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Database Persistence, Without the Performance Penalty

McObject : Steve Graves

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By Steve Graves, McObject co-founder and CEO

Pe By Steve Graves, McObject co-founder and CEO

If slashing latency is the goal, main memory (DRAM) is definitely the place to store data. System architects recognize this, hence the soaring popularity of in-memory database systems (IMDSs).

But DRAM is volatile ? some applications need greater durability in the event that someone pulls the plug on the system.

What if DRAM could be made persistent, to ?freeze? in-memory data at the moment of system failure? That is the capability delivered by AgigA Tech?s AGIGARAM non-volatile DIMM (NVDIMM), which combines standard DRAM with NAND flash and an ultracapacitor power source. In the first test of its kind, McObject has successfully tested its e X treme DB Financial Edition IMDS using AgigA Tech?s AGIGARAM NVDIMM as main memory storage.

The tests included ?pulling the plug? mid-execution, which confirmed the AGIGARAM product?s ability to save data persistently in the event of system failure, and to facilitate recovery. The benchmark tests also showed e X treme DB Financial Edition?s speed managing data in AgigA Tech?s NVDIMM to be equal to using conventional memory (DRAM). McObject presents the tests results in a free report available here:

To understand the importance of these tests, consider the alternative methods for adding durability to an in-memory database. IMDSs typically support transaction logging, which records (to persistent media) changes to the database and can be used to recover the database after a crash. But this logging adds latency ? elimination of which is typically why an IMDS is chosen in the first place!

Another option is to use DRAM backed up by a battery. However, disadvantages of battery-backed RAM include restrictive temperature requirements, leakage risk, limited storage time, long re-charge cycles, finite battery shelf life, and overall high cost-of-ownership.

In contrast, AGIGARAM and e X treme DB Financial Edition together manage data at DRAM speed, but with persistence and none of the drawbacks of battery-backed RAM. This combination opens the door to a new and powerful approach to database-enabling applications that demand both speed and durability, including mission critical systems for capital markets.