NVMe Virtualization for Cloud Virtual Machines
Public clouds are rapidly moving to support Non-Volatile Memory Express (NVMe) based storage to meet the ever-increasing I/O throughput and latency demands of modern workloads. They provide NVMe storage through virtual machines (VMs) where multiple VMs running on a host may share a physical NVMe device. The virtualization method used to share the NVMe capability has important performance, usability and security implications. In this paper, we propose three NVMe storage virtualization methods: PCI device passthrough, virtual block device method, and Storage Performance Development Kit (SPDK) virtual host target method. We evaluate these virtualization methods in terms of performance, scalability, CPU overhead, technology maturity, security, and availability to use one or more of these methods in IBM public cloud.