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iApplianceWeb.com: Examining Main Memory Databases

Jan 08, 2002, 02:50 (7 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Steve Graves)

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"...since caching is available, why not extend its use to cache entire databases to realize desired performance gains? In addition, RAM-drive utilities exist to create file systems in memory. Deploying a traditional database on such a RAM-disk eliminates physical disk access entirely. Shouldn't its performance equal the main memory database?

...To examine this question, McObject recently benchmarked three approaches to data management. The first used db.linux, a disk-based DBMS, in the traditional fashion, with caching as the only means for reducing disk I/O. The second test differed only in deploying db.linux on a RAM-disk. For the third, application and database design were held constant, but the disk-based database was replaced by McObject's eXtremeDB main memory database.

The open source db.linux was chosen as a representative disk-based database, due to its longevity (first released in 1986 under the name db_VISTA) and also to the author's familiarity with its usage in several Internet-enabled device applications. Technically, eXtremeDB and db.linux presented an "apples to apples" comparison. They have similar database definition languages and are designed to be embedded in applications rather than provide a separately administered server, like Microsoft SQL Server or Oracle. Each has a relatively small footprint when compared to enterprise class databases, and offers a navigational API for precise control over database operations."

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