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Linux Journal: In-Memory Database Systems

Sep 07, 2002, 02:30 (2 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Steve Graves)

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"Growth in intelligent connected devices is soaring. Whether in the home, the pocket or built into industrial communications and transportation systems, such gear has evolved to include powerful CPUs and sophisticated embedded systems software. One type of software increasingly seen within such devices is the database management system (DBMS). While familiar on desktops and servers, databases are a recent arrival to embedded systems. Like any organism dropped into a new environment, databases must evolve. A new type of DBMS, the in-memory database system (IMDS), represents the latest step in DBMSes' adaptation to embedded systems.

"Why are embedded systems developers turning to databases? Market competition requires that devices like set-top boxes, network switches and consumer electronics become 'smarter'. To support expanding feature sets, applications generally must manage larger volumes of more complex data. As a result, many device developers find they are outgrowing self-developed data management solutions, which can be especially difficult to maintain and extend as application requirements increase.

"In addition, the trend toward standard, commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) embedded operating systems--and away from a fragmented environment of many proprietary systems--promotes the availability of databases. The emergence of a widely used OS such as embedded Linux creates a user community, which in turn spurs development (both commercially and noncommercially) of databases and other tools to enhance the platform..."

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