NVM Express at EMC World


I spent the week of May 20th at EMC World, and I am still recovering!  There was so much to see and do:

  • 42 new product announcements
  • 13,000+ attendees
  • 400+ breakout sessions, hands-on labs, and interactive gatherings
  • 100+ exhibitors and sponsors
  • A presentation screen longer than a football field
  • A wrap-around dome screen 3D theatre, playing “The EMC Experience”

This list only scratches the surface.  You need to visit http://www.emcworld.com/, and check it out for yourself. 

An exciting new EMC product in the PCIe Flash space is “Project Thunder”, and it was publicly unveiled for the first time at EMC World, in “Area 51”.  It follows “Project Lightning” (aka VFCacheTM), a combination of software and PCIe Flash that extends a high performance tier of storage into the server.   Thunder is a networked Flash-based appliance, utilizing a high throughput software stack, and supporting up to 10 pluggable PCIe Flash modules!  The media was excluded from Area 51, and recording equipment was prohibited, but you can see everything at the EMC World link above. 

Monday evening, along with Chris Saleski (Initiatives Manager, Intel Storage Technologies Group), I co-presented an introduction to NVM Express, in the Solutions Pavilion Theatre (sponsored by Intel).  We got off to a rough start, due to some electrical problems.  The video eventually came up, and we decided not to wait for the audio to be fixed.  Chris and I were a bit hoarse after, but it allowed for a more conversational atmosphere, which encouraged the attendees (many who had not heard of NVMe) to ask plenty of questions.  One audience member saw real value for their use case, if PCIe-based Flash could be utilized in a multi-host configuration.  Coincidentally, the NVMe Workgroup is in the process of enhancing the specification, to enable better support of multi-path environments. 

EMC will continue to set the pace for PCIe Flash-based products and applications, and will require interfaces that provide performance, efficiency, and scalability, while adding new capabilities over time.  NVM Express is positioned to meet exactly these types of challenges. 

Steve Sardella
NVMe Board member
Distinguished Engineer, EMC Corporation