State of play with NVMe: We asked, you spoke, we listened – here's what you had to say

Storage is no longer 'snorage'

Survey results Storage is no longer snorage. And long gone are the days when enterprise storage could be taken for granted, or at least forgotten about until either users noticed access wasn’t speedy enough or the IT team realized space was running out.

Today storage is a central concern of many organisations, large and small. That’s partly due to the increasing demands of users and services, but most certainly due to the percentage of budgets that storage can consume.

Our recent survey of Register readers by Freeform Dynamics confirmed just how important a role storage plays. More importantly, it asked the question ‘Are the new storage protocols NVMe and NVMe-oF ready for widespread mainstream usage’.

The results indicate that NVMe, despite its relatively recent arrival is already attracting considerable attention. In particular survey respondents say that they already have a pretty good idea of what the protocols are and at least have an impression of the benefits they deliver.

It is interesting to recall that given storage’s critical importance in ensuring data integrity, the adoption of new storage technologies used to be relatively cautious. A traditional approach has been “adopt slowly where there are clear business advantages, but make sure that the new kit you acquire is up to the job and that you can trust it.” The survey shows that NVMe is already well advanced in gaining that trust.

The results also make clear that, despite its relative youth, a majority of Reg readers consider NVMe to be ready for mainstream usage. While overall usage rates are relatively small, they are growing quickly, and the expectation is that NVMe and NVMe-oF will have little technical trouble moving away from just supporting the initial, obvious high-performance workloads where they were first deployed. Indeed, NVMe storage is already making inroads into many mainstream workloads, even into basic file and print serving where performance is usually not a critical issue.

But challenges do remain, at least as long as NVMe based platforms continue to carry a price premium. However, it should be noted that while pushback from procurement can be a challenge – and let’s face it, when is it not – at least as big an obstacle to new deployments can be the fact that many organisations have recently invested significantly on storage infrastructure so may not be in a position to invest again in the near future.

One other challenge stands out, and it is one IT vendors need to address, and that is that a number of readers tell us that their IT vendors may not yet be offering suitable solutions for them to buy.

If you are interested in finding out more, download our research report: NVMe – The State of Play, Is the new protocol ready to take the storage world by storm?

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