IDC’s “2019 Data and Storage Development Research Report” lays out the fact that AI promotes explosive growth in the scale of users and the number of applications; in 2019, the amount of data created by enterprises exceeds that of consumers, accounting for 53.4% ​​of the entire data circle. %; Core storage surpasses edge storage as the largest data storage location. The above trends that are enough to disrupt storage have brought attention back to the data center.

There is an Intel Optane between you and data center high performance


Storage is about to change

The core of storage is data. The explosive growth of data, and people’s pursuit of data value, urgently need to improve the efficiency of data processing, mining and analysis, which all depend on higher performance and lower latency of storage. Although the problem of storage performance is a commonplace, it is undeniable that storage performance is the first problem to be solved in every storage change.

IDC summarized the characteristics of “fifth-generation storage” in the newly released white paper “Fifth Generation Storage Helps Enterprises’ Digital Transformation” and put forward five key words, of which “agile and high-speed” ranks first. At present, data center users have gradually lost their tolerance for latency. All-flash arrays using NVMe technology are optimized for traditional key business and digital transformation innovative applications to achieve fast and real-time response to applications and maximize data value. Dig and analyze. This is the real value of “agile high speed”.

“In today’s world, data is being generated at an alarming rate, and it is increasingly difficult for businesses of all types to process data efficiently. For businesses, the ability to derive value from all their data will be the difference between success and failure.” Intel Corporation Senior Vice President and Rob Crooke, general manager of the Non-Volatile Storage Solutions Group, said, “Achieving breakthrough cutting-edge innovation in the memory and storage hierarchy is exactly what Intel is all about.”


Storage architecture, you are missing a layer

Intel academician Frank Hady has also been “beaten” by computer performance. It was back in 2008, and Frank Hady was still using an HDD in his laptop, and it was the Intel X-25M SSD that kept his laptop from getting stuck almost completely whenever a virus scanner started accessing the hard drive. Computers come back to life. This can be a head scratching experience that each of us has had. This situation is not uncommon in data centers.

There is an Intel Optane between you and data center high performance

Where is the problem? It’s because of a gap in the memory and storage hierarchy. In the data center, the size of the data set doubles at an alarming rate every three years, and the bad experience caused by performance and latency is gradually spreading. To further optimize the storage hierarchy, we have to do something.

Recently, Intel held its “Memory & Storage Day” event in Seoul, South Korea to reveal why the new gap between memory and storage hierarchies is emerging, and how to bridge the gap with Intel Optane technology and Intel 3D NAND technology .

If you analyze the internal storage layers of the data center layer by layer, you will find that the CPU is at the top layer, and then layer by layer, the storage capacity of each layer is 10 times that of the previous layer, but the performance is only one tenth. Hot data keeps moving up, while warm and cold data keep moving down. As mentioned above, the data doubles every three years, while the capacity of each DRAM die only doubles every four years. This apparent mismatch creates a poor user experience.

While NAND continues to increase capacity at a rate of doubling every two years, it has relatively constant latency over time. Therefore, with the acceleration of the CPU, the data in the NAND SSD seems to be drifting away, resulting in the gap between the DRAM and the NAND SSD, that is, the storage performance gap.


What can we do to bridge the gap?

Bridging the capacity-performance gap requires breakthrough new technologies. This new storage technology has higher capacity than DRAM at a lower cost and is durable across reboots. The answer has now been revealed, and this is the Intel 3D XPoint media that is incorporated into both Intel Optane SSDs and Intel Optane DC persistent memory. Frank Hady said that the latency of Intel Optane SSDs is about 10μs, which is only one tenth of that of NAND SSDs, and can return data quickly and reliably. In a word, Intel Optane SSDs bridge part of the gap, bringing more data closer to the CPU.

Today, a large number of data center users are no strangers to Intel Optane technology. Intel’s latest financial report for the third quarter of 2019 shows that the quarter’s revenue was nearly $19.2 billion, of which the non-volatile storage solutions division’s revenue was $1.3 billion, an increase of more than 19% compared to the same period last year. The performance is particularly outstanding.

At the Seoul event, Intel announced a series of exciting new results, such as the second-generation Intel Optane DC persistent memory, code-named “Barlow Pass,” will be launched in 2020 with the next-generation Intel Xeon Scalable processing Intel also first demonstrated 144-layer QLC (quad-level cell) NAND for data center-class SSDs, expected to launch in 2020; Intel also announced that it will operate a new line of Optane technology development line. This series of innovations shows that in the era of data-centric computing, Intel will continue to promote the advancement of memory and storage technology, providing unique Intel Optane technology and Intel 3D NAND solutions.

Today, ecological partners and industry users, including Microsoft, Inspur, Lenovo, Baidu Cloud, JD Cloud, and Ping An Cloud, are all practitioners and promoters of Intel Optane technology. Taking the data center scenario as an example, Optane technology provides an efficient memory solution for databases, improving virtualization performance by 36%. In addition, in emerging fields such as AI and intelligent data analysis, Optane technology effectively improves analysis throughput.

Naver is the No. 1 Internet company in South Korea and is known for its search business. It has established a data center called Gak (Gate) in Gupang, Chuncheon, Gangwon-do, South Korea. The exterior design of this data center is simple, revealing a quaint style, and the interior is very modern, with advanced IT infrastructure, providing cloud platform services for NAVER and other companies. This data center is an early customer of Intel Optane, which greatly improves the performance and responsiveness of cloud infrastructure.

At the event in Seoul, Intel also demonstrated the Intel Optane Memory H10 with Solid State Storage (H10), which integrates Optane and QLC SSD, which attracted strong attention from the attendees. It uses Optane to accelerate the design of QLC SSD. Combining high performance and large capacity. Hybrid SSDs like H10 bring a whole new experience to PC applications.

“We did memory and storage layered in a hierarchy, which is somewhere between DRAM and NAND, with much higher performance than NAND, but a simpler cost structure than DRAM. It’s a whole new level of storage. Imagine , one day you don’t have to load the system at all (the process of reading the contents of the hard disk into DRAM), and you can use the operating system with the Display turned on. It will be a big surprise.” Intel’s Non-Volatile Storage Solutions Business David Lundell, senior director of strategic planning and marketing, said, “This is just the beginning of a long-term innovation journey, and we will continue to increase research and development and investment in the future.”

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