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Intel Unveils Solid-State Drive Tech To Boost Data Center Memory
Posted March 20, 2017
Intel Unveils Solid-State Drive Tech To Boost Data Center Memory
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Intel Unveils Solid-State Drive Tech To Boost Data Center Memory
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By Shirley Siluk. Updated March 20, 2017 10:44AM

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A new series of solid-state drives (SSD) from Intel target data centers looking to deploy advanced applications with heavy database demands. Unveiled yesterday, the Optane SSD DC P4800X Series can provide either "blazing fast" storage or cache support for databases, according to the company.

Intel's latest SSD series is built on the 3D XPoint non-volatile computing memory technology announced in mid-2015. That technology, created by Intel and Micron Technology, represented the first significant memory breakthrough since NAND flash memory was introduced in 1989, according to its developers.

By incorporating the 3D XPoint technology, the new Optane SSD DC P4800X Series offers a way for data center users to "combine the attributes of memory and storage," Intel said. By speeding up both fast caching and storage, the latest SSD enables data centers to more easily meet quality-of-service requirements in database dependent applications.

Better Handling of Memory-Intensive Demands

The new SSD DC P4800X Series showed in tests that it could handle many more memory-intensive MySQL database transactions per second than Intel's previous generation of solid-state drive, said SSD storage solutions architect Ken LeTourneau in a post on Intel's IT Peer Network blog.

"What stood out to me most wasn't the advantage in the number of transactions that the Intel SSD DC P4800X could support relative to the Intel SSD DC P3700, but rather the Quality of Service (QoS) it provided as the number of threads increased," LeTourneau said. "If one were to impose a Service Level Agreement (SLA) of a 10ms response time for 99% of all transactions, the Intel SSD DC P3700 is already out of SLA at just 4 threads, while the Intel SSD DC P4800X is still within SLA at 64 threads."

By improving both fast caching and storage, the new Optane series enables data centers to increase scale per server and reduce transaction costs for latency-sensitive workloads, according to Intel. It also allows users to deploy "bigger and more affordable datasets to gain new insights from large memory pools," the company added.

Support for AI and Machine Learning Applications

The latest Optane series can help data centers deliver new solutions in cloud computing and other cutting-edge service areas. By providing more -- and more cost-effective -- memory, the latest SSD can enable applications driven by artificial intelligence and machine learning, such as faster trading and better medical insights, Intel said.

The Optane SSD DC P4800X Series has a capacity of 375 GB and can handle 30 drive writes with 12.3 petabytes written per day, according to Intel's specifications for the technology. The drive series is available now for $1,520 through an early ship program.

Intel plans to release additional capacities and form factors in the second half of 2017. Those are expected to include capacities of 750 GB and 1.5 TB.

Image credit: Intel.

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