NVMe over fabrics options and opportunities

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How to make the right NVMe fabrics choice

NVMe over fabrics technology delivers the high speed and low latency of NVMe over a network fabric. There are now three NVMe fabric implementations available: NVMe over Fibre Channel; NVMe over remote direct memory access, including InfiniBand, RDMA over Converged Ethernet and Internet Wide Area RDMA Protocol; and NVMe over TCP.

Choosing which NVMe fabric to use will depend on your network architecture. Organizations using Gen 5 or Gen 6 FC can take advantage of NVMe over FC right away without replacing any hardware. This is because SCSI-based and NVMe-based FC can exist simultaneously on the same fabric.

NVMe over fabrics implementations that work over RDMA require new hardware, including dedicated switch equipment and dedicated RDMA network interface controllers at the host that support RDMA over Converged Ethernet. These implementations will likely be limited to applications where ultra-low-latency matters, such as financial trading, real-time analytics, AI and machine learning.

Most recently, we have NVMe over TCP, with support for the TCP binding. It runs over a standard Ethernet network without reconfiguration or special equipment. NVMe over TCP can support large-scale deployments across great distances. And it has a low-cost advantage.

Get the latest insights into your NVMe over fabrics choices.