What is a Hybrid Database?

hybrid database structure in memory plus on disk

Altibase developed and commercialized a true hybrid database for the first time in the world in 2005.

A hybrid database is a balanced database management system that offers high performance data processing in main memory with the vast storage capabilities of physical disk.

A hybrid database has both in-memory database features and on-disk database features in a single unified engine. As a result, data can be stored and manipulated in main memory alone, on disk alone or a combination of both.

Altibase’s hybrid architecture allows for utilization of memory tables for high performance and disk tables for economical storage and consequently eliminates the need to purchase an in-memory database and a disk-resident database separately.

Working in a true hybrid environment provides significant benefits over both in-memory and disk-resident databases.

To fully understand why, it is important to understand the respective benefits of in-memory and disk-resident databases.

In-memory databases are almost always significantly faster than any disk-resident database. In addition, the fact that data resides directly in RAM means that response times and latency are extremely low (microsecond scale). However, the downside is that RAM is significantly more expensive than traditional hard disks, and also has smaller storage capacity.

In contrast, disk-resident databases generally have fairly poor performance. This is because disk I/O is very expensive, and the architecture of the database often spends a lot of CPU resources optimizing disk access patterns. However, disk-resident databases have immense storage capacity and this storage is fairly cheap.

This is why a hybrid engine is so attractive. By combining an in-memory database and a disk-resident database into one solution, you effectively get all the benefits and eliminate all the disadvantages. Need high performance? Use memory tables. Need lots of storage? Use disk tables.

Other database solutions try to emulate this architecture, sometimes by using a different IMDB as a caching layer for their disk database. But the implementation is often complex, buggy and expensive due to the need to maintain multiple disparate database licenses.

With Altibase, you get all of these advantages in one easy-to-use solution. In addition, the engine is truly unified in the sense that you can perform operations such as joins between memory tables and disk tables without issues.

The following case studies have hybrid architecture usages of Altibase.

  • Automated Taxi Dispatch Service – KOREA Transportation Safety Authority (TS) : operations for memory tables and disk tables without any additional solutions
  • Smart City Project – A Small Provincial City : Altibase’s hybrid mode avoided extra license and maintenance fees.

Altibase – Downloading is Believing.


Superior Deployment Flexibility

Combines the benefits of in-memory speed
and on-disk storage in a single relational database

Support for Varied Workloads

  • Real time access to time critical hot data
  • Access to historical data for audit or analytics
  • Complex transactions through integrated data
  • Easy bidirectional data movement between memory and disk tables
  • Joins between memory and disk tables

Flexible Deployment Mode

  • In-memory only
  • On-disk only
  • Hybrid (memory and disk tables)

Highly Available Hybrid Database

Replication: Built-in Feature

  • Log-based, TCP/IP replication
  • Additional layer of durability
  • Adaptive consistency (Synchronous vs. Asynchronous)
  • Non-stop service architecture (Active-Active vs. Active-Standby)
  • Near standalone replication performance
  • 96% Active-Standby
  • Near linear async scaling
  • Conflict detection and resolution
  • Flexible load balancing strategy

Robust Driver Set

  • ODBC
  • JDBC
  • .NET & Entity Framework
  • Embedded SQL
  • CLI
  • Perl DBD
  • PHP

Support for Common Communication Protocols

  • TCP/IP (IPv4 and IPv6)
  • Unix Domain Socket
  • IPC

Productivity and Administration

  • iSQL (Command line SQL Utility)
  • Orange for Altibase(GUI SQL Utility, WareValley )
  • Replication Manager (GUI Replication Utility )
  • altiComp (Command line Comparing database Utility )
  • altiProfile (Command line  Profiling database Utility)
  • altiMon (Command line  Monitoring database Utility)

Interoperability and Migration

  • Migration Center (GUI Migration Utility)
  • aExport (Command line Migration Utility )
  • iLoader (Command line Data Import/Export Utility )
  • oraAdaptor (Data transfer for Oracle Utility)



Sun Solaris


Microsoft Windows


Real People and Actual Result

By pairing the Intel Distribution for Apache Hadoop with the in-memory technologies provided by Altibase, enterprises are able to achieve high performance data processing within a protected and high performance environment.

Jobi GeorgeDirector of Big Data Software Product & Channels for Intel’s Datacenter Software Division

Thanks to Altibase, we have maintained our dominant position in online financial trading. Altibase solved many of our latency and stability issues with their in-memory database, and we look forward to the future technologies Altibase is developing.

Operating EngineerE*TRADE Financial

Altibase database has been certified through the Dell Technology Partner Program. Altibase has the efficiency of RAM and the capacity of Disk.

ISV, Engineering Team LeadDELL / Global Solutions Labs

Thanks to Altibase, we were able to maximize operational efficiency in our manufacturing process. Using Oracle, we did not have real time quality assurance, but now we do. We were able to reduce operational costs because we could process large volumes of data without extra cost. We have had more than 4 years of uninterrupted operation using Altibase, and believe that the in-memory database technology they possess is the best on the market. We are very pleased with Altibase’s performance, cost effectiveness and reliability.

System Technology SpecialistSamsung Electronic

We recognized the excellence of Altibase’s enterprise DBMS through their market share and referrals from satisfied customers. We are confident that Altibase will continue to serve the customers, not just themselves, and wish them luck in expanding their global market share with their database products.

Senior EngineerChina Unicom (Sandoong)