NVMe SSD Classification

NVM Express® technology is driving the next generation of SSDs for data centers.  NVMe® SSDs are not limited by legacy form factors or protocols, and they can better address the needs of servers and storage in enterprise and hyperscale data centers.  Each of these use cases has distinct requirements and application environments, and they are outlined in the table below.  There will always be exceptions to these guidelines, but these are generally fit profiles for NVMe SSD classification.

NVMe SSD Classification Enterprise Server Enterprise Storage Data Center / Hyperscale Server Data Center / Hyperscale Storage
Applications /
Use Cases
Traditional DAS/RAID
CRM/ERM/collaborative/ HCI
AFA
Cache
Boot
Cloud data storage
Server data storage
durable storage, RAID, EC, JBOD/JBOF
Power 12-25W 12-25W 8.25-11W (M.2), 12-25W (E1.S), 12-25W (U.2) 12-25W (E1.S), 25W (E1.L)
Performance high performance, read intensive and mixed workload class drives, and best in class sets targets high performance, mixed workload, and best in class sets targets IOPS/TB scaling, mixed workloads read bandwidth, seq write (ZNS)
Latency Care about ave latency.
Better than SAS/SATA
Mixed workload QoS Read QoS, tail latencies read priority
Endurance 1 (mainstream/RI),3 (MU) 1 (mainstream/RI),3 (MU) <=1 DWPD <1 DWPD
Capacity 1-8TB (2020) 2-16TB (2020) 1-2TB (2020) > 4TB 2021-22 4-8TB TLC, >8TB QLC
Form Factors 2.5” (U.2), E3.S, E3.L 2.5” (U.2), E3.S, E3.L M.2->E1.S
U.2 (7 &15 mm-Z)
U.2, E1.L, E1.S
Management NVMe-MI (OOB), Swordfish (NVMe-oF) NVMe-MI (OOB), Swordfish (NVMe-oF) NVMe CLI (IB via SW), NVMe-MI basic for temp only (BMC) NVMe CLI (IB via SW)
Features Security, manageability Dual-port
X8/16 PCIe AIC
Higher price (>SAS)
Up to 30TB
Single-port
QoS
Sets / IOD
Latency, TRIM performance
Multi-tenancy
ZNS, SDS
SSD Vendor Examples Enterprise Server Enterprise Storage Data Center / Hyperscale Server Data Center / Hyperscale Storage
KIOXIA CM6, CD6 CM6  XD5 XD5
Intel P4510 (3.0), P5500 (4.0) D4510 (3.0) P4510 (3.0) P4326 (QLC, 3.0)
Samsung PM1733/5, SZ1735 PM1733/5, SZ1735  PM9A3 PM9A3