Intel® VMD enables hot swap replacement of NVMe* SSDs from the PCIe* bus without shutting down the system while standardized LED management helps provide quick identification of SSD status. This commonality brings enterprise reliability, availability, and serviceability (RAS) features to NVMe* SSDs, enabling you to deploy next-generation storage with confidence.
High performance next generation storage is built from NVMe* SSDs. One of the reasons these SSDs are so much more responsive is because they are much closer to the Intel® processor than ever before – right on the PCIe* bus. Servicing these drives means pulling them directly from the nucleus of the system, and with Intel® VMD this can now be done online without a service outage.
Intel® VMD is technology on to root ports of Intel® Xeon® Scalable processors, which redirects NVMe* SSD insertion and removal PCIe bus events to storage aware drivers. These events previously had to be handled, with varying degrees of success, by a combination of system BIOS and Operating System. Intel VMD ensures a smooth add and removal of NVMe* drives from the PCIe* bus, ensuring uptime and serviceability.
Having the ability to hot plug an NVMe SSD isn’t enough. You have to be able to determine which drive to service in a sea of thousands of drives in just a single data center aisle. Intel® VMD also supports the activation of the status LED on the NVMe SSDs. This is critical to knowing which drive needs serviced. This drive light specification (SFF-8489) has existed for years supporting SAS and SATA devices through a Host Bus Adaptor (HBA). Intel® VMD brings this functionality to NVMe SSDs.
Intel® VMD is a robust solution to NVMe SSD hot plug, but its unique value is that Intel is sharing this technology across the ecosystem. Intel® VMD has been made available to the ecosystem which includes; system OEMs/ODMs, BIOS writers, PCIe* switch vendors, SSD vendors, and OS and ISV vendors.