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.
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.
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!
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.
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...
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.”
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.
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.
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
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.
byScott Shimomura07-19-201602:00 AM - edited 07-19-201612:50 PM
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.
byScott Shimomura04-05-201606:08 AM - edited 04-05-201606:09 AM
Fibre Channel networks deliver the consistently high performance needed to move workloads at any scale, at flash-leveraging speeds. Imagine moving the entire digital Library of Congress in seven seconds...
The exploding number of virtualized applications and increasing use of All Flash Arrays (AFAs) have catapulted storage networking requirements to new heights. Storage administrators now need a foundational business architecture that can support the massive data demands of virtualized applications and stunningly high storage media performance, while providing the visibility and insights needed to manage the entire storage infrastructure as a cohesive resource.
byNanjunda Somyaji08-18-201509:00 AM - edited 08-18-201604:29 PM
Few years back, enterprises were evaluating Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) to see whether VDI is a viable technology while reducing cost of operations. As proof-of-concept, they deployed VDI in a selected group to evaluate and understand the issues. During this time, VDI was still expensive, hard to manage and Enterprises did not see expected ROI.
Fast forward and VDI technologies have matured thanks to technologies that include: Virtual SAN, vRealize Operations and LogInsight, better networks and low-cost flash storage. These developments are pushing enterprises to deploy VDI across the organization’s infrastructure.
Move over Godzilla. There is a new sheriff in town.
EMC unleashed “The Beast” this week at EMC World, which is their new aptly named software upgrade for XtremIO 3.X all-flash storage that more than doubles supported all-flash capacity to 40TB, with the ability to cluster eight of these monsters together with consistent and predictable sub-millisecond performance.
Saturday’s Fight of the Century in Las Vegas elevated Floyd Mayweather to global prominence as the world’s best welterweight boxer. 48-0; one shy of Rocky Marciano’s undefeated career record. Mayweather turned in a vintage performance as he outboxed Manny Pacquiao in a brilliant display to win a unanimous decision in one of the biggest fights in boxing history.
Like Saturday’s epic event, EMC made history today on the global Las Vegas stage at EMC World by bringing its heavyweight, high-end storage systems to the EMC VSPEX family, further strengthening its position as the undisputed, world champion of reference architectures sold exclusively through channel partners. Brocade is proud to be in the same corner as EMC for this new VSPEX solution, as the storage networking foundation, connecting EMC VMAX3 100K storage with high-performance servers.