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Storage Networks

Is NVMe over FC the future storage protocol for flash?

by phansen on ‎12-05-2016 09:00 AM (91 Views)

The speed of flash-based storage is critical to accelerating application performance and throughput. This need is driving rapid adoption of flash in the data center. New solid-state storage devices are many orders of magnitude faster than traditional hard drives, as well as having other benefits like power and size. But for optimal results, and to take full advantage of this investment, you need a network that is as fast as the infrastructure.

 

Typically, that will involve upgrading your network to Generation 6 Fibre Channel (FC). There’s no need for rip and replace. Simply upgrading to 32Gbps with Gen 6 FC can quadruple application performance and deliver 71% faster response times (compared to a legacy 8Gbps network)1.

 

As Gartner2 shows in its report “The Future of Storage Protocols”, “Fibre Channel is a mature low-latency, high-bandwidth, high-throughput protocol due to its deterministic nonblocking design. This high-link efficiency makes FC well-suited for storage traffic” So much so, that FC “will remain as the data center storage protocol of choice for the next decade”.

 

Why? As Gartner reports, “Future protocols (such as 40GbE used for iSCSI), file-based protocols (such as NFS and SMB) and current block protocols (such as 16Gbps Fibre Channel) will be too slow for the next generation of solid-state storage and hybrid arrays.”

 

Flash needs a faster network, much faster.

 

At the recent Flash Memory Summit, numerous presentations highlighted the fact that the network has become the bottleneck in today’s storage infrastructure. And that bottleneck is with current SSD technologies.

flash memory summit - faster storage needs a faster network

However, flash is evolving rapidly. New 3D NAND flash technology (like Intel’s 3D XPoint) promises ultra-low latency and high density memories—offering up to 10,000 times the performance benefit over traditional hard drives.

storage media technology

To deliver the speed of these new flash devices the industry has embraced a new flash storage protocol called NVMe (Non Volatile Memory Express). This protocol replaces the aging SCSI driver, used with HDDs for decades, which has a significant performance penalty.

 

But with all of the performance and capacity gains at the device level, what about the network? How do we avoid it becoming the restricting element in today’s data center?

 

NVMe over FC is the future

 

With brilliant insight, the industry has adopted a new network standard for NVMe devices, called NVMe over Fabrics or NVMe-oF. This standard allows NVMe traffic to be transported on fabric technologies such as FC, Ethernet or InfiniBand. Solutions for most fabrics types are in development now and trial versions are appearing regularly. 

 

One very natural technology progression is with NVMe over Fibre Channel. Given high performance FC, when data centers deploy new flash arrays it is typically with Gen 5/6 FC as the preferred network. As these flash storage devices transition to NVMe, IT leaders can seamlessly and transparently deploy new NVMe-based ultra-fast applications without upgrading their FC network. New Gen 6 Director-class switches are NVMe-ready today!

 

Summary

 

Flash is getting much faster and the new NVMe protocol is a welcome enhancement. But many applications will still require shared storage and, when performance matters, NVMe over FC will be the logical choice. Building a modern storage network for flash will unlock the full capabilities of the all-flash data center and prepare IP leaders for a future of insanely fast and reliable applications.

 

gartner paper

Read “The Future of Storage Protocols paper for Gartner’s view on the most common storage networking protocols and their role in digital transformation.

 

 

Find out more at: http://www.brocade.com/en/possibilities/technology/storage-fabrics-technology.html

 

 

 

 

 

1  Emulex/Broadcom TPC-H benchmark Testing: See http://www.brocade.com/en/backend-content/pdf-page.html?/content/dam/common/documents/content-types/industry-report/demartek-emulex-gen6-fibre-channel-hba-evaluation-ir.pdf

2  Gartner “The Future of Storage Protocols”, Valdis Filks, Stanley Zaffos, 29 June 2016.

 

GARTNER is a registered trademark and service mark of Gartner, Inc. and/or its affiliates in the U.S. and internationally, and is used herein with permission. All rights reserved.

 

 

 

Gartner’s verdict on the future of storage protocols

by phansen ‎11-28-2016 09:00 AM - edited ‎11-28-2016 09:41 AM (1,470 Views)

You know that you need to upgrade your storage network, but which storage protocol should you use? Gartner provides a useful guide to compare them all: 

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The NVMe Party Begins

by Curt.Beckmann on ‎11-22-2016 12:00 AM (1,297 Views)

There’s been a lot of buzz about NVMe in the last year, as well as growing noise around NVMe-over-Fabrics.  There are several technology options for transporting NVMe-over-Fabrics, and so of course there are competitive claims about which is the best choice.  One of the claims that always makes me shake my head is when one side is behind on the performance numbers...

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In a new Gartner1 report, “The Future of Storage Protocols”, analysts reveal that “by upgrading the storage network, IT leaders can reduce costs. Upgrading consolidates the number of network switches, cables, and host-based adaptors or network interface cards.”

