The use case for really big enterprise systems is far easier to find than that for a desktop PC. I would expect a lot of work remains to be done before a desktop OS really knows how to much real use of this. It can be treated as a traditional RAM disk but that is just scratching the surface of the potential.
Several years ago, we filed a Provisional Patent Application for adding a
"Format RAM" feature to BIOS subsystems, easily adapted to UEFI subsystems:
Installing an OS into a non-volatile ramdisk seems like a natural extension of Optane's capabilities.
A more ambitious approach would dedicate one-third of a triple-channel
memory subsystem to Optane, and adding the logic required to
BOOT from that subsystem, either during COLD starts or during WARM starts:
4 x DIMM slots w/ DDR4 operating in quad-channel mode
2 x DIMM slots w/ Optane operating in dual-channel mode, hosting NV-OS
Compare what we are doing right now with our workstations:
(a) first, we "Migrate OS" to a fast RAID-0, and maintain the source OS
as a backup, in case we need to boot from that original partition;
cf. PartitionWizard freeware's "Migrate OS" feature;
(b) if/when we need to restore a drive image to the fast RAID-0,
we boot from the original partition, and then run GHOST restore
(this works much faster than running GHOST from a CD-ROM).
Because the logic required to create and maintain a transparent NTFS ramdisk
has already been developed e.g. see RamDisk Plus from www.superspeed.com
it doesn't seem to me like a LOT of new R&D would be required
to format a ramdisk as part of a fresh OS install. See our Provisional Patent
Applications above, for one straightforward approach.
(I'm open to hearing why the latter statement is NOT entirely correct.)
Hosting an OS like Windows in a non-volatile ramdisk
is something that prosumers would enjoy using
on their primary workstation.
With that capability working and perfected, such a workstation
cannot be too far from an "INSTANT ON" ability too.
And, we already host all of our Internet browser caches
in a 13GB ramdisk, and the performance of Firefox
is noticeably accelerated by this one change.
... just thinking out loud here, OK?