Use NVMe over Fabrics with SUSE Linux Enterprise 12 to speed up remote storage | SUSE Communities

Use NVMe over Fabrics with SUSE Linux Enterprise 12 to speed up remote storage


Improve application performance with faster local NVMe (Non-Volatile Memory Express) and remote storage device communications with NVMe over Fabrics (NoF).

SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 12 Service Pack 3 is now supporting the current NVMe Fabrics standard verified by numerous partners to help customers and datacenters to access data faster.

Are you tired of idle processors and slow response times gated by slow I/O operations ? For decades processor speeds have evolved faster than storage device latency and response times. Caching data in memory has solved part of the problem, as well as executing more processing with concurrent I/O, it has increased overall throughput of read and writes to storage units.

Spinning hard disks had an astonishing evolution, however solid state disk (SSD) have raised the bar for random access times and sequential throughput. To mitigate cost versus benefit, hierarchical storage management was introduced long time ago, with new tiers being added as technology evolves further.
SSDs have become popular, have typically been attached to established standard I/O channels, which by themselves have become bottlenecks for both latency and throughput.

NVMe (Non Volatile Memory over PCIe) established a new standard and aims to eliminate these constraints by connecting directly with the PCIe infrastructure of todays systems, without the need of vendor specific device drivers.

However depending on the use case, local device space inside for example rack mounted systems can be limited, thus limiting the amount of accessible NVMe based storage. And, as datacenters grow with more systems being added, building a shared, redundant yet flexible and manageable fabric infrastructure becomes a key requirement to control complexity, efforts and costs.

Thus, if you combine NVMe and fabric based interconnects and management, RDMA and FibreChannel, you get NVMe of Fabrics. Data read and write latency will increase a bit, but more storage can be accessed with more flexibility.

You will benefit from

  • lower latency for e.g. SQL databases and structured data access
  • removing the (storage size) limits induced by the need to house local NVMe inside the system
  • extending available storage size by extending the fabric during operation

SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 12 Service Pack 3 delivers the kernel based implementation of the 1.3 NVMe Fabrics standard release by the NVMe Consortium at and has been validated by a number of partners.

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