NVMeVirt: A Versatile Software-defined Virtual NVMe Device


Sang-Hoon Kim, Ajou University; Jaehoon Shim, Euidong Lee, Seongyeop Jeong, Ilkueon Kang, and Jin-Soo Kim, Seoul National University


There have been drastic changes in the storage device landscape recently. At the center of the diverse storage landscape lies the NVMe interface, which allows high-performance and flexible communication models required by these next-generation device types. However, its hardware-oriented definition and specification are bottlenecking the development and evaluation cycle for new revolutionary storage devices.

In this paper, we present NVMeVirt, a novel approach to facilitate software-defined NVMe devices. A user can define any NVMe device type with custom features, and NVMeVirt allows it to bridge the gap between the host I/O stack and the virtual NVMe device in software. We demonstrate the advantages and features of NVMeVirt by realizing various storage types and configurations, such as conventional SSDs, low-latency high-bandwidth NVM SSDs, zoned namespace SSDs, and key-value SSDs with the support of PCI peer-to-peer DMA and NVMe-oF target offloading. We also make cases for storage research with NVMeVirt, such as studying the performance characteristics of database engines and extending the NVMe specification for the improved key-value SSD performance.

FAST '23 Open Access Sponsored by

Open Access Media

USENIX is committed to Open Access to the research presented at our events. Papers and proceedings are freely available to everyone once the event begins. Any video, audio, and/or slides that are posted after the event are also free and open to everyone. Support USENIX and our commitment to Open Access.

This content is available to:

@inproceedings {285750,
author = {Sang-Hoon Kim and Jaehoon Shim and Euidong Lee and Seongyeop Jeong and Ilkueon Kang and Jin-Soo Kim},
title = {{NVMeVirt}: A Versatile Software-defined Virtual {NVMe} Device},
booktitle = {21st USENIX Conference on File and Storage Technologies (FAST 23)},
year = {2023},
isbn = {978-1-939133-32-8},
address = {Santa Clara, CA},
pages = {379--394},
url = {https://www.usenix.org/conference/fast23/presentation/kim-sang-hoon},
publisher = {USENIX Association},
month = feb

Presentation Video