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Unleashing the Next Wave of HPC Breakthroughs with Intel Optane DC Persistent Memory and Intel Optane DC Solid State Drives

This sponsored post from Intel highlights the potential of Intel Optane technology to address exploding data volumes while increasing uptime and flexibility in the HPC data center.

In the face of unrelenting data growth, rising numbers of high-performance computing (HPC) workloads are memory bound. Caught between the high cost and limited capacity of DRAM and the lower performance of 3D NAND SSDs, HPC users increasingly find that despite workarounds, they’re unable to keep pace with skyrocketing data volumes and increasingly complex challenges.

Intel® Optane™ technology is designed to address these challenges. Available as Intel Optane DC persistent memory and Intel Optane DC Solid State Drives (Intel Optane SSDs), this technology closes the capacity, cost, and performance gaps between DRAM and 3D NAND SSDs, providing opportunities to advance data-intensive workloads while increasing uptime and flexibility in the HPC data center.

Intel Optane

Figure 1: Filling gaps in the storage/memory hierarchy. (Graph: Intel)

Disruptive Memory and Storage Capabilities

Intel Optane DC SSDs are proven technologies that have helped data centers remove storage bottlenecks and accelerate application performance for the past two years. Now, the launch of Intel Optane persistent memory and the integrated support of 2ndGeneration Intel Xeon Scalable processors is further shrinking the gap between storage and DRAM. Together, Intel Optane DC persistent memory and Intel Optane SSDs deliver value across four crucial vectors.

Data center managers gain greater flexibility to meet the performance and capacity requirements of diverse workloads—a necessity as HPC infrastructure is increasingly called on to support big data and artificial intelligence workloads as well as modeling and simulation.

Capacity. Intel Optane DC persistent memory supports more than 3 TB of byte-addressable memory per CPU socket, usable transparently as DRAM or with software optimizations as high-performance storage. In addition, Intel Optane DC SSDs can be used with Intel Memory Drive Technology software to deliver hybrid memory with traditional Intel Optane SSDs. This makes it possible to switch between storage and extended memory modes on the fly, delivering up to 24 TB of storage-class memory. Users can analyze larger in-memory databases, run higher-resolution simulations, perform more sophisticated graph analytics and keep up with real-time streaming inputs. Single-node workloads can process larger amounts of data, giving new life to legacy codes and accelerating use cases where datasets must not be split.

Performance. Intel Optane technology delivers dramatic reductions in latency along with consistent read-response times regardless of write loads. Intel Optane DC persistent memory resides on the system bus, bringing data closer to the CPU and reducing latency. Intel Optane SSDs allow for more efficient data caching than NAND-based solutions

Persistence. With Intel Optane DC persistent memory, restart times after a reboot shrink from days or hours down to minutes or seconds. Memory checkpoints can be written and restored quickly, increasing uptime and enabling HPC clusters to operate more efficiently.

Value. Data center managers gain greater flexibility to meet the performance and capacity requirements of diverse workloads—a necessity as HPC infrastructure is increasingly called on to support big data and artificial intelligence workloads as well as modeling and simulation. Storage and memory architects can create larger memory pools, displace DRAM, consolidate storage or do a mix of all three. High-endurance SSDs and flexible memory/storage options help optimize total cost of ownership.

Start Now, Dream Big

Vast amounts of affordable memory have long been a dream of users, developers, and system architects. Now, the dream is becoming a reality, and the use cases mentioned here are just a beginning. How can your workloads benefit from Intel Optane technology? What innovative use cases can you envision? With the disruptive advances of Intel Optane technology, it’s time to reimagine the memory/storage hierarchy for the HPC data center.

Start unleashing a new wave of data-fueled HPC insights today by exploring the resources available on the Intel Optane DC persistent memory and Intel Memory Drive Technology websites, where you will find links to strategic partners offering solutions, and the Developer Zone, with free tools such as the Intel Persistent Memory Development Kit and Intel vTune Performance Analyzer.

Also check out Intel Optane SSDs to help eliminate data center storage bottlenecks.

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