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Over the years, the storage industry has made strides to deliver greater performance with solutions inching towards real-time accessibility to media. The first shift occurred when non-volatile memory express (NVMe) protocol entered the storage scene. NVMe's flash-centric design and greater queue volume greatly reduces latency and improves overall storage performance compared to its predecessor, Small Computer System Interface (SCSI). 

However, for some performance-critical applications with data-first AI requirements, the speed of NVMe was still not ideal for these apps to be as effective as possible. This prompted a second shift in storage technology focused on Storage Class Memory (SCM).

Reaching maximum speed with SCM

SCM is a new tier of storage that has recently gained traction because of its ability to provide lower latencies and higher throughput than NAND flash, as well as higher endurance. SCM drives offer persistent, memory-like storage, and when added to an end-to-end NVMe-based array, can improve already-impressive storage speeds and response times, as well as decrease the Mean Time Between Failures (MTBF). All of this is accomplished without changing the footprint or impacting the overall efficiency of the data center. 

This is especially important for industries with high-demand, performance-critical applications -- finance, telecommunications and even retail -- in which a microsecond delay can cause a macro impact. For example, the application powering the New York Stock Exchange must have real-time access to the latest stock valuation data in order to provide accurate trading costs. Additionally, in the retail industry, real-time data is needed to deliver application features like in-store product availability. These types of examples are where SCM can make the biggest impact.

Hands-on access to end-to-end NVMe

Our state-of-the-art Advanced Technology Center (ATC) is a multi-vendor environment that provides a fully integrated network, storage and compute platform for proof of concepts (POCs), testing, benchmarking, workshops, demos and upgrades/downgrades. We initially deployed Dell Technologies' PowerMax 2000 within the ATC in the fall of 2018 to provide NVMe storage testing to our customers. 

As the need for even faster storage speed continues to grow, we've upgraded our infrastructure to reflect the latest and fastest storage technology. In the ATC, we can now demonstrate and provide hands-on access to 32Gb fibre channel (FC) infrastructure for end-to-end NVMe through Dell Tech's PowerMax with top-tier SCM drives. 

In addition to the ATC environment, our experts can provide:

  • Proofs of concept (POC): We can test customers' specific applications in the architecture and deliver actual performance data.
  • Consulting services: Our consultants can help customers determine the best storage option for their application through a vendor-agnostic, solutions-based approach.
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