NVM Express® over Fabrics Specification Released

NVMe Management Interface Specification Also Published

WAKEFIELD, Mass. – June 9, 2016 –  NVM Express, Inc., the organization that developed the NVM Express® specification for accessing solid-state storage technologies on a PCI Express (PCIe) bus, today announced the release of its  NVM Express over Fabrics specification for accessing storage devices and systems over Ethernet, Fibre Channel, InfiniBand™, and other network fabrics. NVM Express, Inc. has also recently published Version 1.0 of the  NVM Express Management Interface specification.

The NVM Express over Fabrics specification extends the benefits of NVM Express beyond rack-scale architectures to datacenter-wide Fabric architectures supporting thousands of solid state devices, where using a fabric as an attach point to the host is more appropriate than using PCI Express. 

Storage technologies are quickly innovating to reduce latency, providing a significant performance improvement for today’s cutting-edge applications. NVM Express (NVMe) is a significant step forward in high-performance, low-latency storage I/O and reduction of I/O stack overheads. NVMe over Fabrics is an essential technology to extend NVMe storage connectivity such that NVMe-enabled hosts can access NVMe-enabled storage anywhere in the datacenter, ensuring that the performance of today’s and tomorrow’s solid state storage technologies is fully unlocked, and that the network itself is not a bottleneck.

The new NVMe over Fabrics specification builds on NVM Express version 1.2. It is designed as a layered architecture, enabling NVMe to be transported over different fabric types. NVM Express, Inc. has also published the NVMe over Fabrics  reference implementation code for Linux, including a full NVMe host and storage target implementation for the RDMA and Fibre Channel transports. CLI tools and Linux OS integration aids are included. NVMe users can download the new driver stacks, Linux distribution maintainers can pull in the NVMe over Fabrics stack, and developers of both NVMe storage systems and devices can leverage the reference design for their low-latency, high-performance solutions. In addition, the Linux driver is supported and supplemented by the Storage Performance Developer Kit (SPDK) project, which has developed a user-space device implementation to be distributed under the BSD license via Github.

NVM Express Management Interface Specification

The NVM Express Management Interface 1.0 specification defines an architecture and command set for out-of-band management of an NVM SSD over PCIe (using VDMs) and SMBus/I2C. It allows a management controller to perform tasks such as pre-boot SSD device and capability discovery, health and temperature status polling, and out-of-band firmware updates.

The NVM Express Management Interface specification allows server and storage manufacturers to deploy an interoperable management architecture to support IT managers’ ability to extensively administer PCIe SSDs. Prior to development of the new specification, manufacturers relied on proprietary vendor-specific management interfaces that limited customer choice and increased cost.

All NVM Express specifications are available at  http://www.nvmexpress.org/specifications/.

About NVM Express 

NVM Express (NVMe) is the optimized, high-performance, scalable host controller interface with a streamlined register interface and command set designed for non-volatile memory based storage. NVM Express was developed to reduce latency and provide faster performance with support for security and end-to-end data protection. The first NVM Express products began shipping in 2014 and have demonstrated up to six times greater 4k Random and Sequential Read/Write performance, and lower latency than SATA solid state drives. NVM Express specifications are owned by NVM Express, Inc.

About NVM Express, Inc. 

NVM Express, Inc. was formed to define a new storage interface protocol, NVM Express, to enable the full performance potential provided by non-volatile memory storage technology, such as PCI Express solid state drives, in a standards-based approach to enable broad ecosystem adoption. NVM Express, Inc. is a non-profit organization and includes more than 60 member companies.




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