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How Western Digital is using NVMe to help enterprises tackle data storage challenges

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WD black sn750 NVMe Gaming ssd
WD black sn750 NVMe Gaming ssd - Image by PCWorld
The modern business marketplace is data-driven hence the role of data is to empower business leaders to make decisions based on facts, trends and insights.

On the other hand, storing data is becoming quite herculean task for organisations as Chief Information Officers (CIOs) or Chief Technology Officers (CTOs) now need to find the best approach to warehouse data for seamless access.

Western Digital

Western Digital Senior Product Marketing Manager, Darragh O’Toole, speaking on the evolution of SDs

But, storing data on-premise seems not promising due to electricity demands, cooling systems and other exigencies. So, the fashionable approach is to work with organisations that have capacity for storage – that is, the data centres.

Big Data Growth Trends
  • The amount of data created each year is growing faster than ever before. By 2020, every human on the planet will be creating 7 megabytesof information… each second!
  • In only a year, the accumulated world data will grow to 44 zettabytes(that’s 44 trillion gigabytes)! For comparison, today it’s about 4 zettabytes.
  • The revenues generated by BDA worldwide were $42 billion in 2018. In 2027, they’re projected to increase to $103 billionwith a CAGR of 5% until then!
  • Hadoopis the most popular big data processing software. Its market is expanding fast and anticipated to hold a CARG of 53.7% for the period of 2015 to 2022!
  • Statistics show big data adoption can increase retail sales by 3% to 4%. As more and more companies harness the power of BDA, the need for tools to process the information rises as well. big data software is projected to grow at a CAGR of 12.6%, reaching $46 billion in 2027.
  • By 2020, the IoT is projected to generate over $300 billion annually. The market will grow at a 5% CAGR. Source: Hosting Tribunal

If you consider the trends and statistics regarding the surge in data, then even the Data Centres need assistance. That is where Western Digital comes in.

The company is notable for providing data storage solutions, including systems, HDD, Flash SSD, memory and personal data solutions to help customers capture their data with less hassles.

They introduced NVMe™ (Non-Volatile Memory Express) into the market recently. NVMe is a new protocol for accessing high-speed storage media that brings many advantages compared to legacy protocols.

Western Digital

NVMe is a new protocol for accessing high-speed storage media that brings many advantages compared to legacy protocols

Speaking on Western Digital’s Colours in Storage – a path between the different families that the company offers for enterprise and professional data management and archiving, the Western Digital Senior Product Marketing Manager, Darragh O’Toole, said re-emphasised that businesses today contend with the perpetual growth of data hence they need to rethink how data is captured, preserved, accessed and transformed.

With reference to performance, economics and endurance of data at scale as paramount, O’Toole said that NVMe is having a great impact on businesses and what they can achieve with data, particularly data for real-time analytics and emerging technologies.

He further explained what NVMe is and shared some technical dive into how the storage architecture works.

Expatiating on the features and benefits it brings businesses and use cases where it’s being deployed today, O’Toole said that NVMe said that customers take advantage of Western Digital’s NVMe SSDs, platforms and fully featured flash storage systems for everything from IoT Edge applications to personal gaming.

Western Digital

Diagram #1 CPU connected with SSDs via PCIe interface vs. I/O Controller and HBA – dialogue by Western Digital

The Evolution of NVMe

O’Toole said that the emergence of NVMe was due to challenges with some storage products. He recalled that the first flash-based SSDs leveraged legacy SATA/SAS physical interfaces, protocols, and form factors to minimize changes in the existing hard drive (HDD)-based enterprise server/ storage systems.

However, none of these interfaces and protocols were designed for high-speed storage media (i.e. NAND and/ or persistent memory).

Because of the interface speed, performance of the new storage media, and proximity to the CPU, PCI Express (PCIe) was the next logical storage interface.

What value is the NVMe going to bring to users?

TechEconomy.ng understands that the NVMe protocol capitalizes on parallel, low latency data paths to the underlying media, similar to high performance processor architectures.

“This offers significantly higher performance and lower latencies compared to legacy SAS and SATA protocols. This not only accelerates existing applications that require high performance, but it also enables new applications and capabilities for real-time workload processing in the data center and at the Edge.

“Conventional protocols consume many CPU cycles to make data available to applications. These wasted compute cycles cost businesses real money. IT infrastructure budgets are not growing at the pace of data and are under tremendous pressure to maximize returns on infrastructure – both in storage and compute. Because NVMe can handle rigorous application workloads with a smaller infrastructure footprint, organizations can reduce total cost of ownership and accelerate top line business growth”, Western Digital explained.

It is also important to note that the specification is a collection of standards managed by a consortium, which is responsible for its development.

We further learned from O’Toole that NVMe brings

  • Higher performance through write amplification reduction
  • Higher capacities by lower over-provisioning
  • Lower costs due to reduced SSD controller DRAM footprint
  • Improved latencies
Western Digital

Simplified NVMe Architecture View – dialogue by Western Digital

NVMe as a plus your Business

O’Toole said that exponential rise in data and demands from new applications is capable of bogging down SSDs.

Even high-performance SSDs connected to legacy storage protocols can experience lower performance, higher latencies, and poor quality of service when confronted with some of the new challenges of Fast Data.

But, NVMe helps to avoid the bottlenecks for everything from traditional scale-up database applications to emerging Edge computing architectures and scale to meet new data demands.

NVMe is designed for high performance and non-volatile storage media as it is presently the only protocol that stands out in highly demanding and compute intensive enterprise, cloud and edge data ecosystems. Embrace it! You can read more on Western Digital blog.

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