NVMe flash blocked by array architecture, says Kaminario CTO

NVMe flash blocked by array architecture, says Kaminario CTO 1024 341 C-Suite Network

The current generation of storage arrays are not designed to make use of NVMe flash storage. They need a radical architectural overhaul to make use of the NVMe protocol, which can boost flash storage performance by a factor of tens or hundreds.

Those are the views of Tom O’Neill, chief technology officer of flash storage pioneer Kaminario.

NVMe is a protocol based on peripheral component interconnect express (PCIe) designed to transport data to and from flash drives. It eliminates the need for the storage stalwart SCSI protocol and boosts the number of queues and queue depths possible by many orders of magnitude. In doing so, NVMe allows flash drives to operate at their full potential.

But currently that is only realisable by putting NVMe drives straight into server PCIe slots. To build a fully-featured storage array with NVMe is out of reach at present.

That’s because when many NVMe drives are aggregated as shared storage controller hardware is required to manage protocol handling, physical addressing and provisioning, as well as storage services such as data reduction, replication and encryption.

“The real problem that arises with flash is that the balance of performance has…