NVMe - The standard for high-performance storage solutions

Various applications place high demands on modern servers and storage systems for the rapid processing of large amounts of data. Systems that support NVMe (Non-Volatile Memory Express) technology as a transfer standard offer advantages over the older SATA (Serial Advanced Technology Attachment) and SAS (Serial Attached SCSI) standards. The NVMe protocol is optimised for fast SSD drives (Solid State Drive) and uses the system's PCIe (PCI-Express) interface to unlock the potential of non-volatile flash memory with exceptionally high transfer speeds and low latency. The maximum achievable data rate depends on the PCI-Express generation supported by the system's motherboard. With PCIe Gen3, up to 16 GB/s can be transferred under ideal conditions using the full bandwidth, while the newer PCIe Gen4 standard allows up to 32 GB/s under optimal conditions. Because a server's available PCI Express lanes are limited by the processors used and are also shared with other components such as graphic cards, NVMe SSDs are typically connected to only four lanes. This means that, in practice, the transfer rate is lower but still significantly higher than SATA and SAS.

This benefits complex database applications and virtualised environments by allowing large amounts of data to be processed much faster, improving load times and virtual machine (VM) performance. In other areas, NVMe systems often deliver also optimal results by significantly accelerating scientific operations, simulations and complex data analysis:

  • High-Performance Computing (HPC)
  • Machine Learning (ML)
  • Artificial Intelligence (AI)

NVMe controllers enable optimised storage performance for your servers

The NVMe controller is a key component in its role as an intermediary between the server and the connected NVMe storage devices to create high performance systems with the necessary features:

  • Fast reads and writes
  • Efficient storage management
  • High scalability of data storage and parallel data processing
  • Optimisation of SSD drive endurance

There are a number of technical aspects to consider when selecting a suitable NVMe controller for different server models from well-known brands such as HPE, Dell, Lenovo and Fujitsu.

  • The controller can be installed as a PCIe expansion card or as a manufacturer specific module such as AROC (Adaptive RAID On Chip) for proprietary slots on the motherboard.
  • The system also requires an NVMe compliant hard disk backplane board to manage the connected disks.
  • NVMe SSD drives are differentiated by the U.2 (Gen3) and U.3 (Gen4) connectors, depending on the PCI Express generation supported.

The backward compatibility of the generations offers some flexibility in configuring data storage, but for optimal performance under high demands, the newer and faster interface standard should always be preferred.

Tri-mode NVMe controllers offer flexibility through compatibility

When storage infrastructures need to be migrated to the NVMe standard in a stepwise and cost-effective manner, tri-mode controllers often offer the ideal solution. The special feature of these models is that, in addition to the NVMe protocol, they also support the older SATA and SAS transfer protocols. Such systems are particularly versatile because drives of different standards can be used and managed together in one platform. This eliminates the need to replace older hard disks and storage devices, saving costs and allowing storage configurations to be adapted to different workloads. This provides the storage capacity required for applications with different types of devices in an efficient and cost-optimised way.

In addition, high-performance NVMe storage environments can be expanded with a range of adapters. Suitable host bus adapters (HBAs) allow external storage subsystems to be connected to the server (host) to provide additional drives to increase storage capacity. Extenders, on the other hand, allow additional storage devices to be installed through additional internal connections. With the right components and accessories, individual and customised storage solutions can be created, which, due to the high transfer speeds of the NVMe standard, can provide the required performance for almost all applications.

Refurbished NVMe controllers for a cost-effective upgrade of your storage systems - ServerShop24

Upgrading your IT systems to a more capable storage standard is often unavoidable with increasing demands, but usually requires high investments and puts a strain on your IT budget. However, with used and carefully tested NVMe controllers, as well as suitable SSD hard drives and accessories, you have a sustainable and often ideal alternative to new hardware. In our online shop you will find a wide range of high-quality NVMe components with an excellent price-performance ratio, which you can receive from our warehouse with short delivery times and use to optimise your storage infrastructure.
Since 2010, we are your reliable partner for professionally refurbished used servers, storage systems, workstations and network equipment. In addition to an extensive stock of pre-configured and ready-to-ship server solutions from renowned manufacturers, we also offer customised configurations as well as the corresponding spare parts and components. Our experienced and friendly support team is available to answer any questions you may have about products and your order. Contact us by phone, email, live chat or via our ticket system - we will take care of your request!