Meet one of the innovators helping advance world-class memory and server technologies.
Piotr Adamowicz is a software engineering manager in the Data Center Engineering and Architecture Group at Intel Poland. His team develops software solutions to support enablement of the next class of memory – Intel®Optane™ DCpersistent memory. This unique technology is both faster and far more affordable than other solutions available on the market.
We recently spoke with Piotr about his work, what makes Intel Poland special, and the skills his team looks for in job candidates.
What exactly does your team do?
Data Center Engineering and Architecture focuses on development and validation of the most modern server platforms for the data center business. In our group, we work on hardware, firmware, BIOS, drivers and end-to-end solutions. We collaborate closely with peers in the US, China, Mexico, and India – so many teams are involved from different countries.
We’re working on the Intel Optane DC persistent memory, a new class of memory and storage technology designed specifically for data center usage. It represents a groundbreaking technology innovation, and, delivered with the 2nd Generation Intel® Xeon® Scalable Processors, this workload optimized technology will help businesses extract more actionable insights from data – from cloud and databases, to in-memory analytics, and content delivery networks.
This technology fills the gap between DRAM memory and SSD hard drives. So, unlike traditional DRAM, this persistent memory will offer the combination of high capacity, good performance, and the persistence—at a more affordable cost. It can also work in two modes: volatile, which can be used as a typical DRAM, and non-volatile, which can be used as a storage. The customer can decide how they want to work with this memory and configure it accordingly.
Here in Poland, we’re focusing on firmware/software development and validation. My team simulate customer use cases at scale to validate Intel Optane DC persistent memory usage via an approach that combines component and platform aspects of validation. The biggest challenge is to meet customer expectations. Customers have different approaches to using this product and validating operating systems, in-memory databases, workloads and more. And we need to be as close as possible to the customer’s validation approach.
What is the purpose and impact of this technology?
The data center market is growing exponentially, and with so many applications, performance is crucial to being competitive. In simple terms, it’s all about performance and cost. On the one hand, there is the high performance DRAM, but the cost is also high. On the other hand, SSD is less expensive than DRAM, but much slower.
The exciting fact is that we are working on this new type of memory which will allow a revolution of the data center market. It’s amazing. Here is a new class of product that, we believe, will fill the gap in the data center market right now—providing high performance at a lower cost.
We have engaged some companies as early adopters, and we cooperate closely with Cloud Service Providers such as Alibaba and Google, and OEMs. I hope that this product will be widely-used and quickly incorporated in the data center by many cloud service providers and other companies.
Ultimately what sets it apart is the opportunity for development. Intel supports many development areas, from technical to soft skills. Every engineer can develop the areas that interest them. This is very valuable to me.
Looking at my career—I’ve been at Intel for 10 years—I started as a firmware engineer, became a software engineer, moved into a managerial role, and now I’m a software engineering manager. All these roles were in different groups. So, if I want to change something, I don’t have to change the company. I can just change the project and start something new.
What would the ideal candidate for joining your team bring to the table?
From the technical point of view, two skillsets are important: validation and DevOps practices. This means I’m looking for people with validation experience and a strong focus on automation. A background in IT, and especially experience of large scale distribution systems and infrastructure monitoring, is also helpful. We are working at scale and all the work is done remotely, so we need to have strong automation with our tools and the knowledge of how operating systems work. We don’t do the same thing twice!
From the validation perspective, the ideal candidate has experience of software validation and knows programming languages like C# and Python. Platform debugging and problem solving skills are highly desired.
It’s important that people are open, direct, and can easily share their feedback. They must be able to clearly identify and communicate when something is not working as it should be. Mainly, I’m looking for people who are independent, organized, and can work well within teams.
Curious about Intel Poland? Find out more here: https://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/jobs/locations/poland.html