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December 2017, Vol. 16, No. 10

NVMe-oF and storage class memory set to disrupt storage

Five years ago, flash technology transformed the storage market forever. Today, flash-first arrays are the new normal. Will a new shared storage access protocol called nonvolatile memory express over fabrics combined with the advent of storage class memory prove as disruptive to traditional storage over the next five years as NAND flash technology was in the recent past? When NAND-based SSDs first came to market, data was accessed using traditional block protocols, such as SCSI, and the SSDs were physically attached to array controllers and servers using SATA and SAS bus infrastructure. Also, locally attached PCI-based add-in cards were popular for server-side caching, predominately for storage acceleration. As NAND flash evolved, the SCSI protocol itself started limiting flash storage performance. So the industry created a new block protocol called nonvolatile memory express (NVMe) that capitalizes on the performance characteristics of nonvolatile memory -- such as flash's ability to easily support data being accessed in ...

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