Archive for the ‘Storage’ Category

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SONiC: It’s Not Just for Switches Anymore

By Amit Sanyal, Senior Director, Product Marketing, Marvell

SONiC (Software for Open Networking in the Cloud) has steadily gained momentum as a cloud-scale network operating system (NOS) by offering a community-driven approach to NOS innovation. In fact, 650 Group predicts that revenue for SONiC hardware, controllers and OSs will grow from around US$2 billion today to around US$4.5 billion by 2025. 

Those using it know that the SONiC open-source framework shortens software development cycles; and SONiC’s Switch Abstraction Interface (SAI) provides ease of porting and a homogeneous edge-to-cloud experience for data center operators. It also speeds time-to-market for OEMs bringing new systems to the market.

The bottom line: more choice is good when it comes to building disaggregated networking hardware optimized for the cloud. Over recent years, SONiC-using cloud customers have benefited from consistent user experience, unified automation, and software portability across switch platforms, at scale.

As the utility of SONiC has become evident, other applications are lining up to benefit from this open-source ecosystem.

A SONiC Buffet: Extending SONiC to Storage

SONiC capabilities in Marvell’s cloud-optimized switch silicon include high availability (HA) features, RDMA over converged ethernet (RoCE), low latency, and advanced telemetry. All these features are required to run robust storage networks.

Here’s one use case: EBOF. The capabilities above form the foundation of Marvell’s Ethernet-Bunch-of-Flash (EBOF) storage architecture. The new EBOF architecture addresses the non-storage bottlenecks that constrain the performance of the traditional Just-a-Bunch-of-Flash (JBOF) architecture it replaces-by disaggregating storage from compute.

EBOF architecture replaces the bottleneck components found in JBOF – CPUs, DRAM and SmartNICs – with an Ethernet switch, and it’s here that SONiC is added to the plate. Marvell has, for the first time, applied SONiC to storage, specifically for services enablement, including the NVMeoFTM (NVM Express over Fabrics) discovery controller, and out-of-band management for EBOF, using Redfish® management. This implementation is in production today on the Ingrasys ES2000 EBOF storage solution. (For more on this topic, check out this, this, and this.)

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Marvell SSD Controller Named Winner at FMS 2022 Best of Show Awards

By Kristin Hehir, Senior Manager, PR and Marketing, Marvell

FMS best of show award

Flash Memory Summit (FMS), the industry’s largest conference featuring data storage and memory technology solutions, presented its 2022 Best of Show Awards at a ceremony held in conjunction with this week’s event. Marvell was named a winner alongside Exascend for the collaboration of Marvell’s edge and client SSD controller with Exascend’s high-performance memory card.

Honored as the “Most Innovative Flash Memory Consumer Application,” the Exascend Nitro CFexpress card powered by Marvell’s PCIe® Gen 4, 4-NAND channel 88SS1321 SSD controller enables digital storage of ultraHD video and photos in extreme temperature environments where ruggedness, endurance and reliability are critical. The Nitro CFexpress card is unique in controller, hardware and firmware architecture in that it combines Marvell’s 12nm process node, low-power, compact form factor SSD controller with Exascend’s innovative hardware design and Adaptive Thermal Control™ technology.

Exascend Nitro CFexpress card powered by Marvell’s PCIe® Gen 4, 4-NAND channel 88SS1321 SSD controller

The Nitro card is the highest capacity VPG 400 CFexpress card on the market, with up to 1 TB of storage, and is certified VPG400 by the CompactFlash® Association using its stringent Video Performance Guarantee Profile 4 (VPG400) qualification. Marvell’s 88SS1321 controller helps drive the Nitro card’s 1,850 MB/s of sustained read and 1,700 MB/sustained write for ultimate performance.

“Consumer applications, such as high-definition photography and video capture using professional photography and cinema cameras, require the highest performance from their storage solution. They also require the reliability to address the dynamics of extreme environmental conditions, both indoors and outdoors,” said Jay Kramer, Chairman of the Awards Program and President of Network Storage Advisors Inc. “We are proud to recognize the collaboration of Marvell’s SSD controllers with Exascend’s memory cards, delivering 1,850 MB/s of sustained read and 1,700 MB/s sustained write for ultimate performance addressing the most extreme consumer workloads. Additionally, Exascend’s Adaptive Thermal Control™ technology provides an IP67 certified environmental hardening that is dustproof, water resistant and tackles the issue of overheating and thermal throttling.”

More information on the 2022 Flash Memory Summit Best of Show Award Winners can be found here.

