Over 90% of enterprises are in the midst of their digital transformation journey2 to become data-centric businesses with requirements to capture, analyze, and secure increasing amounts of data. This is accelerating the demand for compute and driving the need for more data to be processed closer to the CPU. DRAM memory offers low latency but is limited in capacity, expensive, and volatile. Block storage is large, cheap, and persistent, but slow to access. Intel® Optane™ persistent memory (PMem) bridges the gap with an innovative memory technology that delivers a unique combination of affordable large capacity and support for data persistence.
Intel® Optane™ PMem 200 series is the second generation of a high performing persistent memory tier optimized for 3rd Gen Intel® Xeon® Scalable processors that helps turn data into actionable insights. Intel® Optane™ PMem 200 series delivers an average of 25% more memory bandwidth than the previous generation1, 12-15 watts of thermal design power (TDP) and is available in capacities up to 512 GB. Additionally, it is compatible with the software ecosystem already established for Intel® Optane™ persistent memory.
Intel® Optane™ Persistent Memory 200 Series
Intel® Optane™ PMem 200 series modules are supported on 3rd Gen Intel® Xeon®
Scalable processors and create a high performing, large-capacity persistent memory tier that helps turn more data into actionable insights. Intel® Optane™ PMem 200 series is available in 128 GB, 256 GB, and 512 GB modules and coexist with traditional DDR4 DIMMs, occupying the same motherboard slots side-by-side with DRAM. A platform optimized for these next-generation processors can support one Intel® Optane™ PMem 200 series module per channel (up to six on a single socket), providing up to 3 TB of PMem per socket and total memory capacity of 4.5 TB per socket. Intel® Optane™ PMem 200 series is compatible with the software ecosystem established for Intel® Optane™ persistent memory for workloads, such as databases, analytics, and virtualized infrastructure.
Data Persistence for Memory
Unlike DRAM, data remains in PMem after a planned or unplanned restart, avoiding time-consuming data reloads, which means less down time, fewer losses from system outages, and increased operational efficiency. Developers can utilize the industry standard persistent memory programming model to build simpler and more powerful applications to future-proof their data center investment.
Secure Data at Rest
The Intel® Optane™ PMem 200 series integrates strong, industry-standard hardware security encryption measures for data at rest. Application-transparent AES-256 encryption secures all data at rest in persistent memory with no software code changes and minimal impact on performance.
Affordable Large Capacity
Intel® Optane™ PMem 200 series enables more value to be extracted from larger data sets and increases the utility of each server. In-memory databases can access more data at DRAM-like speeds, and workloads processing massive data sets, such as scientific or data warehousing and analytics, can work continuously without repeatedly loading and storing data locally. Additionally, Intel® Optane™ PMem can offer greater memory capacity per socket than DRAM for virtualized data center infrastructures, leaving more headroom for virtualizing future workloads requiring larger memory capacity rather than having to run those demanding workloads on bare metal. When deployed, Intel® Optane™ PMem 200 series can enable you to consolidate and reduce your server footprint, leading to lower software licensing costs, reduced power consumption, and other operational efficiencies.
Create a high performing, large-capacity persistent memory tier with Intel® Optane™ PMem 200 series to improve key data center metrics such as:
- Increased CPU utilization and utility of each server
- Increased application throughput with more memory capacity
- Increased VM density or support more services and users
- Support for larger in-memory databases without prohibitive price tags
- Improve business resilience for systems with critical data
- Consolidate server footprint, reduce software licensing costs, and maximize return on your enterprise investment
What Challenges Does Persistent Memory Address?
Figure 1. Intel® Optane™ PMem 200 series solves several key challenges in computing today.
