The Dawn of the CXL Era

As the first server processor that will officially support the CXL 1.1+ memory interconnect, AMD 4th Gen EPYC Processors mark the beginning of the CXL era.  CXL (Compute Express Link) is a new industry standard that promises memory capacity and bandwidth expansion, memory pooling and memory sharing.  It will break through the memory and IO walls, two of the most fundamental data center bottlenecks for modern data-centric applications.

For the first time in history, memory is disaggregated from compute, allowing it to be independently scaled and managed.  Pools of shared memory pool will allow utilization to soar compared with DDR-attached memory held captive by processors inside servers. Memory disaggregation also makes a new class of memory fabric management software necessary for pooling, sharing and many other memory data services now possible when memory is software-defined. Similar to how storage disaggregation in the early 90’s led to the creation of Storage Area Network (SAN) and Network Attached Storage (NAS) markets, memory disaggregation will create new multi-billion-dollar memory software and system markets.

The Storage Analogy

CXL is a watershed event for modern applications that need to process big data fast. Memory expansion can effectively accelerate AI-based applications such as fraud detection and genomic analytics. Pooling will increase memory utilization and dramatically reduce the biggest cost component of data center infrastructure. Memory sharing will provide a new high-performance method of communication between computing nodes, which will lead to new distributed application designs. 4th Gen EPYC Processor with CXL support laid the foundation for this exciting change that promises to deliver immediate business benefits to its users.

As a software leader for CXL, MemVerge has two existing products that supports AMD 4th Gen EPYC Processor and CXL. Memory Viewer software visualizes memory infrastructure including its resource allocation and application profiles and it can be downloaded free. Memory Machine software transparently tiers DDR and CXL memory, and deliver the optimal performance to the applications.  Request a demo if you are interested in evaluating the software.