NVMe… so hot right now.


Recently, our good friends* at The Register wrote an article about NetApp’s NVMe strategy and how ONTAP will eventually work the technology into its architecture over time, rather than force-feeding customers NVMe.

* Good friends because they’re currently being nice to us. 😛

From the article:

Faster fabric interconnects such as 25/50/100Gbit Ethernet, 32Gbit/s Fibre Channel and NVME-over-Fabrics (NVMe-oF) were bringing network access speeds up to better access the faster media types coming. NetApp will initially use the new media selectively, then scale its adoption and fully integrate it, leading to broader adoption and optimised media.

NetApp Chief Evangelist, Jeff Baxter (@baxontap), recently spoke about NetApp’s NVMe direction at the Flash Memory Summit. You can view that here:


What is NVMe?

A common misconception about NVMe (the “e” stands for express!) is that it’s a *thing,* like a specific type of drive. Rather, it’s a way to connect things to faster, bigger pipes. Think of it as a way to replace SAS adapters. Some think it will change the world. Others think it’s just another eventuality in the storage industry. Did people get this excited about SAS adapters?

We attempt to “demystify” NVMe in Episode 72 of the Tech ONTAP podcast:

We also discuss it with Jeff Steiner (@tweetofsteiner) in this Episode 79:

One under the radar move towards a NVMe future was the acquisition of PlexiStor, which was already ahead of the curve with software designed to take advantage of the benefits of NVMe, as well as Storage Class Memory. How NetApp integrates PlexiStor’s intellectual property in the future remains to be seen…

Does NetApp currently use NVMe?

Actually, yes! But the way we use it is in an onboard caching mechanism, currently. For example, the new FAS26xx series uses an onboard 1TB NVMe attached read cache, along with other systems. NetApp CSE Keith Aasen (@keith_aasen) does a great job breaking down the whys and hows of that in this blog:

NMVe – A Step Into The Future

NetApp A-Team member John Woodall (@John_Woodall) also gives a nice breakdown of NetApp and NVMe here:

NetApp and NVMe – The Rest of the Story

NetApp Principal Architect Andy Grimes (@Andy_NTAP_Flash) discusses NVMe here with John Woodall:

As with anything new and exciting, stay tuned for more possible announcements concerning NVMe. Perhaps even at this year’s NetApp Insight conference.

If you want to stay up to date on the latest in NVMe at NetApp, be sure to bookmark the new NetApp NVMe landing page!


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