Intel’s Optane provides in-memory computing environment

Intel accelerates data-driven innovation. Taking advantage of the fact that digital transformation has been recognized as a necessity due to the increase in telecommuting during coronavirus. ‘Optane’ is a type of memory overcoming the limitations of DRAM and NAND flash. It focuses on providing seamless in-memory computing in connection with the central processing unit (CPU).

Digital transformation requires big data processing. The problem is that the size of big data is getting bigger. It will reach 180 zettabytes (ZB, 1 zettabyte is 1 trillion gigabytes) in 2025. Considering that the data created by humans so far in 2018 is 33ZB, it will increase by more than 5 times in just 7 years. This is why memory, storage, and the ability to quickly use and analyze data have emerged as essential elements.

It is no exaggeration to say that big data processing depends on the design of the data center.

Intel Optane can respond flexibly to growing data. It narrows the performance gap that exists from CPUs with the fastest data processing speed to DRAM, SSD, HDD, optical disk, and tape drives. If there is no limit to the amount of resources to be used, it is enough to fill it with expensive SSDs. However, big data cannot be handled smoothly just because its capacity is large. You have to keep pace with CPU and DRAM.

Optane provides a more robust in-memory computing environment. In-memory computing refers to storing and processing data on a memory rather than a disk (secondary storage device). It focuses on improving input/output (I/O), which is the root cause of slowing computing speed. It makes it possible to do things that were not possible in the past through faster speed. A whole new level of business innovation is possible.

Intel offers Optane in two forms – one is Optane memory and the other is Optane SSD. Optane memory is designed to use DDR4 data signals, a DRAM interface. It can be used by plugging it into an existing memory socket. Intel claims that installing DRAM and Optane memory at the same time can reduce the cost by 30%, and that when running a database based on in-memory technology such as SAP Hana (HANA), the performance improvement effect is high.

Optane SSD provides’App Direct’ function. The 100 storage space can be divided into memory and storage. It’s a kind of hybrid mode. Through the Persistent Memory Development Kit (PMDK), users can design their databases to their liking.