I have finally finished and uploaded the long-awaited white paper on memory-centric data management.
This is the project for which I origially coined the term “memory-centric data management,” after realizing that the prevalent “in-memory DBMS” creates all sorts of confusion about how and whether data persists on disk. The white paper clarifies and updates points I have been making about memory-centric data management since last summer. Sponsors included:
- Applix, vendors of in-memory/memory-centric MOLAP tool TM1
- Progress Software, vendors of ObjectStore, an OODBMS that has more impressive references in-memory or otherwise memory-centric than it does in classical disk-based configurations, and also of the Apama stream processing products
- SAP, vendors of the BI Accelerator functionality of SAP NetWeaver, or whatever tortured name they want to give it this month — basically, that’s a very cool in-memory columnar data mart technology
- Solid Information Technology, vendor of hybrid in-memory/disk-based OLTP RDBMS. Historically focused on the embedded systems market, especially telecom and networking, they’ve recently been in the news because of a deal with MySQL that is designed to extend their reach.
- Intel, makers of the processors used to run a lot of the other sponsors’ products (including all BI Accelerator installations to date).
If there’s one area in my research I’m not 100% satisfied with, it may be the question of where the true hardware bottlenecks to memory-centric data management lie (it’s obvious that the bottleneck to disk-centric data management is random disk access). Is it processor interconnect (around 1 GB/sec)? Is it processor-to-cache connections (around 5 GB/sec)? My prior pronouncements, the main body of the white paper, and the Intel Q&A appendix to the white paper may actually have slightly different spins on these points.
And by the way — the current hard limit on RAM/board isn’t 2^64 bytes, but a “mere” 2^40. But don’t worry; it will be up to 2^48 long before anybody actually puts 256 gigabytes under the control of a single processor.