Is Intel Optane good?

2019-04-30

Originally posted in reply to The Evolution of Disk Storage and an Introduction to NVMe

Optane is persistent and bit-addressable, with mean latency under 1 microsecond, which is an order of magnitude faster than other SSDs.

I don't think the market has figured out the right use case for Optane yet. The majority of desktop applications won't benefit from lower latency IOPS and it's too expensive to use for general purpose storage on servers. It does make sense for constant write or seek-heavy applications like database journals, but most databases are optimized for doing bulk sequential reads/writes and won't take advantage of Optane's bit addressable storage.

Intel's recently started shipping Optane DIMM modules that act like slow, cheap, high density RAM. This is an interesting option as it allows in-memory databases to be atomically persistent without having to add any code.