Press release

Three Providers of High-Performance Storage Interconnect NVMe over TCP Named IDC Innovators

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International Data Corporation (IDC)
today published an IDC Innovators report profiling three companies
supporting the nascent high-performance enterprise storage interconnect
Non-Volatile Memory Express over Terminal Control Protocol (NVMe over
TCP). The three companies are Lightbits Labs, Excelero, and Pavilion

With digital transformation under way in many IT organizations,
enterprises are deploying a range of newer technologies to deliver the
performance, availability, and flexibility demanded by next generation
applications. These technologies include software-defined
infrastructure, cloud, and solid-state storage along with NVMe. NVMe is
a new storage protocol that was specifically developed for solid-state
media that IDC believes will ultimately supplant SCSI as the storage
protocol of choice for latency-sensitive primary workloads. By 2021, IDC
predicts that NVMe-based storage solutions will be generating more than
50% of the revenues associated with primary external storage shipments.

NVMe over Fabric is an industry standard that enables low latency access
to NVMe-based shared storage arrays across a switched fabric. Early
production deployments of NVMe-oF started to become available in 2017,
providing access across a switched fabric to high-performance NVMe-based
storage with the same latencies as local NVMe-based solid-state disks
(SSDs). Shared storage provides features typically not available with
local storage such as much higher scalability, much better capacity
utilization, and access to the type of data services (thin provisioning,
snapshots, replication, etc.) only available in enterprise-class shared

NVMe over Fabric has been available across Fibre Channel, Ethernet and
InfiniBand transports. For greenfield deployments in both the enterprise
and in cloud providers, Ethernet appears to be the preference. Two
Ethernet options – Remote Direct Memory Access (RDMA) over Converged
Ethernet (RoCE) and internet Wide Area RDMA Protocol (iWARP) – have been
available but both require custom drivers on the host side. Some
customers have strong preferences for a standardized client since it
simplifies installation and maintenance and makes it easy to potentially
connect all servers in their infrastructure up to high performance
NVMe-based storage as necessary. That is the value that NVMe over TCP
brings to the table: it uses standard converged Ethernet adapters and
host side drivers based on the NVMe 1.3 standard that was released in
November 2018.

“To date, NVMe over Fabric has been selectively deployed by enterprises
who were willing to deal with custom content on their servers to get
local NVMe storage latencies out of shared storage,” said Eric
, research vice president, Infrastructure Systems, Platforms
and Technologies Group, IDC. “NVMe over TCP provides these same
performance advantages with a solution that is easier and less expensive
to deploy. Due to the availability of the TCP option, the industry will
see strong growth in NVMe over Fabric use over the next two to three

Lightbits Labs played a key role in the development of the NVMe over TCP
standard and offers a pure target-side solution that requires no client
components. Their solution is based around a software-defined storage
design that leverages commodity off-the-shelf server-based storage as
node building blocks.

Excelero was an early entrant into the NVMe-based storage array market
with a distributed, software-only design that enables excellent
scalability. They offer a broad range of NVMe over Fabric options, which
include NVMe over TCP, to give their customers maximum flexibility and

Pavilion Data leverages a unique hardware architecture, based on
industry-standard server and storage components. Their NVMe-based
storage appliance scales up to 20 controllers to support massive
parallelism and is a pure target-side solution with no client
components. Pavilion Data also offers multiple NVMe over Fabric options,
including support for NVMe over TCP.

The report, IDC
Innovators: NVMe over TCP, 2019
(IDC #US45088519), profiles
three companies in the NVMe over TCP market, highlighting the key
differentiators and challenges facing each company.

About IDC
International Data Corporation (IDC) is the
premier global provider of market intelligence, advisory services, and
events for the information technology, telecommunications, and consumer
technology markets. With more than 1,100 analysts worldwide, IDC offers
global, regional, and local expertise on technology and industry
opportunities and trends in over 110 countries. IDC’s analysis and
insight helps IT professionals, business executives, and the investment
community to make fact-based technology decisions and to achieve their
key business objectives. Founded in 1964, IDC is a wholly-owned
subsidiary of International Data Group (IDG),
the world’s leading media, data and marketing services company. To learn
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