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Presidio tests confirm: Intel® Optane™ SSD’s faster cache tier accelerates storage performance

IT environments are inundated by an ever-rising wave of data that must be stored, managed and mined – resulting in application latency issues that impact performance. Now, a new class of solid-state drives, Intel® Optane™ SSDs for the data center, are proving themselves in multiple independent tests, accelerating storage performance for latency-sensitive workloads.

by Raphael Meyerowitz, Vice President, Office of the CTO, Thursday, 26 Apr 2018
Presidio tests confirm: Intel® Optane™ SSD’s faster cache tier accelerates storage performance
Presidio tests confirm: Intel® Optane™ SSD’s faster cache tier accelerates storage performance

Tests show: 2018 could be the ‘Year of Optane’

The volume of data that IT environments must manage – to say nothing of organize, analyze, and derive actionable insights from – is growing at an almost unimaginable rate, straining the capacity of traditional data centers to deal with. Given the extraordinary and ever-growing demands placed on the modern data center, application latency is a persistent bottleneck to hyper-converged performance.

But that’s all changing now, based on the significant performance gains demonstrated in recent independent tests: 2018 may very well be the breakout year for Intel’s new data center class of solid-state drives. The impact of Intel® Optane™ SSDs and their ability to resolve application latency issues will be felt in everything from analytics to cloud computing to medical diagnostics.

A revolutionary melding of storage and memory

Intel Optane SSDs – the first data center solid-state drives to combine attributes of storage and memory – are designed to eliminate data center storage bottlenecks and accelerate applications, reducing the transaction costs for latency-sensitive workloads. Combining high throughput, low latency, high quality of service (QoS) and ultra-high endurance, Intel Optane SSDs for the data center can provide a new, faster storage tier. And, they enable data centers to deploy large memory pools to gain new insights from larger datasets. Combined with Intel® Memory Drive Technology (Intel® MDT), Intel Optane SSDs can extend memory capacity beyond DRAM limitations.

Charting a replicable performance gain

In test after test, internally as well as externally, the inclusion of Intel Optane SSDs for the data center proved to make a significant difference.

To arrive at its own independent validation, Presidio’s VMware vSphere team conducted tests on the capabilities of Intel Optane SSDs. The team optimized its ESXi 6.5 software stack in collaboration with Intel and was able to achieve 95% of the Intel Optane SSD’s maximum throughput and IOPS read/write performance, compared to a traditional non-virtualized architecture. Getting maximum benefit from Intel Optane SSDs in virtualized architecture enables users to execute multiple applications at very high IOPS and very low latency.

In a separate testing phase, Evaluator Group worked with Intel and VMware to test multiple next-generation hyper-converged configurations based on VMware vSAN and Intel technologies, including Intel Optane SSDs for extreme performance levels. Intel Xeon Scalable systems with Intel Optane SSDs delivered more than double the performance:

  • Up to 2.5 X more VM’s per cluster
  • Up to 2.3 X better price / performance

Putting Intel Optane SSDs to work in real-world environments

Repeated independent tests, all bearing similar results, tell the story: Intel Optane SSDs enable a huge leap in hyper-converged storage performance and cost savings in a wide range of market applications. Presidio envisions a myriad of applications and use cases in which Intel Optane SSDs could deliver a dramatic performance increase:

  • VMware vSAN deployments – Intel Optane SSDs in the caching tier can provide a smaller ratio for cache tier vs. data tier, as well as lower latency, increased performance and more VMs, all adding up to very good TCO/performance.
  • CEPH – Intel Optane SSDs used for journaling and metadata give better performance and QoS.
  • MS Storage Spaces Direct – With Intel Optane SSDs, customers can realize latency improvements without additional CPU consumption.
  • MS SQL Server DB – Intel Optane SSDs enable more transactions.
  • Based on certain workloads using Intel MDT, the addition of Intel Optane SSDs can provide customers with DRAM-like performance and a lower TCO.

Presidio is always looking for the next innovative applications for today’s leading-edge technologies, and Intel Optane has proven itself to be one of those technologies. Talk to us, and we’ll explore how Intel Optane SSDs may benefit you.

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