Intel® Optane™ DC Persistent Memory Lifts Off at Microsoft Ignite

The ongoing partnership between Microsoft and Intel was on full display at Microsoft Ignite 2019 in Orlando, with product and service innovations that will propel today’s businesses. I’d like to call out three news items in my area of expertise, Intel® Optane™ DC persistent memory.

Combine cloud computing with in-memory analytics and you get one of the industry’s hottest areas of growth. Microsoft Azure announced general availability of a new family of cloud instances designed especially for SAP HANA and equipped with SAP-certified 2nd gen Intel® Xeon® Scalable processors and Optane DC persistent memory. These instances are designed to tackle the biggest data challenges, with up to 9TB of memory capacity per server, thanks to the extraordinary capacity of Optane DC persistent memory.

This week also saw two of our system OEM partners, DataON and QCT, announce Intel® Select Solutions for Azure Stack HCI. Hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI) is growing rapidly and can improve performance and lower TCO compared to maintaining a separate storage network. The DataON and QCT Intel Select Solutions for Azure Stack HCI are the “Plus” configurations which include up to 512GB of Optane DC persistent memory that acts as a blazing-fast storage cache. Compared to the “Standard” DDR4-only configuration for this solution, the Plus configurations deliver up to 90% more storage IOPS thanks to the speed of Optane DC persistent memory.1 Since Select Solutions are workload-optimized and verified by Intel, IT buyers can accelerate their HCI deployment with confidence.

And finally, Microsoft’s latest SQL Server 2019 was ubiquitous at the show. Microsoft and Intel worked together to enable SQL Server 2019 and Windows Server 2019 for Optane DC persistent memory, so they are ready to take advantage of the large memory capacity and access to persistent data that is much faster than SSDs. In fact, Intel testing showed that a Xeon Scalable platform equipped with Optane DC persistent memory can support up to 36% more Microsoft SQL Server VMs than a similarly-priced server equipped only with conventional DDR4 memory.2

Ignite 2019 confirmed that 2nd gen Intel Xeon Scalable processors and Intel Optane DC persistent memory are ready to power your on-prem Microsoft software and Azure cloud services.

Learn more about Intel Optane DC persistent memory here, and check out the news from our big Memory and Storage Day in Seoul, South Korea last month.


1 Intel internal testing as of February 15, 2019. Intel® Select Solutions for Microsoft Azure Stack HCI* Data Center model Base configuration: 2 x Intel® Xeon® Gold 6230 processor, Intel® Server Board S2600WFT, 512 GB Intel® Optane™ DC persistent memory (4 x 128 GB, 2,666 megatransfers per second [MT/s]), 192 GB DRAM (12 x 16 GB, 2,666 MT/s), Intel® Hyper-Threading Technology (Intel® HT Technology) enabled, Intel® Turbo Boost Technology enabled, storage (boot): 1 x 480 GB Intel® SSD DC 3520 M.2 SATA, storage (cache): 2 x 375 GB Intel Optane SSD DC P4800X, storage (capacity): 4 x 4 TB Intel SSD DC P4510 PCIe* NVM Express* (NVMe*), 1 x 25 gigabits per second (Gbps) Chelsio* network adapter, 25 GbE, Windows Server 2019 Datacenter edition* build 17763. Plus configuration: 2 x Intel Xeon Gold 6252 processor, Intel Server Board S2600WFT, 1,584 GB Intel Optane DC persistent memory (12 x 128 GB, 2,666 MT/s), 192 GB DRAM (12 x 16 GB, 2,666 MT/s), Intel HT Technology enabled, Intel Turbo Boost Technology enabled, storage (boot): 1 x 480 GB Intel SSD DC 3520 M.2 SATA, storage (cache): 2 x 500 GB Intel Optane SSD DC persistent memory, storage (capacity): 4 x 4 TB Intel SSD DC P4510 PCIe NVMe, 1 x 25 gigabits per second (Gbps) Chelsio network adapter, 25 GbE, Windows Server 2019 Datacenter edition build 17763. Intel Microcode 0x2000043, BIOS Version SE5C620.86B.0D.01.0286.011120190816

2 Performance results are based on testing as of Feb. 1, 2019 and may not reflect all publicly available security updates. Baseline configuration (DRAM): 2x 2nd Gen Intel® Xeon® Platinum 8276 @ 28 cores/socket. Memory: 768 GB (24x32 GB DDR4@2666 MHz). Network: Intel® X520 SR2 (10 Gbps). Storage: 8x Samsung* PM963M.2 960 GB, 4x Intel® SSDs S3600 (1.92 TB). BIOS: WW02’19. OS/VM: Windows Server 2019. WL Version: OLTP Cloud Benchmark (internal private customer confidential workload). Dataset/instance or workload size: 1.1 TB. Security mitigations: variants 1,2,3 enabled. Performance of 22 SQL VM instances. New config (DCPMM): 2x 2nd Gen Intel® Xeon® Platinum 8276 @ 28 cores/socket. Memory: 1 TB (8x128 GB Intel® Optane™ DC persistent memory in Memory Mode + 12x 16 GB DDR4@2666 MHz). Network: Intel® X520 SR2 (10 Gbps). Storage: 8x Samsung* PM963M.2 960 GB, 4x Intel® SSDs S3600 (1.92 TB). BIOS: WW02’19. OS/VM: Windows Server 2019. WL Version: OLTP Cloud Benchmark (internal private customer confidential workload). Dataset/instance or workload size: 1.5 TB. Security mitigations: variants 1,2,3 enabled. Performance of 30 SQL VM instances.  Intel microcode

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Kristie Mann

About Kristie Mann

Kristie Mann, Director of Product Marketing for Intel’s Optane DC Persistent Memory business in the Data Center Group, is an industry leader in technology with a background in engineering, business strategy, and sales. Prior to joining Intel in 2015, Kristie spent 20 years at Hewlett Packard Company in a variety of roles such as hardware engineering, business development, and corporate sales. Kristie got her engineering degree from Georgia Tech in 1996 and her MBA from Duke University in 2007. Kristie’s experience brings a unique perspective on fostering and developing new disruptive technologies. She advocates embracing the disruption while maintaining an intense focus on the customer, innovation, and targeted differentiation.