GridGain gets big speed boost from app-direct Optane

In-memory computing supplier GridGain is gaining 10x-100x speed boost by supporting Optane PMem and Intel’s AVX-512 instructions.

GridGain provides an in-memory facility for running transactions, streaming and analytics applications using clustered x86 server nodes in a grid defined by a distributed, massively parallel architecture. Its base software was donated to the Apache Software Foundation in 2014, where it became Apache Ignite. 

Nikita Ivanov

Nikita Ivanov, founder and CTO of GridGain Systems, said in a statement: “Native support in GridGain for … Optane persistent memory combined with vectorised computations is the ultimate solution for advancing our vision and gaining that extra boost. It eliminates the need to copy data from PMem to DRAM and enables much more data to be processed within a single CPU cycle, delivering a tremendous increase in performance for financial institutions, telcos, transportation companies, animation and gaming studios, and more.”

The software provides a single overall pool of memory, made up from DRAM and byte-addressable Optane PMem 200 series drives, which are used in AppDirect mode. (Block-level access to data in PMem is already supported in GridGain 8.) The Optane capacity is used as a high-density, low-latency storage tier for analytical data and training data sets. Changing to AppDirect mode provided a 10x performance boost compared to the same system with no Optane and Intel DC P4510 SSD capacity.

GridGain graphic.

However, GridGain’s coming 9.0 software release adds support for AVX-512 and other SIMD X86 CPU instructions. SIMD stands for Single Instruction, Multiple Data and it enables parallel processing on multiple data points. 

AVX-512 is a vectorising extension to the 256-bit vector extension in the SIMD instruction set. Intel said its use can accelerate performance in scientific simulations, financial analytics, artificial intelligence (AI)/deep learning, 3D modelling and analysis, image and audio/video processing, cryptography and data compression.

GridGain will support AVX-512 natively to accelerate vectorised computations over the data stored in both the PMem and DRAM layers of the GridGain storage engine.

Alper Ilkbahar, Intel’s VP for the Data Platforms Group and GM of the Optane Group, said : “This is definitely a situation where the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. The extraordinary performance gained by Intel Optane persistent memory 200 series and AVX-512 instructions in combination with the GridGain In-Memory Computing Platform will help transform data processing in the industry.”

GridGain 9.0 will support the PMem 200 series drives, AVX-512 and the latest Ice Lake 3rd gen Xeon processors. It will become available in the next few months.