Dell adds NVMe-over-Fabric to its PowerStore array product line

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The company will add NVMe/TCP via a SmartFabric Storage Software (SFSS) feature.

This week Dell announced its support for a new connectivity standard that will be implemented across its storage, networking and compute platforms.

The company claims that the new NVMe/TCP protocol will deliver faster software-defined connectivity to meet the needs of data on demand at the network edge. Dell said its supporting NVMe/TCP through its new NVMe IP SAN portfolio that’s based on Non-Volatile Memory Express over Fabrics technology.

SFSS automates storage connectivity for NVMe IP SAN. It will allow host and storage interfaces to register with a Centralized Discovery Controller that can notify hosts of new storage resources.

This is an extension of the NVMe network protocol to Ethernet and Fibre Channel. It enables faster and more efficient connectivity between storage and servers. A key part of the announcement is that Dell is partnering with VMware Inc. to enable servers and storage to discover each other more efficiently.

Dell says it is the first supplier to support VMware’s Update 3 to vSphere 7, and there will be an NVMe IP SAN portfolio across Dell Technologies’ storage, networking and compute products.

This is how it will work

The changes to the SAN portfolio include PowerStore NVMe/TCP protocol and SFSS integration. This means Dell EMC’s PowerStore storage array can use the NVMe/TCP protocol and will support both the Direct Discovery and Centralized Discovery management models.

In addition, Dell partnered with VMware to add support for the NVMe/TCP protocol and add the ability for each ESX server interface to explicitly register discovery information with SFSS via the push registration technique.

Now Dell EMC PowerSwitch and SmartFabric Services (SFS) can be used to automate the configuration of the switches that make up customers’ NVMe IP SAN.

Dell also announced that they plan to support for NVMe/TCP in both its Dell EMC PowerMax all-flash enterprise data storage and Dell EMC PowerFlex software-defined storage product lines.

That last point emphasises Dell’s commitment to NVMe/TCP. With the addition to the PowerFlex line, ESXi 7.0u3 using NVMe/TCP can now be used on Dell EMC PowerEdge servers.