SNIA NVM Summit: NVDIMMs, Programming Models and Next-Generation Non-Volatile Memory

January 30, 2015

Author: Stephen Bates (@stepbates)

On January 20, 2015, I had the pleasure of attending the SNIA NVM Summit in San Jose, California. This was a great event, and kudos to SNIA and Intel for putting it together. The event was very well attended by a who’s who of the NVM world.  There were a lot of great panels and presentations covering three main themes:SNIA

1.   NVDIMMs. NVDIMMs have been around for some time but have had issues with motherboard compatibility and OS support. It is clear that, while issues still remain, support is improving. I will be doing a more in-depth blog on NVDIMMs soon, where I will delve into them in a lot more detail and compare them to current alternatives, such as our Flashtec NVRAM card.

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Open Source Paves New Roads to Advanced Server, Networking, Storage and Acceleration Technology

January 27, 2015

Author: Dave BerryPMC Data Centers

Since announcing our involvement in Canonical’s Ubuntu OpenStack Interoperability Lab in November of last year, PMC has also recently joined the OpenPOWER Foundation, an open development community that promotes the collaborative development of hardware and software based on IBM’s next-generation POWER microprocessor architecture.

The traction being gained by the open source movement is evident here. Just as individuals are embracing open source as a chance to participate in a revolution, so are leading companies like Google, Rackspace and even tech companies from China. The promise of cross-company innovation and the ability to influence the direction that the movement will take are opportunities that are too valuable to pass up.

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Project Donard: Peer-to-Peer Communication with NVM Express Devices – Part Two

December 12, 2014

Author: Stephen Bates (@stepbates)

Adding Remote Direct Memory Access


In my last blog post I introduced a project called Donard that implements peer-2-peer (p2p) data transfers between NVM Express devices and PCIe GPU cards.  We showed how the p2p transfers could improve performance and offload the CPU, which can save power when compared to classical non-p2p transfers.

In this article we extend Donard to add RDMA-capable Network Interface Cards (NICs) into the mix of PCIe devices that can talk in a p2p fashion. This is very important as it brings the third part of what I call the PCIe trifecta to the Donard program. The three elements of the trifecta being storage, compute and networking.

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Is your ISCSI fast enough?

December 11, 2014

Author: Neil Cameron

iSCSI is a great technology. It gives you the ability to create SANs very cheaply and easily, without having to become a guru in Fibre Channel or put yourself into deep debt buying all the Fibre equipment. By using easily available networking equipment, you can add storage to existing boxes, even if you want to go crazy and do shared access, clustering or other high-end features.

A lot of vendors provide basically free iSCSI targets (there’s even one in Windows Server these days), and almost every OS has a free software initiator to connect to those targets. Yes, we can bang on about whether software or hardware initiators are better, but software initiators are free and work so well that most iSCSI hardware initiator vendors have stopped bothering.

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Optimizing SSDs with Software Defined Flash, Part 2

November 11, 2014

Author: Rahul Advani

In my last post, I talked about the increasing use of enterprise Solid-State Drives (SSDs) and the many different requirements they must be tuned for based on data center application needs. The dilemma for the SSD makers is how to meet these disparate needs while still offering affordable solutions to end users. Supporting these disparate requirements that span cold storage to high-performance SSDs for database applications cost-effectively requires a well-planned, flexible silicon architecture that will allow for software defined solutions.  These solutions need to support software optimizations based around (to name a few):

  • Different densities and over-provisioning NAND levels
  • Different types of NAND (SLC/MLC/TLC) at different nodes
  • Different power envelopes
  • Different amounts of DRAM
  • Often need to support Toggle and ONFI, in order to maintain flexibility of NAND use

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Challenges of SDN in Carrier Networks Part 2

November 6, 2014

Author: Babak Samimi

For the first post in this series, please click here.

Let’s take a deeper look at MPLS-TP OAM and the new extensions needed to OpenFlow as we pave the way to carrier grade SDNs.  MPLS-TP has explicit requirements for fault monitoring and protection switching, while OpenFlow currently has no explicit support for fault monitoring or failure recovery.

Fault Monitoring

Fault monitoring is performed in the NNI to UNI direction. OAM packets will be extracted from the MPLS-TP traffic streams and redirected to monitoring entities at the appropriate level, e.g. section, LSP and PW. Fault monitoring with Y.1731 makes use of entities called RMEPs (Remote MEPs or Maintenance Endpoints). RMEPs monitor the ‘liveness’ of a connection between a MEP and its peer MEP by terminating and processing the continuity check messages (CCMs) being transmitted by the remote end.

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Posted in LTE |

PMC Joins Canonical’s OpenStack Interoperability Lab

November 4, 2014

Author: Dave BerryPMC Data Centers

PMC recently joined Canonical’s Ubuntu OpenStack Interoperability Lab (OIL), an integration lab where Canonical tests and validates software with multiple versions of Ubuntu OpenStack on different hardware configurations.

When you’re in the business of high-density, high-performance I/O connectivity like PMC is, OIL is an important place to be. Canonical’s Ubuntu operating system and Ubuntu OpenStack are the most popular operating platforms for cloud and scale-out computing. Ubuntu is the hyperscale OS natively powering scale-out workloads on a new wave of low-cost, ultra-dense server hardware based on x86, ARM, and OpenPower processors.

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Can You Optimize Your Data Center Storage for Capacity AND Performance? With Adaptec by PMC Solutions, YES!

October 31, 2014

Author: Dave BerryIT technician in network server room

I would probably need a data center to help me keep track of how many data centers I’ve visited across the globe. But no matter where they’re located, or what market they serve, they all have a common mission: to do more with less at the highest performance.

Businesses and consumer demand for fast, reliable and secure access to data and content is skyrocketing, forcing data centers to add more and more storage capacity and maintain the high performance that their customers expect.

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