NVM Express has released the NVMe 2.0 family of specifications. The restructured NVMe 2.0 specifications would allow for faster and easier NVMe solution development to serve an increasingly diverse NVMe device environment, which now includes hard disk drives (HDDs).

Photo Amber Huffman, President of NVM Express
“We have rearchitected the NVMe 2.0 library of specifications to meet the evolving demands of the future of storage,” said Amber Huffman, President of NVM Express.

With more than 130 members, NVM Express is a non-profit organization focused on enabling broad ecosystem adoption of high performance and low latency non-volatile memory (NVM) storage through a standards-based approach.

The specifications’ extensibility would encourage the creation of independent command sets such as Zoned Namespaces (ZNS) and Key Value (KV). This would also allow support for the various underlying transport protocols used by NVMe and NVMe over Fabrics (NVMe-oFTM) technologies.

NVMe hosting, whether on hard drives or SSDs, has a number of advantages over traditional SATA-based hosting options. So, it’s actually no surprise that it has become a popular choice among businesses and major corporations. NVMe-powered dedicated servers do not only improve performance, they also save energy. NVMe may also provide a better overall user experience.

“We have rearchitected the NVMe 2.0 library of specifications to meet the evolving demands of the future of storage,” said Amber Huffman, President of NVM Express. “NVMe technology has unified client, cloud and enterprise storage around a common command set and architecture. Our Technical Work Group has worked diligently to optimize the features of the NVMe 2.0 specifications for diverse market segments, allowing for emerging use cases and opening new NVMe device types.”

Key NVMe 2.0 features would include:

  • The ZNS specification defines a zoned storage device interface that enables data placement collaboration between the SSD and the host. Data can be aligned to the physical media of the SSD using ZNS, which improves overall device performance and cost while also increasing the media capacity available to the host.
  • The KV Command Set uses a key instead of a block address to access data on an NVMe SSD controller. KV eliminates the overhead of translation tables between keys and logical blocks by allowing programs to communicate directly with the drive using key-value pairs.
  • Namespace Types provide a means for an NVMe SSD controller to implement the various command sets established in the NVMe 2.0 release, as well as a future command set path.
  • NVMe Endurance Group Management allows media to be organized into Endurance Groups, allowing for more granular access to the SSD and better control.
  • With upgrades to functionality, management capabilities, and other changes required for HDD support, Rotational Media support enables support for HDD on NVMe technology.
  • The behavior of firmware upgrades for complicated systems with numerous controllers is defined by Multiple Controller Firmware Update.
  • Showdown control from enclosure management is now possible, allowing for easier management of several drives at once.
  • Simple Copy Command offloads copy operations from many source LBAs to a single destination LBA, copying data from one namespace on the drive.
  • 32/64 bit CRC increases the size of the protective information and data protection to 32 and 64 bits, enabling for additional types of meta data use cases.
  • After a system is provided, Command Group Control prevents undesired changes and safeguards the system from unintentional or malicious alterations.
  • Backwards compatibility with earlier NVMe generations is maintained in the NVMe 2.0 specifications.

View the full NVMe 2.0 library of specifications here.

“NVMe technology is the leading interface for SSDs, with overall worldwide enterprise SSD capacity expected to grow at a 43% compound annual growth rate into 2024,” said Jeff Janukowicz, research vice president, IDC. “NVMe architecture is designed for future SSD development and form factors, as we enter a new era in hyperscale and enterprise computing that drives digital transformation.”

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