Optane now available on IBM Cloud, but with limited uses
Wed 2 Aug 2017
The Optane SSD DC P4800X is being released on IBM bare metal cloud infrastructures following testing by Intel and Lenovo.
IBM describes it as ‘premium, non-volatile memory media’ and also cites the technology’s industry-leading throughput, low latency, high QoS and ultra-high endurance.
It is designed to address data access bottlenecks and help businesses use data to make critical decisions, gain new insights, and separate themselves from the competition. IBM argues that businesses are increasingly demanding fast storage solutions that act much in the same way as system memory.
That is what it is looking to achieve with Intel Optane technology, describing it as the first product to combine the characteristics of memory and storage and to provide quicker caching and better storage performance to improve scale per server. The company particularly recommends the technology for businesses that cannot tolerate latency issues.
However, there are a number of issues with the release. Firstly, IBM notes in the small print for ordering the product that users can either order an Intel disk or a GPU for their server; not both. This is because the Optane SSD DC-4800X is a PCIe device.
Perhaps more significantly, it currently isn’t possible to use the Optane technology as memory, with IBM again noting in its small print that the memory function will not be available immediately and that scheduled availability is to be determined.
Given the company’s focus on developing a product that combines both memory and storage, as well as its commitment to allowing businesses to ‘deploy bigger and more affordable datasets to gain new insights from large memory pools’, these limitations may disappoint users.
The drive will be available at five data centres in Dallas, Washington DC, San Jose, London and Melbourne. Prices are not currently publicly available.