How can NVMe over TCP improve edge storage?

Understanding why NVMe over TCP improves edge storage means understanding where the industry is at today. A recent International Data Corporation (IDC) Data Age 2025 report predicts that by 2025 6 billion consumers interact with data every day, or 75% of the world’s population. This will skyrocket demands for storage at the edge. The best way to handle this massive data overload is with solutions that separate storage – which is growing exponentially – from compute, which is not growing as fast. The fastest and most efficient way to make that possible leverages NVMe/TCP.

What are the benefits of using NVMe over TCP for edge storage?

With this year’s standardization of NVMe/TCP, new production-grade NVMe/TCP storage solutions are providing the highest performance without any constraints or requirements to the client side infrastructure. NVMe/TCP solutions are especially important for edge deployments, where adding network constraints can be impossible. Thanks to the protocol, new storage solutions are helping organizations disaggregate storage over any IP network, cluster several proximate edge locations into a high-availability (HA) storage pools, and have stateless edge instances seamlessly utilizing storage at the aggregation layer.

Are there any drawbacks?

With any new technology, adoption will take time. Organizations need to change their mindsets and strategies in order to move towards next generation infrastructure and away from older slower protocols that no longer meet the needs of their applications and infrastructure, such as RDMA and iSCSI.

What are some of the available alternatives?

There are a variety of NVMe over fabrics solutions out there today but the only one that allows for the separation of storage and compute is NVMe/TCP without requiring any changes to the client.

What’s the best way to get started with NVMe over TCP for edge storage?

It’s actually fairly easy to get started with NVMe/TCP for edge storage because solutions like LightOS from Lightbits Labs use off-the-shelf, standard servers and allow organizations to choose the servers that best fit the physical edge location, including non-standard form factors. By eliminating the stranded capacity problem present in DAS deployments to reduce the overall TCO, the disaggregation of storage from compute enables stateless application servers and allows efficient, quick, and independent scale of compute and storage according to application needs.

When building edge infrastructure for edge cloud computing to process all the data from the billions of IoT devices, storage is an essential building block. Choosing the best storage solution for edge cloud requires meeting edge-specific requirements. As organizations look to move more applications to the edge, storage must keep up delivering low latency, low TCO, higher density and smaller form factors. NVMe/TCP storage solutions are designed for edge cloud infrastructure and optimally serve the needs of the edge and enable organizations to fully benefit from the potential of the edge infrastructure.

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