kentoh - Fotolia
Toshiba has unveiled flash drives with native NVMe-over-fabrics support built in collaboration with Marvell.
The product – announced at Flash Memory Summit in August – allows access to arrays of solid state disk to which servers can connect natively through NVMe-over-fabrics (NVMf) as if they were directly attached.
The new drives – in U.2 format – are Toshiba NVMe SSDs, with a protocol converter from Marvell, the 88SN2400.
The converter comes in the so-called “interposer” form factor. It is built around an ARM system on a chip (SoC) and is deployed between the disk NVMe port and server chassis connectors.
The small card allows for the transformation of a dual-port NVMe card into an Ethernet NVMe-over-fabrics drive with two 25Gbps Ethernet ports.
Equipped with the Marvell NVMf card, Toshiba SSDs can be deployed in Ethernet-connected JBOF (just a bunch of flash) chassis like that from
This can take up to 24 flash drives in a 2U chassis equipped with two redundant Marvell embedded Ethernet switches to deliver 24 dual ports of 25Gbps Ethernet to drives and six 100Gbps uplink ports.
With NVMe-over-fabric controllers riding piggyback on flash drives, this chassis dispenses with the usual requirement for redundant Intel controllers, therefore boosting
According to Toshiba, an
It also permits greater flexibility in building modular server architectures. Each flash drive is visible as a discrete target that can be assigned to host servers dynamically through the NVMf protocol.
This means it is not necessary to deploy flash drives in servers. Instead, servers can connect to JBOF disk as if they were directly attached and with a level of performance similar to drives connected by the internal PCIe bus.
The Toshiba architecture aims to simplify the
Read more about NVMe-over-fabrics
- NVMe over Fabrics – with NVMe carried over Fibre Channel, Ethernet, Infiniband and other protocols – could
revolutioniseshared storage. We look at how the market is shaping up.
- NVMe-over-fabrics takes the built-for-flash advantages of the PCIe-based NVMe
protocol ,and allows NVMe to be sent via Fibre Channel, Ethernet andInfiniband networks.