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NVMe over Fabrics (NVMe-oF) is a perfect alternative to the tradition protocols (iSCSI, FC, iSER, SMB3, and NFS) used to access external enterprise storage.

These protocols are good for SAS drives, but they are proven to be inefficient for NVMe flash devices because they are using legacy commands sets designed for generic drives. The new NVMe-oF use the same NVMe commands designed only for fast flash drivers.

StarWind NVMe-oF Initiator is the first free all-software solution bringing the full NVMe over Fabrics (NVMe-oF) support to Windows. Before, users required special network interface cards (NICs) to let Hyper-V VMs talk effectively to flash. Being installed as a driver, the Initiator enables Hyper-V VMs to get all performance that PCIe flash can potentially provide.

The Initiator works with popular targets like Intel SPDK NVMe-oF Target and Linux NVMe-oF Target, so end users are not locked in to any proprietary software or hardware.

The solution has the following three benefits:

  • All-software: Being just a driver, StarWind NVMe-oF Initiator can be deployed on any software. It requires no hardware. Just make sure that your NICs support RDMA.
  • Free: The solution is free to use in any environment, be it a lab or production cluster.
  • Works on Windows: Designed for Windows and extensively tested on it, the Initiator brings NVMe-oF support to this OS.