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Why you need to care about NVMe over Fabrics – now Part 2

by phansen on ‎11-08-2016 05:00 AM (1,648 Views)

A new research report from the Evaluator Group outlines the various benefits of NVMe over Fabrics in general, as well as a comparison of the primary fabric alternatives today –

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Why you need to care about NVMe over Fabrics – now

by phansen on ‎11-01-2016 05:28 AM - last edited on ‎11-08-2016 05:41 AM by Community Manager (1,808 Views)

Three compelling observations regarding the future of storage that have significant and profound impact on critical infrastructure decisions that IT leaders are making today.

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Welcome to the New Era -- The Era of Gen 6

by Celeste Crystal on ‎09-26-2016 10:29 AM (2,330 Views)

The latest news at NetApp Insight this week is that NetApp’s flash-optimized storage arrays with ONTAP software now offer a 32 Gbps Gen 6 target card.

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What’s exciting about VMID technology?

by trevorj on ‎09-15-2016 05:50 AM (1,404 Views)

Recent news from VMworld put a spring in my step when I read that Qlogic in collaboration with Brocade demonstrated their StorFusion VMID technology...

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Get Faster Flash with NVMe Over Fabric!

by jcall ‎08-25-2016 01:00 PM - edited ‎08-25-2016 02:01 PM (1,359 Views)

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last few years, you’ve been hearing (EVERYWHERE) about the insane performance benefits available with latest generation storage arrays.

 

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RFID for Virtual Machines without the Soviet Spy Origins

by iomatters on ‎08-25-2016 10:49 AM (1,424 Views)

RFID (aka Radio Frequency Identification) technology which uses electromagnetic fields to automatically identify and track objects has revolutionized warehouses, super stores and the California Toll roads.

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The Gen 6 Fibre Channel eco-system is rapidly developing with the latest news coming from Brocade on its rollout of the new X6 Director family with Gen 6 technology. The X6 Director family will power the heart of the data center with 364 ports that can scale up with port blades, delivering a maximum port speed of up to 32 Gbps.

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Enterprises Pursuit of Gold Without Data Insights

by Marc Angelinovich ‎08-23-2016 05:00 AM - edited ‎08-23-2016 05:18 AM (2,821 Views)

Brocade has created an innovative solution to help enterprises address digital transformation and gain deep insights into their application performance...

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Partners In Mission Critical Enterprise Storage: Brocade Gen 6 And Infinidat

by ene ‎08-22-2016 03:06 PM - edited ‎08-22-2016 08:18 PM (728 Views)

When it comes to large-scale, mission-critical workloads, INFINIDAT leads in enterprise storage by focusing on the evolving requirements of the datacenter.  Our unique, flash-optimized storage architecture

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At Tegile, we’ve worked diligently to ensure that our storage solutions serve today’s data centers. Our desire to solve leading-edge needs for performance and capacity is why we are proud to partner with Brocade on its next-generation storage networking technology.

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How do we ensure the network can support us now, and be ready to support us in the future, when we are not absolutely certain what that future looks like?

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Flash Forward with Gen 6 Fibre Channel

by Scott Shimomura ‎07-19-2016 02:00 AM - edited ‎07-19-2016 12:50 PM (8,445 Views)

Gen6Flash.png

Digital transformation is driving new requirements for modern infrastructure and the evolving datacenter workloads require more performance than ever. Cloud, analytics, and automation technology are powering workloads that continue to drive data growth. Social platforms, big data, and mobility contribute to the doubling of stored data every 2-3 years. Your storage infrastructure has to evolve to keep up with the changes or your competitors will pass you.

 

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HPE has a Crystal Ball for Flash Storage

by Marc Angelinovich on ‎06-07-2016 08:51 PM (2,153 Views)

Businesses are faced with overwhelming challenges pertaining to growth in structured and unstructured data, as well as increased pressure to transform their IT department from a cost burden to an economic engine.

 

Challenges ahead sign

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How To Deliver On Your Promise Of World Class Customer Experience

by Marc Angelinovich on ‎05-26-2016 08:35 AM - last edited on ‎05-31-2016 03:58 PM by Community Manager (3,634 Views)

Are you under increased pressure to drive higher-density virtualization with flash storage and keep up with mobility and cloud services? Are  data-hungry apps putting increased strain on critical IT resourses?  Is the data explosion (which is predicted to generate 20 zettabytes of data globally each year) making your head hurt?

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Visibility, Monitoring, Alerting, Diagnostics...  Real-time information about your production environment is king!  It helps you meet service level objectives. Brocade 7840 IPEX gives you everything you need to monitor IP storage flows between data centers.  The third in a series of three EMC World blogs.

