NVMe-oF SSD converter controller to enable optimal high performance

8th August 2018
Posted By : Alex Lynn
NVMe-oF SSD converter controller to enable optimal high performance

It has been announced by Marvell, that they are releasing the NVMe over Fabric (NVMe-oF) SSD converter controller, the 88SN2400, for cloud and enterprise data centres. The 88SN2400 controller is designed and optimised to convert an NVMe SSD into an NVMe-oF SSD.

The 88SN2400 will provide architecture that increases utilisation and scalability of SSDs within the data centre to ultimately lower total cost of ownership (TCO). 

By bringing low latency access over the fabric and exposing the entire SSD bandwidth to the network, the Marvell controller supports true scalable, high performance disaggregation of storage from compute. The 88SN2400 utilises a simple, low power and compute-less Ethernet fabric instead of a traditional PCIe fabric controlled and managed by an enterprise-class server SoC with integrated 100GE controllers. 

As data growth continues to soar, data centres are grappling with the increasing power consumption, complexity, and costs associated with the demand for greater storage bandwidth and capacity. However, compute and storage continue to be underutilised, with storage servers typically oversubscribed, resulting in increased capital expenditure and operational expenditure. The Marvell SSD converter controller allows greater flexibility for data centre operators and designers to develop their infrastructure and aims to enable them to meet evolving workload demands with optimised scalable units of disaggregated flash storage and storage class memory (SCM). 

The SSD converter controller is powering an innovative class of low power, low latency and high performance Ethernet bunch of flash (EBOF) storage appliances. In a typical high end 2U24 shelf with Gen3x4 SSDs, the 88SN2400 can support up to 18M input/output operations per second (IOPS). Utilising a Marvell Ethernet switch that supports 2Tbs and the Marvell 88SN2400, data centre operators will be able to benefit from a 150GBs pipe of pooled storage, and better power consumption per IO compared to general purpose architectures. 

The SSD converter controller is optimised for a small footprint and can be attached to existing backplanes providing ease of service and eliminating single point of failure. The technology can also be designed into future Marvell SSD and emerging SCM controllers. 

Nigel Alvares, Vice President of SSD and Data Centre Storage Solutions at Marvell, stated: “As cloud and enterprise data centres increase their deployments of flash storage and emerging storage class memories to address growing and diversifying workloads such as AI and analytics, it is paramount they optimise the utilisation, efficiency and scale of these costly resources. Our converter controller enables disruptive disaggregated NAND and SCM SSD architectures that can be composed, provisioned and assigned real time to lower cloud and enterprise data centres total cost of ownership.” 

Shigeo (Jeff) Ohshima, Technology Executive, SSD Application Engineering at Toshiba Memory Corporation, added: “Through our longstanding relationship with Marvell, we have shared a strong commitment to storage technology innovation. The development of our Ethernet direct attached NVMe-oF SSD prototype with the new Marvell 88SN2400 is built on our collaborative vision to help our data centre customers achieve higher performance, lower cost and lower power consumption.”

John Chen, Vice President of TRENDFOCUS, concluded: “The Marvell 88SN2400 is the industry’s first NVMe-oF SSD converter controller technology providing an innovative solution to enabling NVMe-oF architectures with existing NVMe SSDs. The ability to expose the full SSD bandwidth to the network will enhance operational efficiencies and reduce costs in the data centre. Leveraging the solution’s Ethernet feature will provide access to remote storage nodes with minimum added latency as compared to direct attached storage, making this solution a very interesting proposition for the industry.”

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