Product Announcements

Announcing NVMe/TCP Support with VMware vSphere 7 Update 3

VMware is pleased to announce support of the NVMe/TCP storage protocol with the release of VMware vSphere 7 Update 3! NVMe/TCP allows vSphere customers a fast, simple and cost-effective way to get the most out of their existing storage investments. With this release, VMware continues to enable support for the latest technology innovations in hardware, with our industry-leading cloud compute platform, VMware vSphere®.

NVMe/TCP Accelerates Application Performance

More businesses than ever rely on IT for competitive advantage. From the production of goods and services to customer support, software can help companies provide differentiation. As businesses rely more on modern applications – from AI/ML to big data and advanced analytics – demands on IT have grown. In turn, IT has looked to the latest innovations to ensure the applications have the resources they need, as every microsecond counts.

These modern applications often require high performance storage. In response, IT has procured solid state drives (SSDs) to achieve higher IOPs and lower latency. However, storage interfaces, networking and the protocols running on the storage network can be a barrier to storage devices achieving their potential, particularly in disaggregated architectures.

NVMe, or nonvolatile memory express, is a storage access protocol and transport protocol for flash and next-generation solid-state drives (SSDs) that delivers high throughput and fast response times for a variety of traditional and modern workloads. While all-NVMe server-based storage has been available for years, the use of non-NVMe protocols for storage networking can add significant latency. To address this performance bottleneck, NVMe over Fabrics, or NVMe-oF, extends NVMe’s performance and latency benefits across network fabrics, including Ethernet.

We’ve heard from our customers that they would like to run NVMe/TCP because:

  • TCP/IP is ubiquitous
  • Well understood – TCP is probably the most common transport
  • High performance – TCP delivers excellent performance scalability
  • Well suited for large scale deployments and longer distances
  • Actively developed – maintenance and enhancements are developed by major players
  • Inherently supports in-transit encryption

VMware Partners First with Dell Technologies on Bringing NVMe/TCP to VMware vSphere

VMware is pleased to announce that we have partnered with Dell to bring the first vSphere-supported NVMe/TCP storage solution to market. Dell’s NVMe/TCP storage solutions provide:

  • High performance storage connectivity – comparable to Fibre Channel at a fraction of the cost
  • Less complexity than existing solutions
  • Leverage existing investments in Ethernet
  • Automation of the SAN configuration process for accelerated operations and lower OPEX with SmartFabric Storage Software

As organizations continue to shift toward a Software-Defined-Data-Center (SDDC) and leverage multi-cloud infrastructure, new and improved technologies will be needed to seamlessly enable this transition. Working closely with VMware on an end-to-end NVMe/TCP ecosystem including the vSphere 7 Update 3 release, Dell Technologies highly successful PowerStore storage platform and their newest software product “SmartFabric Storage Software” (SFSS) will help customers implement these next generation IT infrastructures.

With SFSS and NVMe/TCP, Dell Technologies and VMware are bringing the concept of Software Defined Networking to storage connectivity and will be able to support connectivity automation all the way out to the edge. Because of its ability to support self-discovery across multiple hybrid models while enabling either the existing Fibre Channel or converged management models, NVMe/TCP and SFSS represent the future of Storage Networking

NVMe/TCP vSphere Support Extends to Lightbits Labs™ Storage with Intel®

As a VMware Technology Alliance Partner and early design partner, Intel and Lightbits collaborated extensively with VMware on development and testing of the new vSphere NVMe/TCP feature. Lightbits’ LightOS fully optimized on Intel’s platform breadth of high-performance technologies for the data center such as Intel Xeon Scalable processors, Intel Optane Persistent memory and Intel Ethernet 800 Series Network Adapters is now a VMware certified Day 0 software-defined storage solution for VMware vSphere 7 Update 3 release. Lightbits’ storage solution, running on Intel technologies, combined with vSphere with inbox support for NVMe/TCP delivers an end-to-end NVMe solution. Organizations with private clouds and hybrid clouds, as well as cloud service providers can now realize the performance, scalability, and cost-efficiency benefits of a combined solution from VMware, Lightbits, and Intel.

VMware Committed to Building a Robust Storage Ecosystem

VMware has a large ecosystem of storage partners that certify their systems for vSphere. We look forward to partnering with other vendors over time to support our customers’ need for flexibility and choice, including NVMe/TCP. VMware actively works with hardware vendors to certify our products, including vSphere, for the latest technologies as soon as they become available. Also, VMware continues to work with our partners to enhance our other storage offerings, such as VMware vSphere Virtual Volumes™.

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