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Beyond Traditional Storage: Advantages of PCIe NVMe AIC Drives for Modern Workloads

At first glance, the compact single-AIC form-factor and blazing performance may seem the most obvious advantages. However, customers should not overlook the inherit strengths of a PCIe based storage solution.

Some key factors to consider are outlined below; Direct to CPU Architecture, superior queue depth & parallelism, low-latency and ultra-compact form factor.

Direct to CPU Hardware Architecture

Direct to CPU Hardware Architecture: Unlike SAS/SATA based storage, NVMe drives are designed to interface directly with the system’s CPU and GPU via the PCIe host bus, essentially bypassing the traditional storage architecture that may be impeded by layers of controller and adapters.


While SAS/SATA storage rely on dedicated I/O processors to enhance performance, NVMe media was designed to interface directly with the host system's

powerful AMD or Intel based CPU via PCIe connectivity. Though effective, I/O processors associated with SAS/SATA solutions are only capable of delivering a small fraction of the processing power provided by a host CPU, and are simply unable to keep pace with modern NVMe media.


HighPoint’s PCIe expansion Storage drives build on the inherit strength of NVMe media and deliver uncompromised transfer performance. The following article discusses several of the key advantages provided by PCIe-based storage solutions.


Pushing Storage Boundaries


RocketAIC series drives leverage today’s fastest and most reliable NVMe media to deliver unbeatable storage density and performance. Each drive directly hosts up to 8 NVMe SSDs, and are available with up to 60.44TB of storage capacity, and speeds up to 28GB/s; all from a single, compact AIC device!


HighPoint RocketAIC NVMe expansion drives incorporate Broadcom’s industry-leading PCIe switch chipsets to reduce latency, optimize signal integrity, and maximize transfer throughput. This unique approach ensures all x16 lanes of available upstream PCIe bandwidth is never wasted; x4 lanes of bandwidth is available to each hosted NVMe SSD, at all times.

Pushing Storage Boundaries

Superior Queue Depth / Parallelism; Executes a Massive Number of Concurrent Tasks: NVMe storage media can execute a huge number of concurrent tasks. Queue depth, the number of I/O requests that storage device can handle at one time, of NVMe media is measured in the tens of thousands, compared to tens or hundreds for a SAS/SATA device. The difference is staggering: 64K commands with a depth of 64K vs. 32 commands and a depth of 256.

Interface

Max. Transfer Rate

# of Queues

Queue Depth

NVMe

PCIe Gen4 (x16): 32GB/s

 

PCIe Gen3 (x16): 16GB/s

65,536

65,536

SAS

12Gb/s

1

256

SATA

6Gb/s

1

32

NVMe media, even a single SSD in place of the system disk, enables workstations to efficiently process an immense number of tasks simultaneously, without overly stressing system resources. Specialized NVMe storage, such as a HighPoint RocketAIC drive, can be added to boost the performance and response time of critical applications, and further streamlines the capability of the workstation.


More than just raw power: NVMe media’s direct to CPU architecture significantly lowers latency, which enables the entire platform to process I/O request in a much more efficient manner. Lowering latency improves response times, enables applications to load faster, and streamlines file transfer.

Unsurprisingly, low-latency storage solutions are a boon for performance-hungry applications such as 3D design and rendering, media post-production, AI/ML learning, design & engineering, and scientific simulations.


HighPoint’s proven RAID and Storage technology enable our SSD series NVMe RAID AICs and RocketAIC drives further optimize performance by increasing queue depth for concurrent I/O requests, which is ideal for data-intensive applications with massive workloads.


Ultra-Compact Form-Factor: NVMe storage is amazingly compact. HighPoint NVMe AIC solutions bring this to an entirely new level. A single HighPoint SSD series NVMe AIC or RocketAIC drive can directly host over 60TB of storage. That’s 60+TB from a single PCIe card! E1.S and M.2 media is hosted directly by the SSD7749x series AIC – you don’t need to concern yourself with drive bays, storage racks and the related power/data cabling accessories. The cards can be easily installed into ordinary desktop workstations, and require no more resources than a modern GPU.


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Applications that require high performance, such scientific simulations, video post-production, AI/ML learning, design and engineering, and 3D modeling and rendering, benefit greatly from low-latency storage systems. happy wheels

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Lowering latency improves response times, enables applications to load faster, and streamlines file transfer. backrooms game

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