Toshiba Storage Software Now Enables NVMe-oF on TCP

The memory maker has enabled high-end data center networking to be run equally efficiently on standard TCP/IP, meaning that networking just became a lot easier and more accessible for a whole lot of workloads.

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SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- Networking people know that there are different transport speeds for different types of enterprise use cases. There's high-end data center control networking for high-speed, big-data workloads, and then there's the regular internet protocol, TCP/IP, which is what we use when checking our Facebook news streams.

At the Flash Memory Summit this week here at the Santa Clara Hyatt, Toshiba Memory America made an important announcement about all of this: It's enabled high-end data center networking to be run equally efficiently on standard TCP/IP, meaning that networking just became a lot easier and more accessible for a whole lot of workloads.

The U.S.-based subsidiary of Toshiba Memory Corp., revealed that its KumoScale shared accelerated storage software has successfully tested NVMe (non-volatile memory)-oFTM2 (NVM Express over Fabrics) TCP acceleration with Marvell's FastLinQ 100GbE NICs (network interface cards). A network interface card provides the computer with a dedicated, full-time connection to a network.

What this means is that Toshiba's KumoScale software now enables the use of NVMe-oF to make flash storage accessible over a data center network. KumoScale provides a simple, flexible abstraction of physical disks into a pool of block storage, all while preserving the high performance of direct-attached NVMeTM SSDs.

While the benefits of NVMe-oF are well known, cloud adoption can be impeded by the expense and complexity of the high-performance, low-latency networking needed to deploy it. NVMe-oF on TCP enables a price/performance balance, Toshiba said.

TCP, the most widely-used networking protocol in today's data centers, has not been a true option to transport NVMe-oF until now, the company claims. By leveraging the trusted TCP protocol, KumoScale enables NVMe-oF to be deployed over existing Ethernet networks and opens the door for the broader deployment of NVMe-oF networks and clouds.

"Solutions like Toshiba's KumoScale which use TCP as a transport give customers an NVMe over Fabric option that requires no custom hardware or software on the server side, making this higher performance host connection available to any and all servers without additional cost," Eric Burgener, research vice president for storage in the Enterprise Platforms, Storage & Network Infrastructure Group for IDC, said in a media advisory.

By delivering disaggregated, highly-flexible network block storage to NVMe-oF compute nodes using standard TCP transport protocols, KumoScale allows data center applications to run more efficiently, the company said. Latency improvements over other fabrics, including FCoE and iSCSI, are also have been recorded on existing networks.

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Chris Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger is Editor-in-Chief of eWEEK and responsible for all the publication's coverage. In his 13 years and more than 4,000 articles at eWEEK, he has distinguished himself in reporting...