This year at FMS we are not only seeing much more innovation in end storage products themselves, but the entire storage ecosystem as well. Over at the PMC booth there are multiple demos showing how they aim to address the oncoming migration to PCIe in enterprise storage.
Through the use of their second generation Flashtec NVMe2016 and NVMe2032 controllers, SSDs can be designed to deliver up to one million IOPS and greater than 20TB in capacity. They feature not only a PCIe 3.0 x8 link, but can also function in dual-port mode for high availability as well. They are compatible with SLC, MLC, eMLC, and TLC flash with toggle and ONFI interfaces. These controllers also feature XTS-AES-256 encryption, LDPC ECC, flash channel RAID, and end to end host to flash data protection.
As we can be seen below, PMC demoed its performance capability on the showroom floor with a drive consistently maintaining over 1 million IOPS performance. These new controllers are sampling now, so we should start to see products on the market by the end of next year. More information is available here.
Next up at their booth they showed off their Switchtec PSX PCIe storage switch capability. Looking at enterprise storage infrastructure, we are used to high availability and scalability by utilizing SAS and SATA drives. When it comes to PCIe devices, they used to be for the utmost demanding workloads. With storage demands doubling every year and the need to analyze big data, we are starting to see more innovation in flash and a transition from SAS and SATA to PCIe SSDs. The adoption of the U.2 and NVMe specifications is allowing companies to push out storage solutions in similar form factors as traditional SAS and SATA devices, but at much higher performance levels. PCIe, however, introduces challenges for high availability and scalability and has slowed PCIe flash deployment.
PMC Switchtec PSX PCIe storage switches aim to eliminate these challenges by enabling scalability and resiliency, as well as programmability and advanced diagnostics needed for mass deployment. In a one on one chat with Ray Jang, product line manager for enterprise storage, he explained to us how their switches provide the best efficiency and highest flexibility out by reducing power up to 1000 watts per rack. They offer 24-96 lane switch solutions to meet any of your scale-out needs. You can check out more information on them here.
Finally, if we can say anything on a new trend we see here at FMS 2015, it is one towards NVMe over fabrics. While traditional protocols have much improved over the years, they still have significant overhead and aren’t optimized for flash storage. Enabling NVMe over fabric allows for much lower latency and near direct attach performance. At this demo PMC is showing off NVMe over RDMA with the help of Mellanox NICs. A full explanation on how it works can be read here.
The future is looking better and better for PCIe with companies such as PMC delivering solutions to the challenges it presents. The full news brief on these products can be viewed here.
Be sure to stay tuned for more as we do a few more rounds here at FMS 2015!