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6/5/2008
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IBM Adds High Speed, In-Memory Option To DB2, Informix

SolidDB is an in-memory relational database that can serve as a high-performance front end to either DB2 or Informix Dynamic Server.

IBM has issued its first solidDB product since it came under IBM ownership with the purchase of Solid Information Technology at the end of January. SolidDB is an in-memory relational database that can serve as a high-performance front end to either DB2 or Informix Dynamic Server. Oracle led IBM in discovering the value of placing an in-memory database in front of a standard relational system. The in-memory system has preloaded data likely to be needed into server memory prior to a request. Traditional relational systems rely heavily on disk retrievals. By putting a system, such as Oracle TimesTen, in front of the disk-based system, response times pick up closer to the speed of light versus lengthy disk waits. They are especially useful with Web site applications, where the same data is being read repeatedly by thousands of users.

SolidDB can support "tens of thousands of transactions per second with predictable response times," said Paola Lubet, director of product marketing and former VP of marketing for Solid Information Technology. In a telecommunications application, solidDB has achieved 140,000 transactions per second, she said.

"This is a low-latency, high-performance play," she said. In-memory databases are also used in e-commerce, financial services, ticketing, reservations, and online gaming applications as well as telecom, she said.

Three solidDB products will become available June 24, when pricing will be announced. They are the standalone IBM solidDB Release 6.1; solidDB Cache for DB2 6.1 and IBM solidDB Cache for Informix Dynamic Server 6.1.

The in-memory database system does something that the original relational systems were designed not to do -- it takes advantage of large amounts of cheap memory. "The plunging cost of memory facilitates adoption of this technology. It exploits inexpensive memory," said Lubet.

A data storage engine produced by Solid Information Technology is not part of the 6.1 releases. It serves as a storage engine for the MySQL open source database system and has been released by IBM as an independent project located on the open source project hosting site, SourceForge.

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