Intel and Lightbits Labs have entered into a strategic collaboration to improve the performance and profitability of data centers. 

On Tuesday, the chip giant said both parties will develop disaggregated storage solutions suitable for data centers; in particular, systems that will reduce total-cost-of-ownership (TCO) issues caused by stranded disk capacity and performance problems. 

TCO variables can include energy usage, cooling requirements, location, and the choice of equipment. Cost-reducing investments in the data center usually pursued relate to reducing waste, labor time, and reclaiming or recovering stranded disk capacity — allocated but unused storage that would otherwise not be available for use by applications. 

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Intel and Lightbits Labs will work together to co-engineer technical solutions designed to reduce stranded disk volumes as well as launch go-to-market initiatives. 

The companies will investigate how merged designs — utilizing Intel’s hardware and Lightbits’ LightOS, a solution described as “composable, disaggregated NVMe/TCP software-defined storage that performs like local flash,” could be of benefit to data center owners. 

The LightOS NVMe over Fabrics TCP (NVMe-oF/TCP) storage solution has already been tested with Intel’s Ethernet 800 network adapter series. The new system on the table will combine LightOS, Intel Optane memory and 3D NAND SSDs based on QLC, Intel Xeon processors and Ethernet 800 network adapters. 

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Lightbits Labs

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Intel says that when LightOS is combined with the firm’s hardware, this can provide customers with “vastly improved storage efficiency and reduces underutilization while maintaining compatibility with existing infrastructure.”

Intel will also invest in Lightbits Labs, but the financial details of the agreement have not been disclosed. 

“The data center is being transformed, with disaggregation and composability of resources being essential to meet the efficiency requirements needed to address the explosion of data,” commented Remi EL-Ouazzane, VP and Data Platforms Group chief strategy & business development officer at Intel. “Our differentiated hardware capabilities coupled with Lightbits innovative NVMe over Fabrics software gives our joint customers an exceptional economic solution to address this strategic inflection point.”

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