Lightbits Labs Revolutionizes Cloud Infrastructure with First Production NVMe/TCP SolutionMarch 13, 2019
Lightbits Labs, the company that championed the NVMe/TCP standard, today launched its solution for bringing hyperscale agility and simplicity to data center storage. Lightbits’ software-defined disaggregation solution helps enterprise private clouds, Software as a Service (SaaS) and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) providers save unprecedented amounts of time and money while enabling higher application performance and public cloud grade hyperscalability. Lightbits Labs was first to recognize the opportunity created by combining newly-available affordable Flash solutions with high-performance standard networks. Its LightOS software and LightField storage acceleration card are the first NVMe/TCP solutions to provide a Global Flash Translation Layer (GFTL) running over high-performance standard networks.
“Data center storage underutilization has reached epidemic and expensive levels,” said Eran Kirzner, Lightbits Labs CEO and Co-Founder. “By unlocking the full value of NVMe, we’ve changed the playing field for private clouds. Our customers – private cloud and SaaS providers – can now capitalize on the best of both worlds: the application performance of using local NVMe SSD with the simplicity and efficiency of hyperscale.”
In the data center, converged infrastructure deployments with direct-attached solid state drives (SSDs) have constrained ratios of storage to compute, leading to underutilized resources. The result is lost capital and operating expenditures, including power consumption, real estate and more. Reducing or eliminating stranded resources represents significant cost savings.
LightOS software and the LightField storage acceleration card provide a high-performance, end-to-end disaggregation solution that can scale without requiring any changes to clients or network infrastructure. The result is that cloud infrastructures can now achieve optimal scale at the lowest total cost of ownership (TCO). With LightOS and LightField, application owners can fully utilize truly composable storage that is indistinguishable from low-latency Direct-Attached Storage (DAS) SSDs. By transitioning from fast, but inefficient, DAS SSDs to disaggregated NVMe storage, users will enjoy a fast cloud infrastructure with dramatically higher storage utilization at scale.
By harnessing multiple NVMe SSDs in one large pool, the LightOS GFTL significantly boosts performance and delivers rich data services while enhancing the endurance of commodity SSDs. LightOS and LightField optimize application performance by supporting millions of IOPS at latencies that are similar to DAS SSDs.
Lightbits Labs enters the market with approximately $50 million in funding, with investments from marquee strategic investors including DellEMC, Cisco and Micron.
Analyst: NVMe over TCP Opens New Opportunities for NVMe Storage
“NVMe over Fabric allows customers to share high performance NVMe-based storage across servers, but the implementations available to date have required custom hardware and/or software on the server-side that can make these configurations complex to scale and manage,” said Eric Burgener, research vice president, Infrastructure Systems, Platforms and Technologies Group at IDC. “A new option, based on the NVMe over Fabric standard and the TCP transport, uses the standard Ethernet adapters and drivers that ship with all industry-standard servers and requires no custom content in attached servers, making it not only much easier but much less expensive to share high performance NVMe storage. Vendors like Lightbits Labs that make these solutions available are opening up the opportunity for NVMe storage to be much more widely shared in enterprise environments, and IDC expects NVMe over Fabric deployments to begin to ramp based on the availability of TCP transport options.”
Lightbits LightOS is a software-defined storage solution that provides the following attributes:
- Easily integrates into existing data center infrastructure, without touching the network or clients
- High performance and low latency storage with linear scalability
- Shared pool of NVMe storage accessible via standard networking infrastructure
- Runs on off-the-shelf servers (Intel, AMD, or ARM based) with standard NVMe SSDs
- Designed for operational efficiency and ease of use
- Particularly suitable for container-based environments
- Provides advanced data services such as line-rate erasure-coding to protect against SSD failures, data reduction through compression, thin provisioning, multiple quality of service levels, and more.
- Enhances endurance of the SSDs while delivering more consistent latencies than direct-attached SSDs.
LightField is a PCIe storage acceleration card that speeds LightOS’s NVMe/TCP target and GFTL. It is available for those customers who desire the highest performance at the lowest TCO.
LightField’s features include the following:
- Seamless integration with the LightOS software stack
- 200Gb/s line rate compression/decompression and erasure-coding
- Hardware DMA acceleration engines for peer-to-peer data shuffling between SSDs, offloading SSD garbage collection management and data movement from the storage server’s CPU cores
- Hardware scatter/gather engines for zero-copy network-to-storage data transfers that accelerate NVMe/TCP
- Data parity engine for offloading data protection services
- Future proofing through re-programmable and extendable user-defined in-storage processing functions
LightOS and LightField have been successfully tested in industry-leading cloud data centers. LightOS can be purchased separately as a software-only solution or purchased as a bundle with the LightField hardware accelerator.