Archive for the ‘Storage’ Category

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A Marvell-ous Hack Indeed – Winning the Hearts of SONiC Users

By Kishore Atreya, Director of Product Management, Marvell

Recently the Linux Foundation hosted its annual ONE Summit for open networking, edge projects and solutions. For the first time, this year’s event included a “mini-summit” for SONiC, an open source networking operating system targeted for data center applications that’s been widely adopted by cloud customers. A variety of industry members gave presentations, including Marvell’s very own Vijay Vyas Mohan, who presented on the topic of Extensible Platform Serdes Libraries. In addition, the SONiC mini-summit included a hackathon to motivate users and developers to innovate new ways to solve customer problems. 

So, what could we hack?

At Marvell, we believe that SONiC has utility not only for the data center, but to enable solutions that span from edge to cloud. Because it’s a data center NOS, SONiC is not optimized for edge use cases. It requires an expensive bill of materials to run, including a powerful CPU, a minimum of 8 to 16GB DDR, and an SSD. In the data center environment, these HW resources contribute less to the BOM cost than do the optics and switch ASIC. However, for edge use cases with 1G to 10G interfaces, the cost of the processor complex, primarily driven by the NOS, can be a much more significant contributor to overall system cost. For edge disaggregation with SONiC to be viable, the hardware cost needs to be comparable to that of a typical OEM-based solution. Today, that’s not possible.

Challenge accepted! Marvell’s team of “Marvellous Hackers,” including Ravindranath CK, Antony Rheneus, Jithender Reddy, Maulik Patel, and Satheesh Kumar Karra, set out to solve SONiC’s footprint problem.

Over the course of the two-day hackathon, the team was able to reduce image size by 20 percent and memory utilization by 5 percent.

cost-effective SONiC solution

The judges were impressed – the “Marvellous Hackers” won the “Most User Wanted” category out of a field of 23 teams and over 80 participants. This recognition confirms that the greater market wants a smaller footprint, more cost-effective SONiC solution. To learn more about our winning idea, watch this overview video.

Stay tuned for the next blog to learn how the team achieved this impressive result!

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The Tasting Notes for 64G Fibre Channel

By Nishant Lodha, Director of Product Marketing – Emerging Technologies, Marvell

While age is just a number and so is new speed for Fibre Channel (FC), the number itself is often irrelevant and it’s the maturity that matters – kind of like a bottle of wine! Today as we make a toast to the data center and pop open (announce) the Marvell® QLogic® 2870 Series 64G Fibre Channel HBAs, take a glass and sip into its maturity to find notes of trust and reliability alongside of operational simplicity, in-depth visibility, and consistent performance.

Big words on the label? I will let you be the sommelier as you work through your glass and my writings.

Marvell QLogic 2870 series 64GFC HBAs
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The Evolution of Cloud Storage and Memory

By Gary Kotzur, CTO, Storage Products Group, Marvell

and Jon Haswell, SVP, Firmware, Marvell

The nature of storage is changing much more rapidly than it ever has historically. This evolution is being driven by expanding amounts of enterprise data and the inexorable need for greater flexibility and scale to meet ever-higher performance demands.

If you look back 10 or 20 years, there used to be a one-size-fits-all approach to storage. Today, however, there is the public cloud, the private cloud, and the hybrid cloud, which is a combination of both. All these clouds have different storage and infrastructure requirements. What’s more, the data center infrastructure of every hyperscaler and cloud provider is architecturally different and is moving towards a more composable architecture. All of this is driving the need for highly customized cloud storage solutions as well as demanding the need for a comparable solution in the memory domain.

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SONiC: It’s Not Just for Switches Anymore

By Amit Sanyal, Senior Director, Product Marketing, Marvell

SONiC (Software for Open Networking in the Cloud) has steadily gained momentum as a cloud-scale network operating system (NOS) by offering a community-driven approach to NOS innovation. In fact, 650 Group predicts that revenue for SONiC hardware, controllers and OSs will grow from around US$2 billion today to around US$4.5 billion by 2025. 

Those using it know that the SONiC open-source framework shortens software development cycles; and SONiC’s Switch Abstraction Interface (SAI) provides ease of porting and a homogeneous edge-to-cloud experience for data center operators. It also speeds time-to-market for OEMs bringing new systems to the market.

The bottom line: more choice is good when it comes to building disaggregated networking hardware optimized for the cloud. Over recent years, SONiC-using cloud customers have benefited from consistent user experience, unified automation, and software portability across switch platforms, at scale.

As the utility of SONiC has become evident, other applications are lining up to benefit from this open-source ecosystem.

A SONiC Buffet: Extending SONiC to Storage

SONiC capabilities in Marvell’s cloud-optimized switch silicon include high availability (HA) features, RDMA over converged ethernet (RoCE), low latency, and advanced telemetry. All these features are required to run robust storage networks.

Here’s one use case: EBOF. The capabilities above form the foundation of Marvell’s Ethernet-Bunch-of-Flash (EBOF) storage architecture. The new EBOF architecture addresses the non-storage bottlenecks that constrain the performance of the traditional Just-a-Bunch-of-Flash (JBOF) architecture it replaces-by disaggregating storage from compute.

EBOF architecture replaces the bottleneck components found in JBOF – CPUs, DRAM and SmartNICs – with an Ethernet switch, and it’s here that SONiC is added to the plate. Marvell has, for the first time, applied SONiC to storage, specifically for services enablement, including the NVMeoFTM (NVM Express over Fabrics) discovery controller, and out-of-band management for EBOF, using Redfish® management. This implementation is in production today on the Ingrasys ES2000 EBOF storage solution. (For more on this topic, check out this, this, and this.)

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Marvell SSD Controller Named Winner at FMS 2022 Best of Show Awards

By Kristin Hehir, Senior Manager, PR and Marketing, Marvell

FMS best of show award

Flash Memory Summit (FMS), the industry’s largest conference featuring data storage and memory technology solutions, presented its 2022 Best of Show Awards at a ceremony held in conjunction with this week’s event. Marvell was named a winner alongside Exascend for the collaboration of Marvell’s edge and client SSD controller with Exascend’s high-performance memory card.

Honored as the “Most Innovative Flash Memory Consumer Application,” the Exascend Nitro CFexpress card powered by Marvell’s PCIe® Gen 4, 4-NAND channel 88SS1321 SSD controller enables digital storage of ultraHD video and photos in extreme temperature environments where ruggedness, endurance and reliability are critical. The Nitro CFexpress card is unique in controller, hardware and firmware architecture in that it combines Marvell’s 12nm process node, low-power, compact form factor SSD controller with Exascend’s innovative hardware design and Adaptive Thermal Control™ technology.

Exascend Nitro CFexpress card powered by Marvell’s PCIe® Gen 4, 4-NAND channel 88SS1321 SSD controller

The Nitro card is the highest capacity VPG 400 CFexpress card on the market, with up to 1 TB of storage, and is certified VPG400 by the CompactFlash® Association using its stringent Video Performance Guarantee Profile 4 (VPG400) qualification. Marvell’s 88SS1321 controller helps drive the Nitro card’s 1,850 MB/s of sustained read and 1,700 MB/sustained write for ultimate performance.

“Consumer applications, such as high-definition photography and video capture using professional photography and cinema cameras, require the highest performance from their storage solution. They also require the reliability to address the dynamics of extreme environmental conditions, both indoors and outdoors,” said Jay Kramer, Chairman of the Awards Program and President of Network Storage Advisors Inc. “We are proud to recognize the collaboration of Marvell’s SSD controllers with Exascend’s memory cards, delivering 1,850 MB/s of sustained read and 1,700 MB/s sustained write for ultimate performance addressing the most extreme consumer workloads. Additionally, Exascend’s Adaptive Thermal Control™ technology provides an IP67 certified environmental hardening that is dustproof, water resistant and tackles the issue of overheating and thermal throttling.”

More information on the 2022 Flash Memory Summit Best of Show Award Winners can be found here.