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Sunday, May 11, 2003

More Inflection Points: RAM-based Databases

From the thoughts of Monty Widenius (MySQL)... What I am looking forward to is diskless computers, a little similar to PDAs today, but with much better capacity. Hard disks will be used more as very large backup devices for things that you don't need regularly.

Gemstone's largest customers usually had their entire OODB running on very large systems with the entire database in RAM via copy-on-write shared pages.

Battery-backed RAM would be an incredible boost to performance and simplification to implementing ACID transactions. The other big win for large memory databases is to distinguish read-only data, where you could get rid of most semaphores as well. That's not done enough today.

For habit's sake we insist on running OLAP from OLTP systems designed 20-30 years ago. Newer designs can fit far more RO data in RAM too.

(This is a good time to be a computer scientist. Lots of change over the next five years.)

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Portland, Oregon, United States
I'm usually writing from my favorite location on the planet, the pacific northwest of the u.s. I write for myself only and unless otherwise specified my posts here should not be taken as representing an official position of my employer. Contact me at my gee mail account, username patrickdlogan.