Ice Lake scales MemVerge in-memory SW to new heights

Updated Memory Machine software from MemVerge runs applications faster with support for Ice Lake CPUs and increased memory capacity.

MemVerge CEO Charles Fan issued this announcement: “Memory Machine v1.2 is designed to allow application vendors and end-users to take full advantage of Intel’s latest Xeon Scalable processor and Optane memory technology.”

MemVerge’s Big Memory software virtualizes DRAM and Optane persistent memory (PMem) tiers into a single resource pool to host applications and their working data set in memory and so avoid making time-sapping storage IO calls to SSDs or disk drives. 

Blocks & Files diagram showing Memory Machine concep

Memory Machine 1.2 supports four to 80 Ice Lake cores and up to 6TB of DRAM + Optane PMem 200 storage-class memory per Ice Lake CPU. There is 32 per cent more bandwidth than with Optane PMem 200 than PMem 100 drives.

Newly-announced Ice Lake gen 3 Xeon CPUs run faster than gen 2 Xeons which speeds up in-memory apps. Ice Lake also supports more memory sockets – 8 rather than 6 – giving 2TB DRAM capacity per CPU, instead of the prior 1.5TB. Ice Lake Gen 2’s Optane PMem support bulks up the overall per-CPU memory capacity to 6TB from gen 2 Xeon’s 4.5TB maximum. This extra capacity means more and larger in-memory applications can run and execute faster.

Storage Review testing showed that Memory Machine 1.2 running with dual 40-core Ice Lake CPU, 512GB DRAM, and 2TB of Optane PMem 200 provided 2x read performance and 3x write performance of a dual 26-core gen 2 Cascade Lake Xeon system with 192GB DRAM and 1.5TB of PMem 100 capacity.

MemVerge’s press announcement includes a quote from Mark Wright, technology manager for Chapeau Studios: “Initially, we opened a poly-dense scene in Maya and it took two-and-a-half minutes [from storage]. Then, we opened a scene from a snapshot we’d taken with Memory Machine and it took eight seconds.”

V1.2 Memory Machine adds:

  • Centralised Memory Management for configuration, monitoring, and alerts for DRAM and PMem across the data centre,
  • Redis and Hazelcast Cluster high-availability through coordinated in-memory snapshots to enable instant recovery of the entire cluster,
  • Double the OLPT performance of Microsoft SQL Server on Linux ,
  • Support for QEMU-KVM hypervisor with dynamic tuning of DRAM:PMem ratio per VM, and minimised performance degradation caused by noisy neighbours,  
  • Autosaving and in-memory snapshots allow animation and VFX apps to provide Time Machine capabilities that allow artists to share workspaces instantly and recover from crashes in seconds.

MemVerge expects the software upgrade will accelerate single-cell genome analytics but has not yet published figures demonstrating this.

The company has joined the CXL consortium, which is developing coherent bus technology to enable remote access to pools of memory. The company has also set up labs at Arrow, Intel, MemVerge, Penguin Computing, and WWT that are equipped for Big Memory demonstrations, proof-of-concept testing, and software integration.

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