This content is part of the Essential Guide: Best data storage products 2017: Products of the Year

Excelero NVMesh 1.1

Startup's NVMesh software virtualizes nonvolatile memory express-based storage and lets applications access pooled storage resources at high speed and low latency.

Gold winner in Storage magazine and SearchStorage's 2017 Products of the Year Software-Defined Storage category.

Excelero NVMesh 1.1 server SAN software virtualizes and pools nonvolatile memory express-based storage devices and enables applications to access them across a network at high speed and low latency. Any host running the Excelero NVMesh block client can access the distributed nonvolatile memory express (NVMe) storage resources through the creation of virtual block volumes that can be striped, mirrored or both.

"Great way for an organization to easily exploit NVMe," one of the competition's judges commented.

The product ranked first in innovation and performance among the 11 software-defined storage finalists, based on the average scores of the judging panel. The judges also scored NVMesh second in value.

One judge cited Excelero's patented Remote Direct Drive Access (RDDA) functionality as a key performance differentiator compared with products from other vendors of rack-scale flash technology. RDDA is designed to disaggregate storage from the application servers and preserve CPU for applications.

Excelero claimed that, in customer tests, using NVMesh software to access NVMe storage across a network added only about five microseconds of latency over local NVMe drive latency.

NVMesh GUI client and target view
NVMesh graphical user interface client and target view

In one capacity-optimized deployment with 24 NVMe SSDs, NVMesh hit 4.9 million IOPS using 4 KB blocks and more than 24 GBps of throughput with less than 200 microseconds of latency, according to Excelero. The startup said NASA's Ames Research Center achieved 140 GBps of aggregated write throughput in a 128-server deployment.

NVMesh runs on standard Linux application servers with NVMe-based SSDs that use Remote Direct Memory Access networking. Pricing starts at $4,000 for up to 16 NVMesh client or target licenses, one year of premium support and two days of on-site installation and consultation services.

Excelero launched in 2014 in Tel Aviv, Israel, where its engineering headquarters is located. Through November 2017, the startup had secured $30 million in venture capital funds. Investors include Battery Ventures, Qualcomm Ventures and Square Peg Capital. Primary Data CTO and founder David Flynn is an angel investor. Flynn founded PCI Express flash pioneer Fusion-io, which SanDisk, now part of Western Digital, acquired in 2014.

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