Bootstorm and VM disk access: NVMe vs. SATA

As solid state drives (SSDs) technology matures, the performance it delivers is constrained by old disk controller technologies. The NVMe protocol on PCIe interface allows you to bypass the controller by attaching directly a disk drive to the bus. In this report we present the results of comparing NVMe and SATA drives performance in the context of virtualization. In the experiment we observed how different kind of drives react to a VM bootstorm and to intense simultaneous drive access from all the running VMs.
Results show that NVMe interface offers significant benefits over SATA: bootstorm time is on average 75% slower when using SATA; moreover, when all the VMs perform disk access using diskspd simultaneously NVMe outperforms SATA by a factor greater than 4 offering on average more than 250MB/s bandwidth to each VM.

ITC-TR-03-16

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