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How does NVMe Storage Benefit Your Small Business?

a stick of n v m e storage

SSDs are phasing out traditional hard drives and becoming more popular. SATA hard drives can no longer sufficiently match the required speeds for businesses to utilize their SSDS storage investments fully. With applications becoming more complex and storage needs increasing, businesses expect and require faster response times.

NVMe (Non-Volatile Memory express) is a newer, more advanced transport protocol and storage access for non-volatile memory like NAND flash storage and next-generation SSDs. It provides the highest performance and quickest response times for enterprise workloads.

While SATA is available for both HDDs and SSDs, it has inadequacies when used with SSDs, as it was initially meant for hard drives. However, NVMe was explicitly created for SSDs. Since NVMe storage shines in speed and performance, vendors are incorporating NVMe technology into all-flash arrays, enabling it to extend to other networks.

If you are looking for the best storage technology for your business, NVMe is your appropriate choice. Here are the benefits your business will enjoy by adopting NVMe storage.

The Benefits of NVMe to Small Business

  1. Network Fabric Advantage

NVMe speeds and high performance are not exclusively for specific DAS systems but the entire IT infrastructure. NVMe over Fabrics (NVMe-oF) allows enterprises to use standard storage fabrics to spread NVMe benefits throughout their IT infrastructure. NVMe-oF can support Fiber Channels, TCP/IP protocols, and RDMA. NVME-oF makes it possible to share NVMe storage across numerous CPUs and servers and scales it to thousands of SSDs from just a few SSDs.

  1. Empowers AI

Businesses use AI for data analysis and handling demanding workloads. Some of the ways organizations employ AI are in task automation, decision-making, predictions and forecasting, and gaining valuable insights. However, current AI applications and Machine Learning depend on the fast processing of massive data sets for processes like training algorithms. This is because they may have to scan millions of files. As more businesses utilize AI, NVMe is best suited for empowering AI applications and storage.

NVMe can efficiently provide the high performance required by AI applications better than SCSI-based storage. It has the capacity and low latency that the workload needs, making it the ultimate option for AI storage. The command set of NVMe requires fewer CPU instructions to process I/O requests compared to ATA and SCSI command sets. While NVMe sufficiently supports as many as 64000 queues and 64000 commands in one message, SAS devices support 256 commands in every queue and SATA 32 commands.

  1. More Virtual Machines

Virtual machines are heavy storage users. NVMe and NVMe-oF enable more VMs (virtual machines) on physical servers. Usually, virtual systems with a high ratio of virtual machines to physical servers have high input/output loads. NVMe can adequately provide the I/O capacities necessary to meet these demands. You can deploy denser virtual machines and consistently get fast response time since you don’t have to spread the VMs across various arrays. With improvements in software latency issues, NVMe will handle even more densities per physical server.

Usually, virtual environments have to partition networks based on latency, workload, or IOPS, which can be costly and more workload for management. NVMe can manage clusters and optimize performance across workloads, which enables the virtual environment to improve speed and performance without relying on complicated partitions.

  1. Exposing Storage Weaknesses

Latency refers to the delay between the time a user takes action and the time the web application responds. Storage systems usually consist of storage software, storage network, and media. With this in mind, latency issues are not uncommon. Businesses can overcome this latency by using the NVMe protocol. It can also eliminate the latency of storage media by exposing latency issues in other architectural parts of the infrastructure.

Since NVMe eliminates media latency, it becomes easy to identify the problems in different storage architectures. Note that NVME-oF also helps with getting rid of storage network latency. Exposing weaknesses makes fixing and improving the infrastructure’s overall performance easier.

  1. Energy Efficiency

Despite the high performance and speed of NVMe storage devices, they are energy efficient. Businesses can enjoy the better output it provides without experiencing high power consumption. Although SSDs are usually more energy efficient than HDDs, NVMe SSDs offer more results with less power and have better energy efficiency than other SSDs. It is especially for businesses that deal with large data sets. Also, NVMe’s energy efficiency reduces your energy bills and protects the lifespan of your computers.

  1. Prepare for the Future

It is no doubt that NVMe is the future. Most laptops and computers have an NVMe slot in the motherboard, and you can upgrade your system to NVMe storage for better performance. Also, upcoming motherboards like ATX, Micro-ATX, and Mini-ATX will have to support NVMe. Therefore, if you are looking for storage options for your business, investing in NVMe is the best way to be prepared for the future.

On the same note, NVMe allows business to leverage more flexible infrastructure and future-proof their data centers. NVMe was not created for flash storage only but also for non-volatile storage solutions that have the potential to revolutionize storage. Examples include Phase Change Memory (PCM) and Magnetoresistive Random Access Memory (MRAM), which are still in development.

  1. Reduce Storage Bottlenecks

SAS and SATA storage may have been suitable for data centers. However, they were not built for flash storage, which limits their potential. On the other hand, NVMe is designed for flash storage, making it easy to use its original characteristics as rapid memory. NVMe does not have to act like spinning drives in any typical system. Using NVMe storage, businesses can accelerate workflows and applications, reduce data analysis time and eliminate any other limitations in SAS and SATA storage options.

The Bottom Line

In an age where data is an asset for businesses, having the right technology to store, access, and share data mean increased efficiency and more insights. It is no doubt that NVMe storage has the capabilities to meet the demanding requirements of a high-performance computing environment. It also closes the gap between disk and memory drives. Investing in NVMe storage is one step towards modernization and next-generation data centers.

Published: October 12, 2022

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Wesley Anderson

Wesley Anderson

Wesley Anderson is a content specialist for Pure Storage. Pure Storage helps innovators uncomplicate data storage, forever. Our data solutions enable SaaS companies, cloud service providers, and enterprise and public sector customers to deliver real-time, secure data to power their mission-critical production, DevOps, and modern analytics environments in a multi-cloud environment.

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