Perhaps one of the most exciting advancements coming to storage is the adoption of NVMe over Fabrics or NVMeoF. This technology will change how organizations view storage as technology providers figure out how to extend NVMe over the network making it more than in-node storage. At Flash Memory Summit 2019, the Marvell 88SS5000 NVMeoF controller was paired with Toshiba BiCS NAND to deliver a dual-port 25GbE NVMeoF solution.
Marvell 88SS5000 NVMeoF Controller in Toshiba SSD
The goal of the Marvell 88SS5000 is to create a solution that combines both network IP with SSD NAND controller IP. From what we have been told, the actual NVMeoF functions are relatively lightweight. As a result, Marvell who has IP in both domains is putting them together to make a controller that can effectively take raw NAND and put it onto an Ethernet fabric.
To demonstrate this, Marvell teamed with Toshiba to bring a working product to the show floor. They are showing 25GbE speeds and over 650K IOPs from the device.
Here is the actual Toshiba device using the company’s BiCS flash. As you can see, the SSD itself looks like a normal 2.5″ drive, but it is placed in a carrier to provide power as well as the dual-port 25GbE physical SFP28 cages. We expect these drives will be placed in higher-density arrays, possibly switched, so direct cabling like this will be uncommon.
As an example, We saw the Aupera array that we covered at last year’s Flash Memory Summit in Marvell 25GbE NVMeoF Adapter Prefaces a Super Cool Future.
The impact of this is tangible. Using the Marvell 88SS5000, one can consolidate a traditional server’s CPUs, memory, SSD controller, and networking into a single device. It also allows companies to scale using Ethernet fabrics instead of PCIe fabrics and in a host-independent manner. A major advantage of the recent AMD EPYC 7002 series is the ability to get 128x PCIe Gen4 lanes per host to build bigger systems, but these drives from Marvell and Toshiba mitigate the need for that many PCIe lanes.
Marvell 88SS5000 Key Specs
Here are some of the key specs for the Marvell 88SS5000 NVMeoF controller:
|Quad Cortex-R5 CPUs
Dynamic Branch Prediction
|Dual-port 25Gb RoCE v2 Interface
|Up to 8GB DDR3, DDR4, LPDDR3, LPDDR4 at speeds up to 2400MT/s with ECC support
|8 Channels @ 800MT/s
ONFI 2.2/2.3/3.0/4.0, JEDEC mode and Toggle 1.0/2.0
Marvell NANDEdge™ Gen4 LDPC engine
|NVMe Standard Revision 1.3 compliance
256 outstanding I/O commands
132 total queue pairs
64 Virtual Functions
MSI and MSI-X interrupt mechanisms
T-10 DIF and end-to-end protection
|OTP support for secure drive configuration
AES encryption hardware
Media re-encryption hardware
|Available in standard 17mm x 17mm (625 ball) BGA package
Update: In perhaps the most poorly written press release of 2019, Marvell noted the 88SS5000, however, we were told that Toshiba actually showed off a drive with their 88SN2400 controller. Our apologies, but when a vendor puts one model in a press release along with a demo story and does not mention the demo is using a different controller, it is very hard to know what is underneath.