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It's that time again when IT vendors gather at the Flash Memory Summit to show off their latest and ever-speedier flash storage solutions.
From the Santa Clara, Calif. conference this week, much the buzz is being generated by companies announcing new NVMe drives, including Seagate, Micron and Toshiba. NVMe, short for Non-Volatile Memory Express, addresses the bottlenecks created by using on solid-state drives (SDDs) on storage subsystems designed for comparatively slower hard disk drives (HDDs) with low-latency, high-bandwidth PCIe connections and a performance-enhancing storage protocol.
Data storage companies are banking on NVMe to help satisfy the corporate world's insatiable appetite for storage systems that can help provide zero-wait application experiences, near-real time analytics and brisk performance overall. SSD makers are willing to oblige.
This week, Seagate introduced its compact Nytro 5000 M.2 NVMe SSD with up 2TB of capacity. The low-power unit has a write performance rating of 67,000 input/output operations per second (IOPS), or twice that of its predecessor, and offers configurable overprovisioning.
The company also offered a sneak peek at its new 64TB PCIe NVMe add-in card (AIC), which is capable of data transfers of up to 13GB per second. Seagate expects to ship samples of its new AIC sometime in the first half of 2018.
Expect many more NVMe SSDs from the hard drive maker.
"Seagate is investing heavily in their already broad range of NVMe and SAS enterprise-class products aimed directly at the data center, cloud, and hyperscale storage markets," remarked George Crump, lead analyst of Storage Switzerland, in a statement. "With some product specifications increasing by as much as five times over the last generation, these products are ideally aligned to meet the ever expanding requirements of this market."
Micron unveiled its new 9200 Series NVMe SSDs with capacities exceeding 10TB. Sequential read and write speeds are 5.5GB per second and 3.5GB per second, respectively. Random read and write performance is rated at 900,000 IOPS and 275,000 IOPS, respectively.
Toshiba, meanwhile, is demonstrating its new CM5 NVM Express series based on the company's 64-layer, triple-level-cell BiCS (3D NAND) flash technology. The five drive-writes-per-day (DWPD) version offers random read and write performance of 800,000 IOPS and 240,000, respectively. The three DWPD version tops out at an estimated 220,000 write IOPS.
Targeting cloud data centers, Toshiba also announced new NVMe-oF (NVM Express over Fabrics) software that allows storage networks to run NVMe commands over a fabric, enabling the sharing of NVMe storage across a network with performance that rivals direct-attached storage, according to the company. NVMe-oF represents "an important near-term storage technology that very effectively utilizes flash across the data center by disaggregating storage and enabling dynamic, diverse applications to share high performance, high capacity NVMe SSDs," said Steve Fingerhut, senior vice president and general manager of Toshiba America Electronic Components, in prepared remarks.
Pedro Hernandez is a contributing editor at Enterprise Storage Forum. Follow him on Twitter @ecoINSITE.