Intel® Optane™ PMem 200 series has multiple operating modes:
Memory Mode – Memory Mode delivers large memory capacity without application changes and with performance close to that of DRAM, depending on the workload. In Memory Mode, the CPU memory controller sees all of the Intel® Optane™ PMem 200 series as volatile system memory (without persistence), while using the DRAM as cache. In Memory Mode, data in the modules is protected with a single encryption key that is discarded upon power down, making the data inaccessible. Memory Mode’s large capacity enables more VMs and more memory per VM at a lower cost compared to DDR4 DIMMs. Workloads that are I/O bound can also benefit from using Intel® Optane™ PMem 200 series in Memory Mode, because the larger memory capacity supports bigger databases at a lower cost compared to DDR4 DIMMs. With increased capacity there is greater VM, container, and application density, which increases the utilization of 3rd Gen Intel® Xeon® Scalable processors.
App Direct Mode – App Direct Mode enables large memory capacity and data persistence for software to access DRAM and persistent memory as two tiers of memory.
In App Direct Mode, software and applications enabled for the industry standard NVM persistent memory programming model have the ability to talk directly to PMem, reducing the complexity in the stack and taking full advantage of byte- addressable persistent memory with cache coherence, which extends the usage of persistent memory outside the local node, and provides consistent low latency, supporting larger datasets.
App Direct Mode can also be used with standard file APIs to access the same persistent memory address space (called Storage over App Direct) without any modifications to the existing applications or the file systems that expect block storage devices. Storage over App Direct presents Intel® Optane™ PMem as high-performance block storage, without the latency of moving data to and from the I/O bus.
In App Direct Mode, data is encrypted using a key stored on the module in a security metadata region, which is only accessible by the Intel® Optane™ PMem 200 series controller. The modules are locked at power loss, and a passphrase is needed to unlock and access the data. If a module is repurposed or discarded, a secure cryptographic erase and DIMM over-write operation keeps data from being accessed.
Drive Application Innovation and Explore New Data-Intensive Use Case with this Best-in-Class Product
With Intel® Optane™ PMem 200 series, developers have direct load/store access to it and can drive new innovation and capabilities using the same persistent programming model introduced with the first generation of PMem. Rapid adoption is easy, and customers are able to take full advantage of its capabilities with a growing global ecosystem of ISVs, OSVs, virtualization providers, database and enterprise application vendors, data analytics vendors, open source solutions providers, Cloud Service Providers, hardware OEMs, and standards bodies, such as the Storage Network Industry Association (SNIA), ACPI, UEFI, and DMTF.
Intel® Optane™ Persistent Memory in the Data Center: Delivering Real Value Today
Figure 2. Intel® Optane™ PMem boosts performance across a wide range of enterprise applications.3 4 5 6 7 8
The software interface for using Intel® Optane™ persistent memory was designed in collaboration with dozens of companies to create a unified programming model for the technology. The Storage Network Industry Association (SNIA) formed a technical workgroup, which has published a specification of the model. This software interface is independent of any specific persistent memory technology and can be used with Intel® Optane™ PMem 200 series or any other persistent memory technology.
The model exposes three main capabilities:
- The management path allows system administrators to configure persistent memory products and check their health.
- The storage path supports the traditional storage APIs where existing applications and file systems need no change; they simply see the persistent memory as very fast storage.
- The memory-mapped path exposes persistent memory through a persistent memory-aware file system so that applications have direct load/store access to the persistent memory. This direct access does not use the page cache like traditional file systems and has been named DAX by the operating system vendors.
The Persistent Memory Development Kit (PMDK – http://pmem.io) provides libraries meant to make PMem program- ming easier. Software developers only pull in the features they need, keeping their programs lean and fast on PMem. These libraries are fully validated and performance-tuned by Intel.
They are open source and product-neutral, working well on a variety of PMem products. The PMDK contains a collection of open source libraries, which build on the SNIA programming model. The PMDK is fully documented and includes code samples, tutorials, and blogs. Language support for the libraries exists in C and C++, with support for Java, Python, and other languages in progress.
Turn Data from a Burden to an Asset
Intel® Optane™ PMem 200 series is the next-generation of a groundbreaking technology innovation. Deployed with 3rd Gen Intel® Xeon® Scalable processors, this technology can transform critical data workloads—from cloud and databases to in-memory analytics and content delivery networks.