By Khurram Malik, Senior Manager, Technical Marketing, Marvell
As data growth continues at a tremendously rapid pace, data centers have a strong demand for scalable, flexible, and high bandwidth utilization of storage solutions. Data centers need an efficient infrastructure to meet the growing requirements of next-generation high performance computing (HPC), machine learning (ML)/artificial intelligence (AI), composable disaggregated infrastructure (CDI), and storage expansion shelf applications which necessitate scalable, high performance, and cost-efficient technologies. Hyperscalers and storage OEMs tend to scale system-level performance linearly, driven by the number of NVMe SSDs that plug into the system. However, current NVMe-oF storage target Just-A-Bunch-Of-Flash (JBOF) architecture connects fast performance NVMe SSDs behind the JBOF components, causing system-level performance bottlenecks due to CPU, DRAM, PCIe switch and smartNIC bandwidth. In addition, JBOF architecture requires a fixed ratio of CPU and SSDs which results in underutilized resources. Another challenge with JBOF architecture is the scalability of CPU, DRAM, and smartNIC devices does not match the total bandwidth of corresponding NVMe SSDs in the system due to the overall system cost overhead and thus, impacts system-level performance.
Marvell introduced its industry-first NVMe-oF to NVMe SSD converter controller, the 88SN2400, as a data center storage solution application. It enables the industry to introduce EBOF storage architecture which provides an innovative approach to address JBOF architecture challenges, and truly disaggregate storage from the compute. EBOF architecture replaces JBOF bottleneck components like CPUs, DRAM and smartNICs with Ethernet switch and terminates NVMe-oF either on the bridge or Ethernet SSD. Marvell is enabling NAND vendors to offer Ethernet SSD products. EBOF architecture allows scalability, flexibility, and full utilization of PCIe NVMe drives.