Storage Hardware Innovation of the Year
Businesses today are faced with many challenges, including how to create more personalised and engaging experiences for their customers, find new revenue streams, and improve business processes, among many others. There’s an authoritative demand from costumers for services to be always-on and always-connected, whilst operationally, the focus is towards lowering costs, driving fewer resources, and maximising return on investment (ROI).
This is why digital transformation is a major talking point for the IT industry and continues to remain a popular topic in today’s tech climate. As businesses rapidly advance from funding to market, company executives and management understand that they need to embrace a complete digital transformation and figure out how to continually modernise and evolve. Crucially, organisations acknowledge the need to place data at the heart of their business model in order to attain success. Data continues to grow at an incredible rate, particularly unstructured data captured from IoT, mobile devices, machine learning, and other rich-media environments, and businesses are now forced to rethink how they capture, manage and store their data.
In response to this challenge Quantum is introducing F-Series, a high-performance, highly available, and reliable line of non-volatile memory express (NVMe) storage arrays. Using NVMe flash drives for ultra-fast reads and writes, F-Series supports massive parallel processing and is designed for applications such as video editing, rendering, and other performance-intensive workloads utilising large unstructured datasets.
What makes the product stand out amongst its competitors is that NVMe has been designed from the ground up specifically for flash-based storage. With NVMe, each CPU core communicates directly with storage using the high-speed PCIe bus instead of the slower SATA or SAS interface. Using PCIe, flash-based drives perform on par with memory instead of traditional HDDs. NVMe achieves that performance in part by supporting many more commands per queue than SATA or SAS protocols.
SATA and SAS each have single command queues, which can handle up to 32 and 254 commands respectively. By contrast, NVMe can support approximately 65,000 queues with 65,000 commands per queue. Compared to SATA and SAS, NVMe enables significantly faster reads. SATA supports approximately 50,000 random reads per second with SAS at 200,000, but NVMe can handle approximately 1 million random reads per second. Even with all those reads, NVMe keeps latency under 20 microseconds, compared with under 500 microseconds for SATA and SAS.
While the cost of flash-based storage has forced some organisations to limit flash investments or restrict flash implementations to very narrow use cases, NVMe storage offers an important opportunity to capitalise on the performance benefits of flash, while still controlling costs. An organisation can therefore attain Fibre Channel–level performance using much more cost-effective Ethernet technology.
Depending on the size of the organisation, savings made on networking by using Ethernet instead of Fibre Channel could run into the tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars, which can be offset against the investment in NVMe storage. In the end, the total budget could remain flat, while the total aggregate performance to clients increases.
Integration with Quantum’s Cloud Storage and StorNext
Quantum’s F-Series also breaks away from conventional ideas and processes within the field, as it incorporates the latest Remote Direct Memory Access (RDMA) networking technology, and provides direct access between workstations and the NVMe storage devices, delivering predictable, fast network performance.
It also goes beyond marginal improvements of other industry NVMe based products through its integration with Quantum’s Cloud Storage Platform, a software defined block storage stack tuned specifically for video and video-like data. It offers a future proof and reliable platform, eliminating data services unrelated to video while enhancing critical capabilities such as enhanced data protection, flexible networking and block interfaces. The result is an efficient architecture that maximises streaming performance.
The platform is also tightly integrated with StorNext, further boosting its end-to-end storage capabilities. StorNext improves collaboration through comprehensive multi-protocol access, protects data through advanced replication and copy functionality, and offers automated tiering of data to capacity-optimised storage. This allows customers to reduce the total cost of ownership and maximise the value of content across its entire life-cycle for cutting edge workflows.