Pondering NVMe-oF

by:  Woody Hutsell, appICU.com

I published a blog on IBM developerWorks on a recent technology preview of NVMe-oF with Power9 and FlashSystem.  I hope you take a minute to read it.

I have many mixed feelings on this topic that I thought I would share.

  1.  I think NVMe-oF will make a positive impact on application performance.
  2.  I have lived through the early days of other protocols and this one is no different:  immature standards, proprietary solutions, and slow customer adoption.
  3. I believe vendors will offer a bunch of NVMe-oF enabled solutions.  Most of them won’t make any sense.  NVMe-oF is about shaving latency.  If the solution being paired with NVMe-oF is loaded with latency from poorly implemented architectures and slow storage services, adding NVMe-oF will hardly make a difference.
  4. The wide range of NVMe-oF options is an impediment to its success:  InfiniBand, RoCE, iWARP, FC-NVMe, and more on the way.  The fact that different vendors are throwing their weight into different protocols is also not helping.
  5. The focus on lower latency for the customer is positive and I am delighted to see the storage industry refocused on latency even if these are the same people I heard mutter that latency under 500 microseconds doesn’t matter.
  6. Don’t be one of those people who says NVMe when you mean NVMe-oF.  I have seen industry experts get lost in the terminology.




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