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Intel's Lisa Spelman: Why Optane DC Is Winning Over Customers

'The part that's been interesting has been—and I feel good because I said this before launch—was once we get the product in the hands of customers, they will do things with it that we didn't think to do,' Intel Xeon and Memory Chief Lisa Spelman tells CRN in an interview.

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Can you talk about Intel's work with SAP on optimizing in-memory database applications on Optane?

So SAP and SAP HANA, it's such an interesting application. It's how so many companies literally run their business. But they're a very technologically advanced company. They're always trying to find the next thing, figure out what works. And so, interestingly, we're working with them on artificial intelligence and this memory stuff. We've been working with them on the Xeon side about AI being built into their application and how we accelerate that. And then we've been working with them on the memory side about how we optimize more and more of the application.

We've been working with them for 10 years ahead of the launch to bring persistence to the HANA product line and figure out what we're doing. Once it launched, we actually signed a longer-term joint collaboration agreement—it's one of those things where you see the potential, but it's not until you actually get it in the market and start testing with customers that you say, ‘OK, this is the real thing.’ That's been great to take that technical collaboration a level deeper.

So now they're providing input at an architecture level for future generations, and then we're doing work with them, like we literally have our own software engineers sitting with them, making sure that they're taking maximum advantage of the next generation that's coming out because that one was pretty well defined by the time we signed this. And then they're working together on what do we need to do with the hardware changes we're making on the software side for the next-next generation.

So they're giving input for what they need?

Yeah. Deeper design input is what I would say: to more optimally deliver for the application. Then the other thing we did was with Oracle. We won their Exadata business, which is fantastic because then we have this great coverage of [what I call the] enterprise market—it's more like an enterprise use case because people are doing a ton of those workloads at cloud service providers or in a cloud architecture in their on-premise data center. It's cutting across all those.

 
 
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