Stellar Performance When You Need It the Most

Intel Optane technology offers new flexibility in data center memory and storage to bring outstanding performance with historically low latency.

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Bandwidth is critical for app performance, but it’s not the only thing that matters. Over the last few decades, continuous improvements in memory and storage have improved bandwidth. But during that same period, improvements in latency have lagged behind. Intel Optane media brings a revolutionary new architecture to both memory and storage that delivers historically low, consistent levels of latency.

Driving Down Latency for Storage

Intel Optane media uses a unique transistorless design that delivers data significantly faster than NAND media. And the Intel Optane DC SSD has been designed to provide that advantage to the rest of the system through a hardware-only read/write path through the SSD controller. NAND SSDs use a firmware path that adds overhead, contributing to hardware latency.

Because of this unique design, Intel Optane SSDs can deliver low latencies even at very low queue depths, where NAND drives typically struggle. With this media advantage, Intel Optane SSDs help your applications avoid the long waits for writes to complete and the collection of garbage inherent in NAND SSDs. They don’t contend with the background writes, with the corresponding delays to read, like NAND SSDs do. Even under heavy loads, the Intel Optane SSD delivers a steadier performance.

Driving Down Latency for Memory

Because it uses the same underlying media, Intel Optane DC persistent memory offers the same hardware latency advantages as Intel Optane DC SSDs. Intel Optane DC persistent memory attaches directly to the memory channel, as opposed to the PCIe bus. This new tier of memory is located on the faster memory bus, in a module form factor, but with some of the qualities of storage, such as persistence.

Intel Optane DC persistent memory accesses data directly from the CPU with memory load and store instructions, thus bypassing the operating system software layers when reading and writing data. Other architecture optimizations further reduce latency.

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Figure 1. Comparison of read latency for NAND SSDs, Intel Optane SSDs, and Intel Optane DC persistent memory

Low Latency Performance in the Data Center

Intel Optane media offers flexibility, persistence, and low latency characteristics that can be deployed in a variety of ways in the data center. For example, when you have an in-memory database application that needs mission-critical performance for large data volumes, Intel Optane DC persistent memory is ideal. Intel Optane DC SSDs can be used as high-performing storage for virtual machines (VMs) or critical data, or with databases as a fast cache layer for warm data, allowing you to offload cold data to Intel Optane QLC 3D NAND SSDs.

To learn more about how Intel Optane media drives down latency, check out the white paper by Frank T. Hady, Ph.D., Intel Fellow:  Faster Access to More Data"


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