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A Summer of Partnership for VMware and Intel on Optane Persistent Memory

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The summer of 2020 has been turbulent and unsettling for businesses and IT organizations of all types. With so much uncertainty in the air, IT pros need technology partners they can rely on. One of the most enduring and beneficial relationships for the industry is Intel’s 15-year partnership with VMware to deliver high-performance, feature-rich virtualization solutions. This summer, Intel and VMware engineers worked together to deliver three breakthroughs on VMware software and Intel® Optane™ persistent memory (PMem).

Virtualize SAP HANA and Optane Persistent Memory? Now, you can!

SAP HANA is a powerful in-memory database and the backbone of many company’s data analytics capabilities. Intel Optane PMem has been certified for SAP HANA for “bare metal” deployments, providing affordable in-memory database performance and dramatically shortened restart times. Engineers from Intel, VMware and SAP collaborated to validate and certify SAP HANA with Optane PMem in a VMware vSphere 6.7 and 7.0 environment, enabling customers to enjoy the powerhouse data analytics capabilities of SAP HANA with the flexibility, manageability and TCO benefits of running virtualized on VMware vSphere on-prem or in the public cloud. Simultaneously meeting the demanding certifications of both VMware and SAP validates Intel Optane PMem as truly enterprise-ready.

New VMware-Supported Configurations for Optane Persistent Memory in “Memory Mode”

VMware enabled vSphere 6.7 EP10 and later for Intel Optane PMem since April 2019 for both App Direct and Memory Modes. Over the last several months, Intel and VMware conducted additional performance tests and config optimization for VMware environments when running Optane PMem in Memory Mode. The result of this joint engineering effort is a new set of VMware-supported Memory Mode configurations on 2nd Gen Intel® Xeon® Scalable processors ranging from one to six terabytes of memory per 2-socket platform. The configurations provide guidance on the optimal ratios of DRAM and Optane persistent memory for best performance and full support your vSphere environment. A key requirement of this configuration guidance is a performance-enhancing BIOS setting called “Balanced Profile” [PDF] that Intel developed in cooperation with our ecosystem partners. Confer with your server manufacturer about BIOS versions with Balanced Profile included.

High-Performance, Scalable VDI for Remote Workers

With so many employees and students working remotely, deployment of Virtual Desktop Infrastructure has rapidly accelerated. Rising to the challenge, Intel and VMware collaborated to develop the Intel® Select Solution for VMware Horizon VDI on vSAN. Intel Select Solutions are verified configurations of hardware and software designed to reduce qualification time, accelerate time-to-deployment and increase confidence in optimal application performance. The “Plus” configuration of the Select Solution for VMware Horizon VDI features 2nd Gen Intel Xeon Platinum processors, Intel Optane persistent memory, Intel® 25Gb Ethernet, and Intel® Optane and 3D NAND SSDs, a configuration shown to support as many as 87% more remote users than the “Base” configuration at a lower cost per desktop. Together, Intel and VMware enable our customers to better serve their remote users and create more resilient enterprises. Congratulations to the first technology partner to announce plans to offer this new Intel Select Solution, World Wide Technology.

Intel’s partnerships with the industry’s software leaders continue to deliver value through optimized performance and innovative features. This summer, we really showed how our steadfast collaboration with VMware on Optane persistent memory and other Intel technologies can help our customers succeed.

About the Author
Kristie is currently the Sr. Director of Product Management for Intel's Optane persistent memory products for the data center. She is responsible for market development, products, and marketing strategy. She joins this team from her prior role as the Director of Engineering Datacenter Engineering group. She is based in Portland, Oregon.