The purpose of the NVMe standard is to replace SCSI-based protocols, like SAS, so memory-based storage systems, like all-flash arrays, can live up to their full potential. Data centers may not need the performance potential of NVMe all-flash systems. But an increasing number of data centers are finding themselves bottlenecked by SCSI. Before NVMe, these data centers were forced to consider proprietary protocols to get around the bottleneck, and if NVMe didn’t become the standard that it has the industry would be a fragmented mess.
Vendors, in an attempt to meet customer demand and without a standard like NVMe, were creating custom drivers that bypassed the SCSI command stack. The problem was the vendor had to write a version of its driver for each operating system or environment (VMware). The data center was heading toward a situation where it would have to buy flash drives from vendors based on which platforms they supported. Standardizing on a single vendor would have been impossible and vendor to vendor flexibility a pipe dream. Flash prices would have remained high, and the use of these SCSI-avoiding technologies would be for a distinct minority of applications.
NVMe calmed the flash waters. Each operating system and environment could create its own NVMe support, and then any vendor with an NVMe drive could work. NVMe isn’t just for corner use cases and is now positioned to take flash performance to the next level, horizontally solving a vast range of performance problems.
Our latest eBook is all about NVMe flash, what it is, how each organization should implement and how it will change the data center. To get an exclusive copy, register for our on demand webinar, “What’s Your Path to NVMe?” Then, you can download the eBook from the attachments section.