Intel’s teased the arrival of its Optane storage-class RAM in DIMMs.
Dubbed “Optane DC persistent memory” and suggested as a tier of storage between DRAM and SSDs, the product will ship in 128GB, 256GB and 512GB versions. Intel announced that the product “is sampling today and will ship for revenue to select customers later this year, with broad availability in 2019.”
Which probably means one or two server-makers might have some product before Christmas, but don’t put these in your budget for a while yet.
Intel’s idea is that these devices will just clip into a motherboard like any other DIMM, but offer persistent storage that’s faster even than solid state disks. Which is a good thing because data in a DIMM slot has an easier path to the CPU than data on a disk, offering the chance to speed things up nicely. Intel’s alleged that its tests – done with Optane test silicon on forthcoming Xeons – led to faster boot times and improved database performance.
When running an in-memory Redis database Intel said the new product delivered “more server instances at the same service level agreement (SLA) performance when compared to a system configured with just DRAM.”
The Register understands that Optane DC persistent memory will only work with Xeon CPUs, but not all of them, and that current Xeons may not support the product.
Intel has not revealed durability forecasts nor offered prices for the new product, and given it dodged various questions at a launch event, hasn't reassured many that the tech actually exists as a viable product. However, it has suggested that “systems architects and developers should consider new methods for data access and storage, and uncover opportunities to remove throughput bottlenecks.”
If you’re willing to follow that instruction, Intel claims it is already running servers packing the new kit over at its Construction Zone. ®