Innovation

Intel Optane starts a storage revolution

Data today is like oil or gold. It’s valuable, and the more you have, the more you can benefit from it. Computing today is focusing more and more on data – capturing, storing, analysing, operationalizing and monetizing it. Massive datasets are the foundation of AI, machine learning, neural networks and more.

From mining to legal practice, organizations are undergoing digital transformation, and this inevitably means they’re generating and processing more data. Which means storing and accessing that data is more important – and business-critical – than ever before.

In most modern computer systems, performance bottlenecks can occur when the CPU is making lots of memory calls. As our data sets get bigger, these problems are only going to get worse.

Optane: Intel’s new memory architecture

Memory is often evaluated in terms of its speed, density and volatility. And as the old saying goes, you only get to choose two of the three. DRAM, for example, is dense and non-volatile. NAND is fast and non-volatile.

Intel’s new Optane memory is all three. Non-volatile, it’s denser than DRAM and faster than NAND. Using a combination of 3D XPoint memory media, Intel memory and storage controllers, Intel Interconnect IP and Intel control software, we now have a memory system that’s superior in every way to its predecessors.

How superior? As our populations age, they need more medical attention. Medical imaging files are enormous – and at the University of Pisa, Optane SSDs have reduced MRI exam times twenty-fold, from 40 minutes to two. They allow datacentres to eliminate bottlenecks and handle larger data sets – accelerating applications, reducing latency-sensitive transaction costs and improving TCO. Used in high-performance workstations, Optane memory improves efficiency and allows workers to use bigger files and more data with ease.

Best of all, the results are in, and Optane products are crushing their rivals for performance. Respected PC site Tom’s Hardware, for example, reviewed the Intel Optane SSD 900P and concluded that it delivered “the best user experience we’ve ever had”.

More than that, the site noted that “the release of a new memory class in our lifetime is the storage tech-world equivalent to living through the moon landing. This is an exciting time.”

The modern economy moves fast. So fast that sometimes fractions of a second can make all the difference in the world. New technologies that allow us to move, decide and act faster aren’t just luxuries for performance-obsessed CTOs and geeks, they’re vital business tools that can help your organization gain a competitive advantage. That’s why we upgrade our hardware and software – so make sure your next upgrade will give you the advantage you need. Make sure it includes Intel Optane.

Video explainer: How Optane works

What sort of thinking led to this evolution in memory technology? Watch the video below for a brief history of storage challenges and the breakthroughs leading up to the launch of Intel Optane:

The Intel® Optane™ Solid State Drive (SSD) helps eliminate data centre storage bottlenecks and allows bigger, more affordable data sets. It can accelerate applications, reduce transaction costs for latency-sensitive workloads, and improve overall data centre TCO.