Having Fun at Queue Depth = 1: What Next Generation Non Volatile Memory (NG-NVM) means for PCIe SSDs and SSD Drivers

Author: Stephen Bates (@stepbates)

Update – 26 Nov 2015 – Well things can move very fast in the Linux world when they want to! Since I wrote this article an improved, but still pre-production, version of the polling code for the block layer and NVMe driver have made it into the Linux kernel and will go mainline in 4.4. There is a really nice overview of how it works here and Jens’ patch-set comments and some of his testing results can be found here. It is worth stressing that the results we present should only improve as the polling mode evolves. Stay tuned for updated performance results in due course!

Introduction

I love SSDs! They have transformed the data center by providing high-performance, low latency access to storage. Low latency is transforming the data center stack. I will be digging into latency in my next few blog posts, starting with Driver latency here.

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What’s Hot in Storage? NVMe over Fabrics, SMR, PMEM and more! Highlights from SNIA’s Storage Developer Conference 2015

Author: Stephen Bates (@stepbates)

Introduction

Last week I had the opportunity to attend and present at SNIA’s Storage Developer Conference (SDC). This great technical conference is organized by storage developers for storage developers. SNIA asked me for a commendation for this conference and my reply was:

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PMC’s Top 5 #Awesome Moments at Flash Memory Summit 2015

Author: Stephen Bates (@stepbates)

Introduction

Flash Memory Summit just wrapped up for 2015 and it was an #awesome one for PMC. The PMC team pulled out all the stops to cement our position as the enabler for performance storage solutions. Here is my list of top five #awesome moments for PMC at FMS 2015. Continue reading

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Adaptec HBA and RAID Compatibility Reports add HGST Helium HDDs

Author: Jeremiah TusseyPMC Adaptec 8805 RAID Adapter

Drive vendors continue to innovate, and one interesting new concept is the Helium hard disc drive, announced by HGST, a Western Digital Company. The important thing to note about Helium drive technology is that the drives are filled with Helium, allowing denser and more efficient drive designs. Helium is much lighter than air, so it imposes less drag on spinning disks, allowing disk platters to be stacked closer together. For enterprise applications, this allows more capacity without adding a more complex implementation via Shingled Magnetic Recording (SMR). This provides an advantage of increased capacity that can be added into an enterprise ecosystem without any extra work or driver support. Additionally, this advancement will lead to even more capacity with the upcoming integration of SMR.

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Flash Memory Summit 2015 Special – NVM Express + RDMA = AWESOME!

Author: Stephen Bates (@stepbates)

Introduction

In previous blog posts I have discussed Project Donard, which implements PCIe peer-to-peer transfers between NVM Express (NVMe) SSDs and GPUs, as wells as NVMe SSDs and Remote Direct Memory Access (RDMA) NICs. I am super-excited to announce that at Flash Memory Summit 2015 (FMS) we have been working with Mellanox, a pioneer of RDMA, to take this work to the next level! This blog post will dig a little deeper into what we are demoing at FMS, August 11-13, and how NVM Express + RDMA = AWESOME!

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Why Management is Critical for Data Center Lifecycle Management

Author: Dave BerryPMC Data Centers

A key tenant of cloud computing is that it’s an easy-to-deploy and manage infrastructure. Automating the management lowers costs and complexity when new infrastructure is deployed or changes need to take place.  Historically, the industry has deployed armies of administrators across the deployment lifecycle to make that happen, but that’s no longer practical or even necessary.

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A Port Fixation

Author: Neil Cameron

Many of the customers I talk to have a fixation on port numbers. I find it a bit unusual because we tend not to have the same sort of fixation on anything else we doethernet cable in life. The benefits of more ports seem obvious—my fellow blogger Dave Berry writes about how performance and capacity help data centers do more with less—but when it comes to RAID controllers or HBAs, we definitely have a fixation.

For example: I have 2 x SSD – hmm, you don’t have a 2-port controller so I’ll look at 4-port instead. I’m not interested in looking at 16-port controllers because I’m fixated on the number of drives I currently have. That’s a shame because in fact it’s the 16-port controller that you need, whether you currently realize it or not.

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I Feel the Need for (Read) Speed

Author: Neil Cameron

Our Adaptec team in Germany has put together a vendor lab where vendors, such as hard drive and SSD manufacturers, speedometercan bring their gear and test against our products. While we have validation testing going on all the time in other PMC centers, having the ability for a vendor to sit and play with the combination of our gear and theirs is getting people pretty excited.

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POWER Up with PMC! PMC at the OpenPOWER Summit

Author: Stephen Bates (@stepbates)Stephen Bates

March 17-19, 2015 marked the first ever OpenPOWER Summit, which was held at the San Jose Convention Center. This was an opportunity for the 110+ members of OpenPOWER to get together and showcase the progress to-date in establishing an open CPU/server framework around the Power8 processor and sub-systems. At the same time, this was a chance for non-OpenPOWER companies to learn more about what members are trying to achieve and determine how best to work with this ecosystem going forward.

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Why Standards Matter

Author: Jeremiah TusseyTower

We may not think about them often, but technical standards impact most aspects of our daily lives. Gasoline refined in California will work in a car engine built in Japan. Your phone charger plugs into an outlet in your office just as easily as into an outlet in a hotel room. And your bank card works in ATMs in Texas, Ohio, Florida, or wherever.

The storage industry has its own set of technical standards, and PMC is actively involved in the initiatives and communities that lead to the development of standardized feature-sets. Additionally, we regularly participate in test events to prove out our latest silicon, boards, and firmware to ensure proper protocol operation in open environments.

Our leadership and input have led to cutting-edge PMC innovations, better interoperability with other vendors and happy customers.

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