2021 End of Year Review: NVM Express Celebrates a Successful Year of Innovation


Cameron Brett and Kerry Munson, NVM Express Marketing Work Group Co-Chairs

In 2021, NVM Express celebrated the ten-year anniversary of the first NVM Express® (NVMe®) specification. In the past ten years, NVMe technology has proven to be an industry standard with ever-evolving use cases in the client, cloud and enterprise markets.

This year, NVM Express released the rearchitected NVMe 2.0 specifications and focused on educating the public about the new features and the various transports and command sets that will most impact flash storage. Here is a recap of the major initiatives and educational content from 2021:

NVMe 2.0 Specifications Release

In June 2021, NVM Express announced the new NVMe 2.0 library of specifications. This release was a great milestone for the NVM Express organization, as it was the first time the specifications had been majorly rearchitected to support faster and simpler development.

NVMe technology has transformed from a separate base and fabric stack to a unified foundational layer (NVMe 2.0 Base specification) and individual transport specifications (NVMe/PCIe® Transport specification, NVMe/TCP Transport specification and NVMe/RDMA Transport specification), along with the Zoned Namespace and Key Value Command Set specifications. This re-architecture allows developers to utilize the core foundation with the NVMe 2.0 base specification and focus on the key transports and features that are needed for their specific use cases.

The NVMe 2.0 specifications also included support for HDDs, and we are already seeing the first NVMe-based HDD products being developed. This is a huge step towards uniting the industry around a common infrastructure and enabling NVMe technology to become the universal block storage access protocol for all media types. We are also seeing new use cases emerge, including benefits for consumers.

Communicating the Benefits of NVMe Technology with NVM Express Hosted Webinars and Blogs

NVM Express prioritized educational material this year, in the form of webinars. This year, we hosted “Deploy NVMe Technology Anywhere” webinar, which discussed the NVMe standard’s adaption to a multi-transport technology and where it fits in today’s data centers. We encourage you to watch the webinar recording for a look into NVMe over Fabrics (NVMe-oF™) technology use cases.

Members of the NVM Express Technical Work Group provided a comprehensive overview of the new specifications and how they will affect the NVMe device environment, SSD performance and development. You can watch the full recording on the NVM Express YouTube channel.

In addition to webinars, NVM Express published a wealth of blog content to address commonly asked questions and industry trends. These blogs were made possible with the help of NVM Express members, who shared their expertise on topics such as disaggregating NVMe storage, life after SATA, NVMe SSDs in gaming, and an overview of the NVMe 2.0 specifications. Readers can take a look at all the NVM Express blogs on our website.

NVM Express Shares its Expertise at Industry Events

This year, NVM Express members also participated in SDC 2021 in September and the OCP Summit in November. SNIA’s SDC 2021 featured over 130 technical sessions on topics including NVMe technology, NVMe-oF technology, storage architecture, security and more. These sessions included an NVMe 2.0 specifications presentation by NVM Express Technical Work Group Chair, Peter Onufryk (Intel). His presentation can be viewed on-demand, along with Stephen Bates (Eideticom) and Kim Malone’s (Intel) presentation on NVMe Computational Storage support. All SDC21 sessions can be accessed via SNIA’s educational playlist.

OCP Summit featured a presentation by Mark Carlson of KIOXIA, which explored the functions and features of Native NVMe-oF Drives and how they provide lower latency, enhanced performance and leverage various form factors. You can watch the recording here to learn more.

Get Involved in 2022

We invite industry leaders to join NVM Express and help contribute to NVMe technology’s evolution. NVM Express members have the opportunity to participate in Work Groups and collaborate with likeminded companies to provide forward-thinking solutions.

NVM Express remains dedicated to listening to industry voices and advancing NVMe technology for new industry initiatives. We look forward to seeing how the NVMe 2.0 specifications release will foster innovation and adoption, and how the new features will enable emerging use cases. We wish our members and the greater storage community a happy New Year!