November 14, 2005

Defining and surveying “Memory-centric data management”

I’m writing more and more about memory-centric data management technology these days, including in my latest Computerworld column. You may be wondering what that term refers to. Well, I’ve basically renamed what are commonly called “in-memory DBMS,” for what I think is a very good reason: Most of the products in the category aren’t true DBMS, aren’t wholly in-memory, or both! Indeed, if you catch me in a grouchy mood I might argue that “in-memory DBMS” is actually a contradiction in terms.

I’ll give a quick summary of the vendors and products I am focusing on in this newly-named category, and it should be clearer what I mean:

So there you have it. There are a whole lot of technologies out there that manage data in RAM, in ways that would make little or no sense if disks were more intimately involved. Conventional DBMS also try to exploit RAM and limit disk access, via caching; but generally the data access methods they use in RAM are pretty similar to those they use when going out to disk. So memory-centric systems can have a major advantage.

Comments

2 Responses to “Defining and surveying “Memory-centric data management””

  1. Jags Ramnarayan on July 30th, 2007 1:28 pm

    You should consider including “data fabric” or “data grid” vendors. Checkout http://jagslog.blogspot.com/2006/07/introducing-distributed-data-fabric.html

    and http://www.gemstone.com/pdf/GemFire_Architecture.pdf for a description of the architecture.

  2. Curt Monash on July 30th, 2007 1:32 pm

    Hi Jags,

    Other than choice of buzzword, how is that different from ObjectStore?

    Thanks,

    CAM

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