Analysis

Microsemi enables industry leaders to deliver NVMe-oF architectures

14th August 2017
Lanna Cooper

Provider of semiconductor solutions, Microsemi has announced its collaboration with Mellanox Technologies, and Celestica to develop a reference architecture for NVM express over Fabrics (NVMe-oF) applications as part of Microsemi’s Accelerate Ecosystem Programme.

Microsemi’s Accelerate Ecosystem speeds development efforts for customers and collaborators through technology alignment, joint marketing and sales acceleration. Collaborating with Microsemi allows companies like Mellanox and Celestica to leverage Microsemi’s peer-to-peer (P2P) memory architecture, which is supported by its Switchtec PCIe switches in combination with its Flashtec NVRAM cards and NVMe controllers to enable large data streams to transfer between NVMe-oF applications without the Central Processing Unit (CPU) in the data plane.

This leads to the development of highly optimised NVMe-oF storage subsystems with better throughput, latency and Quality of Service (QoS). It also enables customers’ data centre storage applications such as rack scale architecture, which disaggregates flash and shareable pools of NVMe memory to operate at faster rates.

“With customers designing their next-generation applications around NVMe-oF today, Microsemi has created a strong ecosystem of industry leaders to put together tested and validated solutions for their specific needs,” said Amr Elashmawi, Microsemi’s Vice President of Corporate and Vertical Marketing. “The growth potential in this market makes this the perfect time to pair Celestica’s and Mellanox’s expertise with Microsemi’s unique value-add to showcase the NVMe-oF P2P reference architecture accelerating data centre and cloud applications.”

The data centre market continues to see NVMe storage devices increasingly being moved outside the server to centralised locations in order to share NVMe-based storage across multiple servers and CPUs. This enables better utilisation in terms of capacity, rack space and power. According to industry research and marketing firm G2M, the NVMe market will be more than $57bn by 2020 and nearly 40% of all-flash arrays will be NVMe-based by 2020. The firm also expects NVMe-oF adapter shipments will climb to 740,000 units by 2020.

“Working together with Microsemi through its Accelerate Ecosystem Programme allows our team to leverage its performance storage tier, including Switchtec PSX switches, to develop innovative hardware platforms that can be customised for our customers,” said Jason Phillips, Senior Vice President, Enterprise Solutions at Celestica. “As a result of this important relationship, Celestica successfully launched the first commercially available NVMe dual-port All Flash Array platform, and is preparing to launch our first NVMe-oF solution, powered by Microsemi technology.”

While other companies have seen the benefits of Microsemi’s reference architecture, Microsemi also benefits from these cooperative efforts. With Remote Direct Memory Access (RDMA) a key technology in the NVMe-oF ecosystem, working closely with RDMA Network Interface Card (NIC) providers like Mellanox enhances Microsemi’s ability to further serve the needs of its data centre, cloud, hyperscale and enterprise Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) customers. Such collaborations will enable Microsemi to gain market share for NVMe-oF applications, positioning Microsemi as a key player in the storage revolution.

“Mellanox is excited to collaborate with Microsemi as part of the Accelerate Ecosystem Programme, which is delivering solutions with Microsemi’s Switchtec and Flashtec products for NVMe-oF applications,” said Rob Davis, Vice President of Storage Technology at Mellanox Technologies. “Mellanox’s market leading ConnectX Network Adapters, including ConnectX-5 and our new BlueField SOC, combined with Microsemi’s P2P CPU memory offload capabilities, offer a comprehensive reference platform for high performance data plane applications and JBOF implementations.”

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