SSD Storage Will Change Network Fabrics In Data Centers
The emergence of the new NMVe hard drives in the data center environment is leading to a series of changes in the architecture and distribution of storage equipment. Above all, due to the arrival of the NVMe-oF standard, which transfers the capacities of these disks to storage networks, and which could represent a great revolution in traditional network fabrics.
Since the advent of the NVMe SSD storage standard, there have been significant technological advancements that have revolutionized data center storage. What started internally in server and hard drive arrays has now moved to data center storage networks, thanks to the NVMe-oF protocol. This has allowed data center architectures to shift from scale-out systems to scale-out commodity systems, allowing the adoption of new paradigms of distributed computing.
But, as industry experts say, as NVMe technology advances and its extension to network fabrics, there is a need to rethink network architectures from the ground up. Above all, because today’s IT infrastructures are mostly static and, although they are capable of coping with extreme workloads, scaling them means expanding the infrastructure as a whole, unnecessarily over-provisioning certain areas, and generating excessive expenses.
In response to this, solutions such as hyper-converged infrastructures have been launched, which disaggregate storage, computing, and network functions, allowing the independent scaling of each of the resources, and it is precisely in this field that new generation SSD storage has burst into force. Shortly, NVMe will become the leading standard in this field, providing new heights of performance in data access, and opening the doors to much more distributed architectures, supporting new technology trends.
But to achieve this, we will need network fabrics capable of supporting these changes in a flexible way, without introducing latency problems in data access. These are features that will only be achieved with next-generation protocols like NVMe-oF. Because the current SCSI over Ethernet or Fiber Channel is not so well suited for disaggregation based on hyper converged infrastructure, or for new distributed architectures based on edge computing.
For this reason, industry experts say it is time to rethink what the network fabrics of the future should look like, and begin this transition as soon as possible. Although this does not necessarily mean breaking with everything that already exists, since the developers of NVMe-oF are constantly adding new compatibility, and their technology will be able to be used with many of the current network technologies, beyond Ethernet.