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.

Updated May 2021
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

Form Factors

M.2->E1.S

2.5-inch (U.2)

E3.S,

3.L

M.2->E1.S

2.5-inch (U.2)

E3.S

E3.L

M.2->E1.S

U.2 (7 &15 mm-Z)

U.2

E1.L

E1.S

Power

8.25-11W (M.2)

12-25W (2.5-inch/U.2)

25-40W (E1.S, E1.L)

8.25-11W (M.2)

12-25W (2.5-inch/U.2)

25-40W (E1.S, E1,L)

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 performance  high performance, mixed workload, and best in class performance 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- Drive Writes per Day (DWPD)

1 DWPD (Read-Intensive)

3 DWPD (Mixed Use)

5-10 DWPD (Write-Intensive)

1 DWPD (Read-Intensive)

3 DWPD (Mixed Use)

 

<=1 DWPD <1 DWPD
Capacity 1-8TB (2021) 2-30TB (2021) 1-2TB (2020) > 4TB 2021-22 4-8TB TLC, >8TB QLC
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

Single-port,

RAID

Dual-port (2.5-inch form factor)

X8/16 PCIe AIC

Higher prices (greater than SANs)

Capacities 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