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In-Memory Databases: Do You Need The Speed?
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D. Henschen
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D. Henschen,
User Rank: Author
3/3/2014 | 9:39:33 AM
In-memory DBMS vs. In-memory option
Read carefully. There are in-memory database management systems (SAP Hana, Oracle TimesTen, IBM solidDB, etc.) and then there are in-memory features being added to conventional databases (IBM BLU Acceleration for DB2, Microsoft In-Memory OLTP feature of Microsoft SQL Server 2014, the coming In-Memory Option for Oracle 12c). Everyone's promising "dramatic performance improvements" and "non disruption," but only SAP is also saying it can deliver "radical simplification." In my book (and from what customers tell me), non-disruption and radical simplification are mutually exclusive, so consider the business value before committing everything to an in-memory approach.

 
Somedude8
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Somedude8,
User Rank: Ninja
3/3/2014 | 12:01:08 PM
Whoa...
Good article, but I have to admit that my brains is still grappliing with that chart that shows MS Access more used than anything other than SQL Server! Crazay as it sounds, I believe it.

One related point, it seems like some folks are skipping right past the SSD options. I know one company that is still running SQL Server on disks, now asking about in memory. I was trying to get them to at least try SSDs for about a year. They just couldn't seem to hear it, or grasp the order of magnitude speed increase they would see. But somehow, in memory gets past that coporate ear filter. Very strange.
andrewise
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andrewise,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/3/2014 | 12:03:53 PM
Vendors
I just dont understand why you didnt mention Teradata in-database systems...
ryanbetts
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ryanbetts,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/3/2014 | 1:56:54 PM
Disruption
"Avoiding disruption is crucial for the three incumbents, because they want to keep and extend their business with database customers."

This is the key. Certainly all the macro trends are deeply disruptive. Fast mobile networks, broadly deployed sensors, real time electric grids ... all of the components of "Internet of Things," "Machine to Machine," and "Smart Planet" initiatives that are producing data that requires fast, real time processing at scales not possible in legacy database systems.

This disruption is driving multiple avenues of change in the in-memory database space. Most interesting to us, at VoltDB, is the use of in-memory decisioning and analytics to ingest, analyze, organize, respond to and archive incoming high velocity inputs. Combining analytics with transactional decision making on a per-event basis is necessary in a large class of use cases: real time alerting, alarming, authorization, complex policy enforcement, fraud, security and DDoS attack detection, micro-personalization and real time user segmentation.

Viable solutions must be virtualizable for cloud deployment, must offer integrated HA, must run on commodity cloud servers. Adding in-memory without eliminating the expense and complexity of shared storage is insufficient.

 

Ryan.
Brian.Dean
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Brian.Dean,
User Rank: Ninja
3/3/2014 | 6:24:12 PM
Re: Whoa...
Good point, if the economics of in-memory is not making sense for a firm at the moment than SSD should definitely be further investigated, not just become of the faster processing aspect but also because SSD has much lower failure rate. And SSD also provides that path into a hybrid in-momery and Flash solution.
ChrisMurphy
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ChrisMurphy,
User Rank: Author
3/3/2014 | 6:34:20 PM
Re: Vendors
andrewise, Teradata is noted in this accompanying article:

http://www.informationweek.com/big-data/big-data-analytics/in-memory-technology-the-options-abound/d/d-id/1114082
Brian.Dean
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Brian.Dean,
User Rank: Ninja
3/3/2014 | 6:43:23 PM
Re: Disruption
Yes, the Internet of things connections are predicted to reach a number close to 50 billion and much of these connections will only be able to deliver value if real-time analysis capability is present. And the slim profit margins that banks work upon indicates that banks will have to be increasingly online (electronic) in developing countries (where margins are slimmer) to provide service, bringing the unbanked population of the world down. This creates a need for faster and efficient hardware on which their current staff is comfortable, so that once expansion occurs -- demand does not overwhelm their systems.

 
D. Henschen
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D. Henschen,
User Rank: Author
3/3/2014 | 9:01:28 PM
Teradata Covered Here... Re: Vendors
Teradata is an analytical database, so it's not in the transactional (OLTP) fray. That said, its "Intelligent Memory" feature, introduced last year, is covered in "In-Memory Technology: Options Abound."
Charlie Babcock
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Charlie Babcock,
User Rank: Author
3/3/2014 | 10:08:38 PM
For some, a switch to SSDs might be enough
SomeDude8: I too wonder about the SSD option alongside the in-memory database. For many people, switching from disk to SSD would be a good investment and gives applications better response times. But it's doesn't give the extra big yields in latency savings that the in-memory database operation does. Calls for data still have to exit the database server to an external device and return the data, which yields a 3X or 4X improvement, but not a 10X. But I suspect that a switch to SSDs makes a lot of sense for a lot of users in how it would decrease wait times and increase output in a highly non-disruptive manner.
Li Tan
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Li Tan,
User Rank: Ninja
3/3/2014 | 10:35:45 PM
Re: For some, a switch to SSDs might be enough
I think moving to SSD and deploying traditional DB on it may be a more feasible solution for most of enterprises. Migrating data to another DB such as Mongo may not be cost effectivite. Furthermore, it will create some disturbance to the ongoing business. The in-memory DB looks good and it's really fast, but the reliability is always a concern - how frequent should we make the checkpoint and take snapshot for the DB?
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