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Intel Optane SSD servers to be used in IBM's public cloud

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November 7, 2016

It appears that Lenovo x86 servers equipped with Intel Optane SSDs will be available sometime next month.

They will most likely be used in Bluemix, IBM's new public cloud for customers to check out Intel's Optane mew performance CPUs.

Intel is contributing to these testbeds and Big Blue says the Optane SSDs deliver high IOPS at low queue depths, and have higher endurance than NAND SSDs.

Bluemix marketing manager John Lee writes that an Optane-fitted server can run more virtual machines with guaranteed service levels and provide high IOPS per machine.

A few example SSD-optimised database workloads can experience a fourfold throughput improvement at drive level when using Optane SSDs instead of Intel's P3700 NAND-based SSDs.

The P-3700 is a PCIe-connected SSD (NVMe) using 20nm MLC flash, and comes in capacities of 400 GB, 800 GB, 1.6 TB and 2 TB. It does random read/write IOPS at up to 450,000/175,000 and its sequential read/write bandwidth is up to 2.8 GBps and 2 GBps, respectively.

We understand its latency is 20µs for writes and 85µs for reads. Its endurance is up to 62.05 PB written, meaning 17DWPD/5 years. This is not a slow SSD nor one that will wear out quickly.

We note that IBM and Intel are saying that example database workloads on a server with an Optane SSD have four times more throughput at drive level than one with P3700 SSD, not revealing the read/write mix or the block size.

IBM's Bluemix Cloud will extend this Optane testbed activity by offering what Big Blue calls a broad services suite in the second half of next year.

Source: IBM.


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