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UNH-IOL Certifies NVMe 1.1 Devices at Plugfest

The University of New Hampshire InterOperability Laboratory (UNH-IOL), an independent provider of broad-based testing and standards conformance services for the networking industry, today announced that its NVM Express Interoperability Plugfest, conducted February 24-27 in cooperation with the NVM Express Organization, led to the certification of eight products and the continued validation of NVM Express (NVMe) as a robust and interoperable solution for enterprise and data center application performance challenges. This was the second plugfest conducted by the UNH-IOL’s NVMe Testing Consortium, and the first involving the NVMe 1.1 specification. As a result of this plugfest, the UNH-IOL has certified that products from Dell, Huawei, Intel, Mobiveil, PMC Sierra and Samsung Semiconductor are eligible for the UNH-IOL’s NVMe Integrators List 1.1. This list, kept by the UNH-IOL, serves as the industry’s resource on products that have been proven to be interoperable and in conformance with the NVMe 1.1 specification and industry-accepted test practices.

With the goal of enabling the full potential of PCI Express (PCIe) storage, such as solid-state drives (SSDs), an industry group called NVM Express Work Group – which incorporated to become the NVM Express Organization last week – created two versions of a host-controller interface specification: NVMe 1.0 in 2011 and NVMe 1.1 in 2012. In partnership with the NVM Express Organization, the UNH-IOL formed the UNH-IOL NVMe Testing Consortium in 2012 and held the industry’s first plugfest in May 2013, testing around the NVMe 1.0 specification. Five products met the requirements of the NVMe Integrators List 1.0. Following the February 2014 plugfest, the UNH-IOL reports that eight products met the requirements of the NVMe Integrators List 1.1, including SSDs from Huawei, Intel and Samsung Semiconductor; an SSD controller from PMC Sierra; SSD IPs (intellectual property solutions) from Mobiveil; and systems from Dell, which also passed NVMe 1.0 testing. Ten total companies participated in this second plugfest.

“The participating companies in our second plugfest were a good mix of subsystem vendors making drives, silicon vendors, IP companies and enterprise storage companies,” said David Woolf, UNH-IOL NVMe Testing Consortium lead. “Our goal was to help improve NVMe technology and ensure that an interoperable ecosystem continues to evolve, which I believe we accomplished.” The NVMe Consortium tests for interoperability and conformance, and includes optional hot-plug and boot tests aimed at improving the specification and preparing for future functionality. The key conformance test tools are IOL Interact PC Edition and IOL INTERACT Teledyne-Lecroy Edition, both available from the UNH-IOL.

Access to the UNH-IOL’s vendor-neutral and independent test services and attendance at NVMe plugfests require membership in the UNH-IOL NVMe Testing Consortium. According to one participant in the February event, the four days of plugfest testing “replaced three weeks of testing back home.” To better prepare for external testing, members of the NVMe Testing Consortium can download the IOL INTERACT test tools and the NVMe test suite document. Members additionally are able to list qualifying products on the NVMe Integrators List, upon completion of testing at the laboratory. Members can also place products in the UNH-IOL NVMe interoperability test bed for continuous testing and in this way make a contribution to the further development of NVMe technology.

“The NVMe Plugfests are an important component of ensuring a robust implementation of NVM Express specifications,” said David Akerson, NVM Express Marketing Manager. “Ongoing collaborations with the UNH-IOL demonstrate the maturity of the NVMe specification and the surrounding infrastructure, enabling end-users to move to a new level of performance with faster access to data.”

Interest continues to build for PCIe-enabled SSD technology. NVMe is slated to be the focus of a half-day seminar at the Flash Memory Summit in August, and NVMe Consortium Lead Woolf is anticipating developments in connectors for PCIe based storage. “We are ready for the influx of 2.5” SFF-8639-based NVMe devices,” Woolf said. “I expect we’ll be seeing those soon, and we have proven that our procedures are solid.” Woolf said a third plugfest, which could take place in late 2014 or early 2015, is likely to add boot and hot-plug tests, as they are important for the M.2 and 2.5” form factors, respectively.

 

For more information on the UNH-IOL’s NVMe Consortium and related initiatives, please visit:

UNH-IOL NVMe Consortium:

           

www.iol.unh.edu/nvme

UNH-IOL NVMe Plugfest Webinar:

www.youtube.com/watch?v=NcinMumgPss

UNH-IOL PCIe Consortium:

www.iol.unh.edu/pcie

 

About the UNH-IOL

Founded in 1988, the UNH-IOL provides independent, broad-based interoperability and standards conformance testing for data, telecommunications and storage networking products and technologies. Combining extensive staff experience, standards bodies participation and a 32,000+ square foot facility, the UNH-IOL helps companies efficiently and cost effectively deliver products to the market.

www.iol.unh.edu | Twitter @UNH_IOL | Facebook @UNHIOL I LinkedIn @UNH InterOperability Lab

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