How the Powerful Combination of Intel® Optane™ Technology and vSAN Can Boost Your Business

Intel's collaborations with VMware* and HPE* are already helping businesses to do more with less.

Key Takeaways

  • Businesses are moving towards storage virtualization to cope with growing data demands.

  • The combination of Intel® Optane™ technology with vSAN offers significant operational boosts.

  • HPE is offering its customers an Intel® Optane™ memory-powered vSAN node which brings substantial cost and performance benefits.



The digital era is completely changing the storage landscape and updating ageing infrastructure is the key to success in the new, data-driven world. We're seeing a move towards private or hybrid cloud infrastructure and storage virtualization, with vSAN (Virtual Storage Area Network) replacing traditional Tier 1 SAN (Storage Area Network) on a massive scale. vSAN is an essential building block for the software-defined data center (SDDC) and while moving to vSAN can streamline network operations dramatically, Intel® Optane™ technology can give it a further boost.

Intel® Optane™ memory is a revolutionary technology that enables businesses to unlock the potential of their data by combining the attributes of both memory and storage. By plugging the technology gap between DRAM and NAND with Intel® Optane™ technology, financial companies can gain significant boosts in performance as well as cutting infrastructure costs and banishing data center bottlenecks.

With Intel® Optane™ technology and Intel® 3D NAND Technology, you take away the worry about being strategic with data workload management.

The technology is shaking up the computing world with an unparalleled combination of speed, density, and non-volatility. Not only does it offer low latency, it delivers incredibly high throughput, high endurance, and predictably fast service. While the product is available in a number of formats, the Intel® Optane™ SSD DC P4800X Series is designed specifically for the data center.

Intel's data center-flavored devices can also be used in conjunction with a second memory technology known as Intel® 3D NAND Technology. This was developed in response to the industry's growing demand for data storage capacity and enables higher capacity and reliability. And, working in a vSAN environment, the combination of the two technologies can offer optimum performance.

“With Intel® Optane™ technology and Intel® 3D NAND Technology, you take away the worry about being strategic with data workload management,” explains Justin Wheeler, EMEA solutions architect at Intel's Non-Volatile Memory Solutions Sales Group. “The performance benefit of Intel® Optane™ memory in vSAN also means you can run more VMs per host. As a result, the number of required nodes can be reduced without compromising on performance, simply by replacing a single device. This obviously has a considerably positive cost impact - it's a very compelling use case.”

Intel® Xeon® Scalable processor systems with of Intel® Optane™ storage together with VMWare vSAN* enable up to 2.5x more VMs per cluster, and up to 2.3x better price performance, according to testing carried out by IT analyst firm Evaluator Group.

These results are significant for FSI businesses because many of them rely on multiple databases. These are typically on-premises and private cloud, so the data that is stored on them is critical. The combination of vSAN with Intel® Optane™ technology delivers high performance for businesses that rely on data-intensive workloads in multiple databases. As the financial sector is a data rich industry with data rich workloads then storage capability is of the utmost importance.

The combination of Intel® Optane™ technology with vSAN offers three key benefits, the first of which is cost effectiveness. “If you look at like-for-like, it becomes heavily favorable from a cost perspective because the performance profile is completely different to anything else out there,” says Wheeler.

The second benefit is that the technology is a multi-role device which can open the door to a whole new world of possibilities. Adaptability is the third benefit – when coupled with traditional NAND-based SSDs, Optane enables businesses to be more agile and reactive. “This massive business agility is going to be important over the next two to three years as the effects of Brexit take hold. It feels like the Optane message is really beginning to land with businesses and it's going to be a fascinating story to follow in 2019,” adds Wheeler.

Some businesses are already reaping the benefits of Intel® Optane™ technology powered vSAN. Intel works in conjunction with cloud computing and virtualization software firm VMware to deliver its vSAN platform for enterprise. A number of major firms already using the VMware vSAN* to deliver cloud-like IT models for the software-defined data center.

What's more, Hewlett Packard Enterprise* (HPE), recently introduced a VMware vSAN* Ready Node powered by the Intel® Xeon® Scalable processor family and incorporating Intel® Optane™ DC technology, SSD devices, allowing its enterprise customers to effectively do more with less. In fact, tests revealed that an Intel® Optane™ DC memory, SSD-based cluster delivers up to 30 per cent more storage consolidation compared with a VMware vSAN* cluster with current-generation all-Flash setup. And in terms of storage benchmarking, the Intel® Optane™ memory-based system offers up to 60 per cent more VMs (Virtual Machines) per node, with an estimated cost that's an impressive 25 per cent lower.1

As the trend towards storage virtualization continues, organizations that deal with data-heavy workloads can feel the tangible benefits of the price performance and substantial boost in VM density offered by this unique technology combination. “People are really starting to see the benefits of Intel® Optane™ technology combined with vSAN,” concludes Wheeler.


1Intel, the Intel logo and Intel Optane are trademarks of Intel Corporation or its subsidiaries in the U.S. and/or other countries.