Intel launches 375 GB Optane SSD that can be used as RAM!

Intel Optane SSD DC P4800X

Ever wondered if your Memory Card had the storage space of your Hard Drive?

Intel just launched their first Optane based SSD with storage of 375GB, built using 3D XPoint Technology. The $1,520 SSD, aimed at servers, workstations and data centers, started shipping today. Currently, it is available in only limited regions, with broader availability to begin in second half of the year.

Intel says an Enterprise Optane with 750 GB SSD will begin shipping in second quarter, and a 1.5 TB SSD in the second half of the year.

The Optane SSDs are touted to be a game changing superfast memory and storage that could replace today’s SSDs and DRAMs. Intel has claimed Optane is up to 10 times faster than conventional SSDs.

Although details of how it works in not known, its performance and technical capabilities encourage a wide range of applications. According to a review by Arstechnica, the low latency and high endurance make Optane a good fit for applications such as caching and database servers.

Jim Myers, director for NVM Solutions Architecture at Intel’s Non-Volatile Memory Solutions Group, says that Optane SSDs will make it easier to move data among servers in data centers. This will boost server productivity and help data intensive applications such as Analytics & BI.

Optane SSDs can also be used to expand memory by mimicking DRAM using hypervisor, Myers said. For this, Intel will release a software called Memory Drive for Optane drives.

Myers claims that companies have been increasingly backing Optane – Facebook has been tryin it out for a year now and IBM has used Optane storage in its Bluemix cloud services. VMWare is also validating Optane SSDs in its vSAN virtualized storage environments. According to Myers, Alibaba has also committed to using Optane SSDs in its database and machine learning environments. Also, Intel is in talks with Microsoft to try out Optane for Windows Server Storage Environments.