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NVMe-based technology has swept into the data center, providing high-performance and low-latency benefits for data moving between flash media and the storage controller. NVMe-oF is following close behind, providing the same benefits across the network infrastructure fabric.
The shift to NVMe has been pronounced, but implementing the technology throughout the data center with NVMe-oF-based storage is an even more dramatic change. According to NetApp, less than 20% of the potential NVMe speed boost comes from deploying NVMe storage media, while more than 80% of the possible performance boost can come from replacing SCSI-based transfer protocols with NVMe-oF.
With NVMe, it looks like NVMe-oF is key to getting all the advantages. And 2020 is likely to be an important year for that, according to George Crump, president of analyst firm Storage Switzerland. He expects several factors to contribute to 2020 being the year of NVMe-oF. Among them are the following:
- TCP support lets NVMe-oF work on most IP networks without equipment upgrades;
- drivers are now available as part of Windows and most Linux distributions for easier deployment;
- most switches and network interface cards now support NVMe-oF, letting the data center standardize on one protocol; and
- the workloads that can benefit from NVMe-oF are out there, many of which use DAS and could benefit from a switch to shared storage.
The transition to end-to-end NVMe and NVMe-oF storage is happening and can be a complex process, depending on your existing network infrastructure and what network fabric you're working with. Take our quiz to find out if you know what you should about NVMe-oF to make a successful changeover.