With the long-awaited Optane DIMMs, Intel is bringing 3D XPoint memory onto the DDR4 memory bus. Dubbed "Intel Optane DC persistent memory", it represents a new class of memory and storage technology architected specifically for data center usage.
Unlike traditional DRAM, Intel says that its Optane DC persistent memory will offer a combination of high-capacity (greater than 3 terabytes per CPU socket), affordability and persistence.
High-capacity persistent memory in the data center allows applications to run without incurring the latency penalty of going out to storage over the PCIe bus. The new memory also features advanced encryption for persistent data built into the hardware.
Intel presented some exemples in real-world data center operations. The company claims that for planned restarts of a NoSQL in-memory database using Aerospike Hybrid Memory Architecture, Intel Optane DC persistent memory provides a minutes-to-seconds restart speedup compared to DRAM-only cold restart.
On memory-intensive workloads such as Redis IMDB server, Intel says that the persistent memory enables higher memory capacities, delivering more server instances at the same service level agreement (SLA) performance when compared to a system configured with just DRAM.
In an effort to streamline broad adoption, Intel has invested several years building an ecosystem of developers and enabling independent software vendors (ISVs) globally to target this new class of memory.
The Optane DC persistent memory is sampling today and will ship for revenue later this year, with broad availability in 2019. The new modules will be initially available in three capacities: 128GB, 256GB and 512GB per module.
In an effort to further jump-start broader software development, Intel is offering developers remote access to systems equipped with Intel Optane DC persistent memory for software development and testing through the Intel Builders Construction Zone. The preview systems will feature 192GB of DRAM and 1TB of Optane Persistent Memory, plus SATA and NVMe SSDs. The preview program will run from June through August.