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What are the goals of the NVM Express standard?

Independent storage expert Marc Staimer discusses Nonvolatile Memory Express and what the standard is designed to accomplish.

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What is NVMe and what is it designed to accomplish?

NVM Express (NVMe or Nonvolatile Memory Express) is a relatively new industry specification. It's managed by the NVMe Working Group (80+ vendors) that has developed a standardized scalable interface specification (currently at 1.0) designed specifically to optimize PCIe-based SSD potential and future potential.

Definition

Nonvolatile memory has a continuous source of power and does not need to have its memory content periodically refreshed.

NVMe specs define an optimized register interface, command set and feature set that take full advantage of multicore architectures optimizing their driver stacks so they are better able to handle SSD IOPS. There are built-in specifications for end-to-end data protection, security, encryption, robust error reporting and management.

Most important, it specifies how to install and service the PCIe SSD in a server, simplifying operations for administrators everywhere.

Editor's note: To learn more about emerging SSD standards, check out: NVMe and SCSI Express emerge, defining specs for PCIe-connected SSDs

This was first published in May 2013
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