In the not too distant past, in fact, quite recently, many chuckled at the notion of RAM being used as a viable storage medium for database management systems. Boy, have times changed.
I have heard it all:
“RAM is way too expensive, conceptually it sounds great, but it will never be used in the real-world.”
“Our data is important to us, so RAM will never work because if the power goes out, we lose all of our data.”
“I don’t need that kind of performance.”
According to a recent article in InformationWeek, 10 In-Memory Database Options Power Speedy Performance:
“Yes, the death of the conventional disk drive has been greatly exaggerated, but Moore’s Law has brought down the cost of RAM so dramatically that in-memory technology is getting to be downright pervasive.” –Doug Henshchen, Executive Editor of InformationWeek
“The earliest purveyors of in-memory databases included Altibase, solidDB (recently divested by IBM), and TimesTen (acquired in 2005 and still owned by Oracle). These products emerged for niche applications such as telecom, financial trading, and high-speed e-commerce. Today these products are seeing broader use, branching into analytics, big data, gaming, and Internet-of-Things-style applications.” –Doug Henshchen, Executive Editor of InformationWeek
“From Altibase to VoltDB, and covering options from IBM, Microsoft, Oracle, and SAP, we wrap up leading in-memory databases and add-on options. When you need speed, here are 10 tools to choose.” –Doug Henshchen, Executive Editor of InformationWeek
Companies that are early to embrace in-memory DBMS technology will have a leg up on the competition. From real-time inventory control, compliance/policy control, defense and financial trading to authentication, marketing communications management and geo-location tracking, in-memory databases are taking over. In-memory databases still have a storage limitation defined by the amount of RAM able to be stuffed into a machine. However, single servers have the ability to handle 6 TBs of RAM, and this limitation is rapidly fading away.
The storage limitations do constrain some use cases that involve data warehouses and other massive petabyte scale deployments, but by and large, thousands of common use cases benefit from in-memory performance. This phenomenon will only grow over time.
With over several hundred in-memory database options available today, it is still remarkable that only a handful preside as the best of the best.
Altibase prides itself on its maturity, being one of the first to come to market in the world. With its humble beginnings 23 years ago as an academic research project, it is amazing that it is now the in-memory DBMS vendor-of-choice for nearly 600 of the top enterprises across the globe.