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Marvell and Ingrasys Collaborate to Power Ceph Cluster with EBOF in Data Centers

By Khurram Malik, Senior Manager, Technical Marketing, Marvell

A massive amount of data is being generated at the edge, data center and in the cloud, driving scale out Software-Defined Storage (SDS) which, in turn, is enabling the industry to modernize data centers for large scale deployments. Ceph is an open-source, distributed object storage and massively scalable SDS platform, contributed to by a wide range of major high-performance computing (HPC) and storage vendors. Ceph BlueStore back-end storage removes the Ceph cluster performance bottleneck, allowing users to store objects directly on raw block devices and bypass the file system layer, which is specifically critical in boosting the adoption of NVMe SSDs in the Ceph cluster. Ceph cluster with EBOF provides a scalable, high-performance and cost-optimized solution and is a perfect use case for many HPC applications. Traditional data storage technology leverages special-purpose compute, networking, and storage hardware to optimize performance and requires proprietary software for management and administration. As a result, IT organizations neither scale-out nor make it feasible to deploy petabyte or exabyte data storage from a CAPEX and OPEX perspective.
Ingrasys (subsidiary of Foxconn) is collaborating with Marvell to introduce an Ethernet Bunch of Flash (EBOF) storage solution which truly enables scale-out architecture for data center deployments. EBOF architecture disaggregates storage from compute and provides limitless scalability, better utilization of NVMe SSDs, and deploys single-ported NVMe SSDs in a high-availability configuration on an enclosure level with no single point of failure.

Power Ceph Cluster with EBOF in Data Centers image 1

Ceph is deployed on commodity hardware and built on multi-petabyte storage clusters. It is highly flexible due to its distributed nature. EBOF use in a Ceph cluster enables added storage capacity to scale up and scale out at an optimized cost and facilitates high-bandwidth utilization of SSDs. A typical rack-level Ceph solution includes a networking switch for client, and cluster connectivity; a minimum of 3 monitor nodes per cluster for high availability and resiliency; and Object Storage Daemon (OSD) host for data storage, replication, and data recovery operations. Traditionally, Ceph recommends 3 replicas at a minimum to distribute copies of the data and assure that the copies are stored on different storage nodes for replication, but this results in lower usable capacity and consumes higher bandwidth. Another challenge is that data redundancy and replication are compute-intensive and add significant latency. To overcome all these challenges, Ingrasys has introduced a more efficient Ceph cluster rack developed with management software – Ingrasys Composable Disaggregate Infrastructure (CDI) Director.

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Industry’s First NVMe Boot Device for HPE® ProLiant® and HPE Apollo Servers Delivers Simple, Secure and Reliable Boot Solution based on Innovative Technology from Marvell

By Todd Owens, Technical Marketing Manager, Marvell

Today, operating systems (OSs) like VMware recommend that OS data be kept completely separated from user data using non-network RAID storage. This is a best practice for any virtualized operating system including VMware, Microsoft Azure Stack HCI (Storage Spaces Direct) and Linux. Thanks to innovative flash memory technology from Marvell, a new secure, reliable and easy-to-use OS boot solution is now available for Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) servers.

While there are 32GB micro-SD or USB boot device options available today with VMware requiring as much as 128GB of storage for the OS and Microsoft Storage Spaces Direct needing 200GB — these solutions simply don’t have the storage capacity needed. Using hardware RAID controllers and disk drives in the server bays is another option. However, this adds significant cost and complexity to a server configuration just to meet the OS requirement. The proper solution to address separating the OS from user data is the HPE NS204i-p NVME OS Boot Device.

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Flash Memory Summit Names Marvell a 2020 Best of Show Award Winner

By Lindsey Moore, Marketing Coordinator, Marvell

Marvell wins FMS Award for Most Innovative Technology

Flash Memory Summit, the industry’s largest trade show dedicated to flash memory and solid-state storage technology, presented its 2020 Best of Show Awards yesterday in a virtual ceremony. Marvell, alongside Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE), was named a winner for “Most Innovative Flash Memory Technology” in the controller/system category for the Marvell NVMe RAID accelerator in the HPE OS Boot Device.

Last month, Marvell introduced the industry’s first native NVMe RAID 1 accelerator, a state-of-the-art technology for virtualized, multi-tenant cloud and enterprise data center environments which demand optimized reliability, efficiency, and performance. HPE is the first of Marvell’s partners to support the new accelerator in the HPE NS204i-p NVMe OS Boot Device offered on select HPE ProLiant servers and HPE Apollo systems. The solution lowers data center total cost of ownership (TCO) by offloading RAID 1 processing from costly and precious server CPU resources, maximizing application processing performance.

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