Three Reasons Top Cloud Service Providers Race to Deploy Intel® Optane™ DC Persistent Memory

For the last two years it has been a privilege to work in close collaboration with leading cloud service providers (CSPs) and on a product that I believe is going to transform the data center. Unveiled earlier this year, Intel® Optane™ DC Persistent Memory promises to revolutionize the data center memory-storage hierarchy of the past and bring massive data sets closer to the CPU for faster time to insight. On stage at Intel’s Data-Centric Innovation Summit on August 8th, Intel’s Navin Shenoy handed to Bart Sano, Google Cloud VP Engineering, the first unit of Intel® Optane™ DC Persistent Memory which both Google and Bart himself have been anxiously waiting for. Just a few months later on October 30th, Google Cloud was the first to offer the highly anticipated Intel® Optane™ DC Persistent Memory available to its cloud customers through alpha availability of virtual machines with 7TB of total memory which is going to be ideal for in-memory workloads such as SAP HANA. As described by Kevin Ichhpurani, CVP at Google Cloud, Google Cloud customers will be able to enjoy a much faster recovery time and better availability (up to 12X improvement in start time) and larger instance sizes at a lower cost. I can’t wait for organizations to start seeing these benefits.

Across the Pacific Ocean, we are seeing equal enthusiasm from some of the most innovative cloud and digital service provider customers in China.

Many of you probably have heard about the 11.11 Alibaba Global Shopping Festival, the world’s biggest shopping day started by Chinese eCommerce and cloud giant – Alibaba. On November 11, 2017, USD 25.3 billion of gross merchandise volume (GMV) was settled through 1.48 billion total payment transactions. At its peak, Alibaba’s cloud infrastructure processed 256,000 payment transactions per second and 325,000 orders per second. The massive volume of data and high computing intensity motivates technologists at Alibaba Cloud to look everywhere for opportunities to enhance infrastructure efficiency. I am very excited that Alibaba is going to use the next generation Intel® Xeon® Scalable processors and the upcoming Intel® Optane™ DC persistent memory in the 2018 11.11 Alibaba Global Shopping Festival to more effectively support Alibaba’s high-volume, real-time data business scenarios.

In addition, both Huawei Cloud and Tencent Cloud and are actively getting ready to launch new cloud services based on Intel® Optane™ DC Persistent Memory.

Huawei Cloud has deep roots in serving enterprise customers, and are creating cloud computing solutions to meet the needs of the increasingly data-centric applications for industry digital transformation. Huawei Cloud is betting on Intel® Optane™ DC Persistent Memory to help its customers enhance memory capacity, latency, failure recovery speed, quality of service, and continuity, achieving a breakthrough in high reliability while driving down computing cost.

I also want to highlight that Tencent Cloud plans to offer high-performance, highly-available cloud database service leveraging Intel® Optane™ DC Persistent Memory’s large capacity (up to 512GB capacity per module) and native persistence. With these benefits, Tencent will further optimize its self-developed database kernels such as TXSQL, TXRocks, and TXMongo etc., to better serve high-concurrency applications such as Chinese New Year red packet distribution, live streaming and gaming.

Though the technology behind Intel® Optane™ DC Persistent Memory is new, the benefits that it can bring are real and the early adopters that I mentioned above have seen these benefits with their own eyes. That is why they are racing to deploy Intel® Optane™ DC Persistent Memory to power their infrastructure and their business.  I encourage you to check out our Data-Centric Innovation Spotlight Series around Intel® Optane™ DC Persistent Memory and hear from Intel’s Lisa Spelman and many early technology adopters about these benefits yourself. Here I want to provide a summary of some of key benefits our customers have realized:

Opportunity to Offer Differentiated Cloud Services

CSPs need to differentiate themselves from the competition—and developing profitable new services is an important route to success. Intel® Optane™ DC Persistent Memory offers a breakthrough for CSPs to take their next step toward new cloud innovation. The unique combination of big memory paired with persistence and performance of super-fast storage is ideal for data-intensive applications, such as relational and in-memory databases and high-performance computing. As we start the early ship program and open up to a wider range of customers, I look forward to seeing more creative new innovations based on Intel® Optane™ DC Persistent Memory.

High Reliability and Availability

Historically, in-memory-databases have required the entire database to be written out to drive if it needed to be updated or maintain, then reloaded into memory upon a reboot. Intel® Optane™ DC Persistent Memory fundamentally changes data center resiliency, taking in-memory database restart times from days or hours down to minutes or seconds. An internal benchmark of SAP HANA using Intel® Optane™ DC Persistent Memory showed a 12.5x improvement in SAP HANA startup time. This is essential for cloud and digital cloud service providers to better service their own workloads and their customers’ mission critical applications.

Significant TCO Savings with New Levels of Performance Efficiency

Intel is uniquely capable of designing tailored and custom products across the entire platform—compute, network, memory and storage, so we can “move faster, store more and process everything”. Intel® Optane™ DC persistent memory takes us to the next level of infrastructure performance efficiency through platform-wide optimization. Our customers now have more flexibility in balance their cloud infrastructure design to drive up efficiency and reduce Total Cost of Ownership (TCO). Take Alibaba as an example, some of their key data store software supporting their eCommerce and payment applications are very memory intensive applications, and in a typical deployment, memory is the bottleneck to deliver full performance in terms of queries per second. Intel® Optane™ DC persistent memory significantly expands memory capacity compared to traditional DRAM, eliminating the memory bottleneck and fully unleashing performance while significantly reducing the TCO.

On October 30th 2018, Intel launched our beta program for Intel® Optane™ DC persistent memory. This program expands the availability of this exciting technology to more leading CSPs, and paves the way for general availability in the first half of 2019. Sky is the limit, and I can’t wait to hear more about novel innovations you deliver on Intel® Optane™ DC persistent memory in your cloud. Connect with me on Twitter at @RaejeanneS.

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