Lenovo hops aboard Excelero express: First stop, server-based NVMe-over-Fabrics

Yes, this will complement SAN flinger's DM array line nicely


Despite having its own line of SAN arrays, Lenovo is to globally resell Excelero's NVMesh software to add fast access NVMe-over-Fabrics virtual SAN software to its storage lineup.

NVMesh uses agent client software in servers to access block storage across an NVMe-oF link, using Remote Direct Drive Access (RDDA) protocol and bypassing the remote system's CPU. The NVMe-oF can work using RoCE over lossless Ethernet, InfiniBand, Fibre Channel or ordinary (iSCI-class) Ethernet.

The software works with either an external set of servers - plus their local, direct-attached SSDs acting as a target array - or in a hyperconverged setup. Data access latency is said to be in the low double-digit microseconds area instead of the conventional triple digits for SAN access using iSCSI or Fibre Channel.

All the mainstream storage vendors are adopting NVMe-oF and Lenovo refuses to be left behind.

It has a conventional shared external array business with:

  • ThinkSystem DM all-flash and hybrid flash/disk block-and-file arrays running NetApp ONTAP software
  • ThinkSystem DE6000 and DE4000 all-flash and hybrid arrays also OEM'd from NetApp
  • ThinkSystem DS2200, DS4200 and DS6200 SAN small and medium business arrays

These arrays support iSCSI 10/25 Gbit/s Ethernet, 16/32Gbit/s Fibre Channel and 12Gbit/s SAS access but not NVMe-oF – except for the DM line, which Lenovo said offers sub-100μs access latency.

The Excelero deal adds scale-out server-based NVMe-oF storage to Lenovo's storage portfolio. ®

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