One of the bigger surprises at Computex 2016 for us was the AIC HA202-PH. The AIC HA202-PH is an active-active 2U NVMe system. That means that there are two dual Xeon E5-2600 V4 systems in a 2U. Several vendors have 2 systems in 2U, however, AIC’s solution is unique. It incorporates dual-port NVMe drives to make the high bandwidth, low latency drives available to both nodes. We gave an overview of the new dual-port NVMe drives, and their importance with the introduction of the Intel DC D3700 and D3600 drives. These solutions allow vendors to build high-speed storage systems that can tolerate a controller failure.
As one can see, the AIC HA202-PH has 24 front mounted hot-swap bays. In the rear there are two dual socket LGA2011-3 servers that support E5-2600 V3/ V4 processors.
On an interesting note, since dual port 2.5″ drives are PCIe x2 to each node, a 24x NVMe dual port system only uses 48 of the 80 PCIe 3.0 lanes available in a dual Intel Xeon E5-2600 V3/V4 system. As a result the AIC HA202-PH can also provide 2x PCIe x16 links in each server node.
This is one of the first dual-port NVMe systems we have seen. The dual port NVMe architecture offers a compelling upgrade to legacy dual port SAS architectures.