are most apparent within the server, especially with NVMe, so not only are arrays late to the NVMe party, once they do arrive they will be disadvantaged by their distance from the VM workload.”
Datrium is the leader in Open Convergence for private clouds. Datrium converges storage and compute in a radical new way—modeled on public cloud IaaS versus traditional converged infrastructure or hyper-convergence. Customers gain elastic performance and capacity with simple VM-centric management and analytics, and ultimately a simpler journey to hybrid clouds. Datrium is led by the founders and early top architects of Data Domain and VMware. Datrium has been named to Gartner’s Cool Vendors in Storage Technologies, 2016. For more information, visit www.datrium.com and follow @datriumstorage on Twitter.
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