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Falcon 5208

Composable NVMe™ SSD virtual functions to meet highest performance requirements.

  • Total capacity 25 TB, 51 TB, or 102 TB storage
  • 8x Samsung PM1735 PCIe NVMe™ SSDs
  • 2 (x16) or 4 (x8) or 8 (x4) host connections
  • Support PCIe multi-root sharing of NVMe™ SSDs

Falcon 5208 NVMe MR-IOV Solution

NVMe MR-IOV allows an SR-IOV NVMe device to be shared to multiple root port. It significantly improves the utilization and efficiency of SSD with multi-root capability while securing the SSD I/O performance in a virtual environment just like SR-IOV. The Falcon 5208 namespaces of the NVMe SSDs in the Falcon 5208 chassis can be accessed by multiple hosts through virtual functions with PCIe fabric. The Falcon 5208 system consists of 8 Samsung PM1735 NVMe SSDs and provides up to 8 host connections via external PCIe cables. The SSDs are disaggregated from the host machines and are installed in the Falcon 5208 chassis; therefore, the physical functions of these SSDs are withheld by the Falcon 5208 chassis rather than the hosts.

The SR-IOV functionality is enabled within the Falcon 5208 system, each SSD derives 32 virtual functions and theses virtual functions are pre-assigned to the connected hosts. Users can later allocate NVM namespaces to any connected host machine by creating required namespaces and attach them to the virtual functions assigned to the host.

Non-volatile Memory under Falcon 5208 solution architecture

1.Falcon 5208 chassis withholds all NVMe SSD resources and enables NVMe SR-IOV.

The Falcon 5208 involves 8 Samsung PM1735 SSDs. The physical function of these SSDs belongs to the Falcon 5208 system, the system then creates 32 virtual functions under each SSD. These virtual functions can be attached with namespaces created from the actual NVM resource of the SSDs.

2.NVMe virtual functions are pre-assigned to the host machines.

The virtual functions are pre-assigned to the host machines. These virtual functions would reside on the host machines’ root complexes and create IO paths for the hosts to access the NVM namespaces of the SSDs when the namespaces are attached.

Virtual functions derived from different SSDs are assigned to the host, so that the host could later receive NVM resources in the form of namespaces from any of these SSDs.

3.Dynamically allocate NVM resources by attaching/detaching namespaces to the virtual functions.

Users can select any SSD to create namespace(s). The property of the namespace is user-defined, including its NVM capacity and its sharing capability (NMIC)…etc., and which specific virtual function(s) to attach the namespace. When NVMe multi-path I/O and sharing capability (NMIC) is enabled, the same namespace could be attached to multiple VFs, meaning that it could be accessed by different host machines at the same time.

In the above image, the virtual function 1 and 2 derived from SSD 1 are pre-assigned to the two host machines, and namespaces 1 and 2 are attached to virtual functions 1 and 2 respectively. As a result, the namespace 1 is mapped to the host with VF 1, and the namespace 2 is mapped to the host with VF 2.

4.Managing NVMe namespaces directly from the Falcon 5208 chassis.

The management port of Falcon 5208 chassis is standard ethernet, users can connect it directly to a management device (i.e. a PC) or to a network router/switch for remote access. The graphical user interface of Falcon 5208 chassis is web-based, it can be opened with any standard web browser. (Google Chrome, Firefox, Edge…etc.)

As the physical functions are controlled by the Falcon 5208 system, users can configure the SSDs from the Falcon 5208 chassis through the independent management device. Users can allocate NVM resources to host machines by creating and attaching namespaces using the graphical user interface. And since all SSD configurations are done within the Falcon 5208 chassis, it would not affect any ongoing tasks on the host machines.


SR-IOV is a specification that allows one PCIe device to appear to be multiple separated PCIe devices. It allows multi-tenancy (usually virtual guests) of an SSD which can significantly improve the storage utilization. SR-IOV consists of three key concepts: the physical function, the virtual function, and the namespace.

Multi root share of SR-IOV (MR-IOV) leverages some sort of switching device, allowing an SR-IOV device to be shared to multiple root ports. The root ports may be associated to the same root complex, or to different root complexes, meaning that the devices could be shared to different physical host machines.

Non-volatile Memory Single root I/O Virtualization

Non-volatile Memory Multi root share of SR-IOV

Physical Function, Virtual Function, and Namespace

Physical Functions (PFs)

Physical function refers to a full PCIe device that includes the SR-IOV capabilities. PFs are discovered, managed, and configured as normal PCIe devices. Physical functions configure and manage the SR-IOV functionalities by assigning virtual functions and namespaces.

Virtual Functions (VFs)

Virtual functions are lightweight PCIe functions that only process I/O. Virtual functions are derived from a physical function. The number of virtual functions a device may have is limited by the device hardware. A single SSD physical function may map to many virtual functions that can be shared to virtual guests. Each virtual function appears as a controller in the subsystem.

Namespace (NS)

Namespaces are isolation of non-volatile memory (NVM) logical blocks addressable by the host software. Namespaces is attached to virtual functions (a controller) to become accessible by host. Each namespace is seen as separate target device to the host. Multi-path I/O and sharing capability (NMIC) of namespace defines whether a namespace is private or shared. A private namespace can be attached to only one virtual function at a time whereas a shared namespace can be attached to multiple virtual functions simultaneously.

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