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

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

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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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