NVMe Hosting – The Best Solution for Your Website

Peter A. Liefer II | Posted: November 27th, 2020 | Updated: March 18th, 2021

When you have a website, you need to choose a host so other computers around the world can access your website. There are four main types of web hosting you could use, shared hosting, VPS (virtual private server), dedicated hosting, and cloud hosting.

Whatever type you use, they are basically all the same thing, in the end, a room full of computers that act as servers somewhere you will probably never see. You may be just accessing one of those computers or many, as in the case of cloud hosting.

Your website performance matters. A low performing website can hurt your website’s overall ranking, drive away visitors, and harm retention and conversion rates. The backend performance, how your site gets to the visitor’s browser depends on your hosting provider.

Your website’s performance depends mostly on your hosting server’s data storage and delivery technology. So, you will want a web host with the most advanced and high performing servers. 

The servers need to have enough memory and processing power to deliver your content quickly, and nowadays, you need a lot of content to compete. An NVMe web host is especially desired to run an eCommerce website with many thousands of products. 

What is NVMe?

The most up to date, high-speed technology for accessing stored data and media is Non-Volatile Memory Express or NVMe. 

NVMe is a super-fast way to access non-volatile memory (NVM) such as flash and Solid-State Drives (SSDs). 

Benefits of NVMe hosting

  • High performance for users of hosting services.
  • Highly energy-efficient greener solution
  • Users of an NVMe hosted website will have a better user experience
  • NVMe hosting can handle Artificial intelligence systems
  • NVMe is a future proof technology

How it works – technical explanation of NVMe

Conventionally, in computer systems, hard disk drives (HDDs) are connected to the processor through an Input-Output (IO) controller. As performance demands for business-critical applications grew, many web hosting companies’ internal HDDs couldn’t keep up.

When flash storage devices or Solid-State Drives (SSDs) arrived on the scene, this enabled computer systems to locate a faster, non-volatile storage medium close to the processor and deliver the performance required for IO-intensive applications. 

However, because of the inefficiencies of legacy storage protocols and SATA (Serial AT Attachment) and/or SAS (Serial Attached SCSI) protocols, the full performance of Solid-State Drives couldn’t be realized.

To keep up with SSD speed, performance, and to be closer to the CPU, or PCIe (peripheral component interconnect express) was the next logical interface for Flash memory. But early PCIe of SSDs lacked industry standards and added features. 

This lack of industry standards is where NVMe comes in. NVMe is built explicitly for non-volatile memory, packed with features, and highly scalable. NVMe allows the communication between the processor and the storage device to occur with minimum delay. It’s a transfer protocol, not an interface, like SATA or PCIe. 

Overcoming bottlenecks 

Although SATA SSDs will still give you much better performance in those situations than an old spinning hard drive did, they’re limited in a couple of ways. First, SATA has an upper transfer limit of about 600 megabytes per second. Flash storage tech used in SSDs has been capable of much faster speeds for quite a while.

But because of the SATA speed limit, even top-end SATA 3 drives won’t advertise or even give you speeds higher than 600 megabytes per second max. Second, SATA drives communicate with the rest of your computer using a standard called the advanced host controller interface or HCI. 

Even though that might sound fancy and high-performance, HCI wasn’t designed with SSDs in mind. It was more of a way to make mechanical hard drives work a bit faster and enable hot-swapping features. 

These things are useful and great. But HCI was optimized for slow read/write heads that can only deal with so much data at a time, not for SSDs capable of accessing tons of their data at once. 

Drive manufacturers responded by rolling out SSDs that use the much faster PCI Express bus, which has a speed limit of nearly 4 gigabytes per second. With an X4 card, it connects more directly to the CPU than SATA, reducing latency. But to reach their potential, they needed a faster way of accessing data than an HCI. 

Enter the new accessibility standard for PCI Express SSDs. NVMe takes advantage of the SSDs’ ability to read or write lots of data at once by parallelizing instructions. Like a multi-core processor splits specific workloads over multiple cores, it gets things done faster.

The most significant difference between NVMe and Advanced Host Controller Interface (HCI) is command queuing, which refers to how many requests for data a drive can handle at one time. HCI can manage one cue at a time with up to 32 pending commands. 

A rational number for a hard drive with a slow-moving head, but very inefficient for a faster SSD. NVMe relieves this bottleneck by providing over 65,000 queues that can handle over 65,000 commands each, meaning NVMe drives can stay super-fast even if you’re throwing tremendous amounts of data at them.

Expanding the network

Many operating systems provide support for NVMe and NVMe-capable SSDs. It’s easy to add NVMe flash devices and take advantage of their high performance and low latency capabilities. 

However, while co-locating the processor and NVMe storage devices within a computer system improves performance, the storage is captive within that computer system. The data can’t be readily shared across multiple computer systems. 

Even though bottlenecks in the storage device (using flash) and the interconnect (using the PCIe bus) have been reduced tremendously, now it is the computer’s processors that have become a bottleneck.

NVMe over Fabrics (NVMeOF) is an architecture that supports a range of storage networking fabrics. These “fabrics” (hardware that connects servers to storage devices) enable scaling out to large numbers of NVMe storage devices and extend the distance within a data center over which devices and subsystems can be accessed. 

Today, among the fabrics supported are Ethernet, Fiber Channel, and InfiniBand. Scaling beyond a rack, NVMeOF expands NVMe storage’s reach from something that plugs directly into one of the server’s PCIe slots to storage devices located anywhere in the data center. 

NVMeOF web host can use a network as the backbone and scale its computer and storage resources across racks, buildings, or even metro locations. Because NVMeOF enables flexible deployment of compute and storage resources, NVMeOF storage enables many applications and application servers to share data and increase efficiencies in the data center.

NVMe architecture supports the scaling out to large numbers of NVMe devices — theoretically in the hundreds or even thousands. Currently, NVMe is being used by the best web host in the most demanding, performance-intensive applications that require real-time response.

PrimeView web hosting and maintenance services

PrimeView’s NVMe hosting services are fast and secure. Your website performance matters. With NVMe your website will have the best hosting technology available. Call us at 480-800-4658 for a free proposal on our Arizona hosting and maintenance services.