NVMe is a very interesting protocol.
FC is not. Why are Cisco beating this dead horse?!?!?
Pure and Cisco could build an end-to-end NVMe FlashStack using Pure's NVMe-using FlashArray//x and Cisco's NVMe over fabric's Fibre Channel. There are three ingredients contributing to this window of opportunity: Pure's FlashArray//x, which uses NVMe-accessed DirectFlash modules and an NVMe-tuned //X70 controller Cisco's …
So is Ethernet and NFS and iSCSI and RDMA and virtualization and SAS and Infiniband. This announcement is playing on IT's insecurities of not wanting to change, even though it may mean the same time of leap from one technology to another.
I am surprised one would call this out as innovation. It's packaging of complexity that exists in the first place because of vendors like Cisco and Pure's desire to tug on storage admins heart strings -- supposedly minimize the risk with predefined architectures.
Sorry, while I love the tech... think of the cost and what you're getting versus alternatives.
A cluster of servers w NVMe drives with a distributed file system versus disk array?
What am I missing that would make this thing attractive?
Think of the children! Think of how better you could spend the money!
Until someone shows the perfromance of an NVMe-over-FC array compared to a "plain" FC array, the motivation to use NVMe-over-FC doesn't exist.
Cisco's announcement on MDS supporting NVMe-over-FC also remarked that they implemented *nothing* to have the switch support it (as in, it is supported in older switches and older switch firmware levels that pre-date NVMe). There's no evidence that NVMe-over-FC contains any benefit compared to FC.
NVMe is important because SAS and SCSI are disk-centric serial technologies so without improvements in parallelism we will see the same problem with flash we saw with spinning rust--they get bigger and stop getting faster. In response to the comment on NVMe vs. FC that is not the right comparison. NVMe is a protocol that can be used with FC (Cisco announced w/32Gbps MDS, Brocade has mentioned as well) or ETH (using RDMA). The difference is removing the SCSI protocol, Flash Translation layers (treating SSDs like disks) and massive improvements in parallelism (64K parallel queues). Like it or not it's the future of all flash tech (most modern laptops already use NVMe) as disk-centric retrofit AFAs continue to use the old stuff and tell everyone it will be "just fine."
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