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IBM Supports New Faster Protocols for NVMe Flash Storage

Today IBM announced its development of Non-Volatile Memory Express (NVMe) solutions to provide clients the ability to significantly lower latencies in an effort to speed data to and from storage solutions and systems:

  • IBM is leveraging its leadership in storage software to ignite an industry-wide leap in system performance, which can reduce frustration for the many consumers experiencing data transfer delays.
  • IBM’s developers are re-tooling the end-to-end storage stack to support this new, faster interconnect protocol to boost the experience of everyone consuming the massive amounts of data now being perpetuated across cloud services, retail, banking, travel and other industries.
  • NVMe is a new language protocol that is replacing traditional SAS and SATA standards for solid state data storage. Through employing parallelism, to simultaneously process data across a network of devices, clients can anticipate significantly reduced delays caused by data bottlenecks and move higher volumes of data within their existing flash storage systems.
  • IBM’s NVMe strategy is based on optimizing the entire storage system stack – from applications requiring the data to flash technology to store it. Through the development of its FlashSystem family of all-flash storage solutions, IBM recognized years ago that multiple technologies would be required to address the demands of ultra-low latency data processing. IBM is developing solutions with NVMe across its storage portfolio, which it plans to bring to market in the first half of 2018.

NVMe Functionalities Already In Place

In 2016 IBM responded to the transformation in data value with sweeping additions to its product portfolio to make data running on its systems more available and actionable. Among these improvements is the IBM FlashSystem A9000, which already includes features intrinsic to NVMe functionality like the user-space I/O paradigm, which speeds data performance by allowing applications to talk ‘directly’ to flash storage instead of navigating several operating system layers.

In addition to this, IBM Spectrum Scale, part of IBM’s market leading storage software, offers NVMe capabilities through its local read-only cache (LROC) feature, which keeps data in reserve with very low latency and therefore improving application performance.

The availability of higher performing IBM all-flash storage solutions with new management control and insights from software defined storage are providing important options for users with varying data architectures and workload scenarios. NVMe is designed to allow users to more effectively manage larger real-time workloads that can lead to data as a natural resource that clients can monetize and to help their business become more competitive.

IBM’s long history of commitment to industry standards includes membership in the Non-Volatile Memory Express workgroup, within which it is working on the enablement of enterprise storage systems that use the new drives, network protocols, and I/O architectures.

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