Oracle Partner Says New In-Memory Database Tech Is About More Than Just Faster Speeds

Oracle wasn't first to market with in-memory database technology, but it made sure to add features and capabilities aimed at keeping its database competitors at bay, one of the vendor's top partners said Thursday.

Oracle's new "in-memory column store" technology, which CEO Larry Ellison unveiled earlier this week during an event at the vendor's Redwood Shores, