#84 – Discussing New NVMe Form Factors with Jonathan Hinkle

#84 – Discussing New NVMe Form Factors with Jonathan Hinkle

Chris EvansGuest Speakers, Storage Unpacked Podcast

This week, Chris and Martin talk to Jonathan Hinkle, Principal Researcher – System Architecture and Master Inventor at Lenovo.  As solid-state storage and NVMe become more prevalent, the legacy 2.5″ HDD format is increasingly impractical for getting the best density, power and cooling in servers.  Jonathan explains how his work led to the founding of the Enterprise and Data Centre Small Form Factor working group and new device formats being introduced into the industry.

EDSFF is responsible for managing device standards like Intel Ruler (see a previous blog episode covering this technology).  How did the standards evolve, which vendors have contributed and how can we expect vendors to integrate these standards into their products?

More information on EDSFF can be found at https://edsffspec.org/

Elapsed Time: 00:33:02


  • 0:00:00 – Intros
  • 00:02:00 – EDSFF – Enterprise and Data Centre Small Form Factor Group
  • 00:02:30 – The legacy hard drive format
  • 00:04:50 – Remember Fusion-io?  The first AIC card
  • 00:06:10 – The HDD form factor was limiting for solid-state devices
  • 00:06:50 – The HDD “box” was bad for airflow
  • 00:08:30 – Power can be done differently with SSDs
  • 00:10:00 – New form factors enable much better server configurations
  • 00:10:50 – Where did the new form factors and EDSFF come from?
  • 00:13:00 – Lenovo, Intel and Samsung align, MSFT, HPE, Facebook & Dell
  • 00:15:00 – Intel brought the Ruler format into the group
  • 00:18:00 – How far can the new standard last? 5 years, 7 years?
  • 00:20:50 – What determined the device dimensions?
  • 00:22:50 – What does that mean for devices in a single server?
  • 00:23:00 – Use cases, HCI, hyper scale, disaggregated solutions
  • 00:27:00 – Disaggregated solutions like E8 Storage and Excelero could use this tech
  • 00:28:30 – Could compute be added to the Ruler format?
  • 00:30:00 – Are AIC and HDD solid-state formats effectively dead?
  • 00:31:00 – Could new formats be used for old uses, like NICs?
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