What Is NVMe?

Enterprise-grade SSDs are fast. In fact, they’re so fast that SATA becomes a bottleneck: it can’t move data as fast as solid state drives can read and write it.

The Non-Volatile Memory Host Controller Interface Specification (NVMHCIS) — or NVM Express — is a new storage interface protocol based on PCI Express, which connects to a server’s PCIe bus. Unlike SATA, PCIe has a direct line to the CPU. NVMe was designed from scratch to take advantage of the performance, low-latency, and parallelism of solid state drives.

The result is a massive I/O performance boost. SATA provides maximum bandwidths of around 750Mb/s. A single PCIe lane can move 965Mb/s, and NVMe uses 8 PCIe lanes in parallel, delivering bandwidths of up to 2.8 GB/s.

It’s not just bandwidth that gets a boost: read/write performance is much enhanced, with read latencies as low as 20 µs. That’s 20 microseconds. SSD latencies are usually measured in milliseconds with SATA, so there is an orders of magnitude latency improvement when moving to NVMe.

NVMe Makes Everything Faster

Any I/O-bound application benefits from the performance improvements of NVMe.The technology is likely to be of particular interest to dedicated game server hosting clients, who will be able to move data from SSD drives to GPUs and CPUs much more quickly than has ever been possible before, enhancing game performance and maximizing the utilization of expensive processor and graphics hardware.

NVMe is often used to host a caching layer for large databases, and can offer speed increases for databases of any size. The same is true for complex web sites and eCommerce stores that require a lot of disk access. And NVMe is great for hosting virtual machines: cloud platforms often suffer from performance issues caused by slow disk I/O.

NVMe At ServerMania

NVMe is available for several of our dedicated server lines with storage capacities ranging from 240 GB to 11 TB.

NVMe storage is perfectly matched with our brand-new Intel Xeon W dedicated server range, which combines the cutting-edge of processor and storage technology for the ultimate fast and reliable dedicated server. You can read more about ServerMania’s Intel Xeon W Dedicated Servers here.

To find out how NVMe can improve the performance of your website, application, or game server, get in touch today.