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Brocade VDX Switch Configurator

by dphillip on ‎05-03-2016 09:00 AM (2,389 Views)

We have a new tool that’s designed to make it super simple to configure a pair of switches for IP storage and hyperconverged environments...

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Do you have a variety of IP based storage devices (Data Domain, Isilon, DLm, SRDF, RecoverPoint, ECS...) all of which have multiple links with traffic headed to a remote data center?   Do the links outnumber the amount of WAN bandwidth (i.e., oversubscribed WAN)?  The second in a series of three EMC World blogs discussing two more IPEX use cases: Link Aggregation and Bandwidth Pooling/Balance.

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Modernize Your Network for EMC Unity Storage

by Scott Shimomura ‎05-02-2016 09:20 AM - edited ‎05-02-2016 09:44 AM (4,592 Views)

Jack Quote2.png

Truer words were never spoken, plus he’s my boss… The reality is flash is having a huge impact on infrastructure requirements. Legacy networks were not designed to maximize the potential of flash storage, creating potential performance bottlenecks and degradation to application availability. The all-flash data center requires a modern network purpose-built for high performance storage.

 

Today, EMC launched EMC Unity, a modern midrange storage solution, engineered from the ground-up to meet customer requirements for flash, affordability and simplicity. This is a game changing product line that will address just about any storage need from block, file, to VVols as well as Fibre Channel and IP connectivity. It can be deployed as all flash, hybrid, converged, or software-defined depending on the requirements and cost considerations. It’s a compelling value proposition that addresses performance, flexibility, and simplicity requirements in affordable flash configurations.

 

Unity Small.pngUnity product small.jpg

To achieve maximum value from EMC Unity storage, organizations require a modern storage network that is easy to deploy and manage without sacrificing performance or reliability. Today, Brocade announced that its Gen 6 Fibre Channel and IP storage networking technologies are providing the network foundation for EMC Unity storage.

 

Brocade’s Gen 6 Fibre Channel and IP storage networking technologies provide an agile and easy-to-deploy storage networking for EMC Unity that eliminates bottlenecks for high-transaction, mixed workloads in flash-based arrays. When it comes to

 

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EMC World 2016 - Monday: IPEX Delivers the High Performance WAN!

by mdetrick on ‎05-02-2016 07:00 AM - last edited on ‎05-02-2016 02:37 PM by Community Manager (1,471 Views)

Brocade 7840 IPEX delivers the High Performance WAN for IP Storage applications.  The first in a series of three EMC World blogs discusses two IPEX use cases: Performance improvement using TCP Acceleration and Encryption of data in-flight between data centers.

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Meet Geoffrey Moore at EMC World 2016

by Community Manager on ‎04-30-2016 07:00 AM (1,240 Views)

In a Brocade sponsored Guru Session, Moore will be joining EMC CTO John Roese to offer a unique perspective where business meets technology, in this age of disruption. Brocade CMO Christine Heckart will introduce the session.

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Steps to the Modern Datacenter

by jbleess ‎04-29-2016 04:01 PM - edited ‎04-29-2016 04:25 PM (2,000 Views)

If you’re like me then you planned to be ready for EMC World 2016 a week ago, but in reality today marks the real final day of preparation before your journey to the Storage event of the year.

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Fibre Channel: Secure by Design

by Scott Shimomura ‎04-29-2016 11:41 AM - edited ‎04-29-2016 11:42 AM (3,065 Views)

While you can’t prevent cybercrime, you can dodge the bulk of its bullets for data in a Fibre Channel storage network. 

 

 Cost of Data Center Downtime is $474,000 per hour

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Fibre Channel: Seamlessly Moves Magnitudes of Data

by Scott Shimomura ‎04-22-2016 03:07 PM - edited ‎04-22-2016 03:07 PM (3,179 Views)

Having trouble imagining what anyone could do with the ability to move three quadrillion bits of data each second?

 

 Fibre Channel is the most scalable

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Attending EMC World? Why Duct Tape Doesn't Fix IP Storage Limitations

by Marc Angelinovich ‎04-20-2016 10:14 AM - edited ‎04-20-2016 10:22 AM (2,610 Views)

Over the last couple years, IT organizations have been under increased pressure to do more immediately but with less money...

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Attending EMC World? Listen in on Brocade’s Holy Grail Adventure!

by Marc Angelinovich ‎04-19-2016 10:45 AM - edited ‎04-19-2016 10:46 AM (3,081 Views)

Everyone knows deploying flash will help meet the demands of growing data caused by workload density from server virtualization. But will flash alone be the Holy Grail of technology?

 

Indiana Jones Holy Grail

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Fibre Channel: The Ultimate in Reliability

by Scott Shimomura on ‎04-15-2016 02:13 PM (3,939 Views)

Rising service level agreement (SLA) requirements and expectations are a fundamental driver of storage network technology. That’s no surprise when you look at the numbers...

 

99.9999% Uptime

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