The Difference Between an In-Memory Database and In-Memory Options

Many technology companies are touting their in-memory database solutions, but when you look beneath the hood, you discover these companies are actually offering cache options that are designed to resemble in-memory computing, but do not offer the same performance.

Today, enterprise-class businesses are using Big Data to solve very specific challenges and issues.  They want to know – with all the data stored on company databases and available on the Internet – what services and solutions offer the best relational database to manage the data to grow their companies.  Quinn Street, which publishes technical media and journals, recently surveyed 540 enterprise decision-makers involved in Big Data purchases to learn how companies plan to use Big Data analytics to improve operations. The survey suggested that “…half of all respondents said they were applying big data analytics to improve customer retention, help with product development and gain a competitive advantage.”

Now that big data has gained a serious foothold in many important industry sectors, solution providers are in heated competition to provide the fastest, most robust speed and storage solutions possible. The rapid new technological developments in database management are presenting opportunities for companies to leverage Big Data like never before.  One term bandied about is In-memory computing which is a database management system designed to provide “…blazing fast data processing speeds for online transactional processing and online analytical processing.”

Some database management vendors, suggest their vigorous cache options are in fact “in-memory”, but that is not always the case.  Fast cache processing only increases the speed of reads and not the writes. “Altibase’s in-memory database has an architecture that handles both reads and writes at the speed of RAM,” says CEO of Altibase.

Data manipulation (DML) is critical for online transactional processing (OLTP) databases. According to experts, caching is an effective mechanism to store memory quickly but that “…it is commonly misconstrued as being an in-memory database or hybrid database,” says CEO of Altibase.

Those not familiar with big data architecture should be wary of any company that calls themselves “in-memory”.  To find out which companies offer cache options versus true in-memory computing, ask.  Check references from solution providers as well as review analyst reports, white papers and articles in reputable technical journals to make sure you are getting true in-memory database performance.

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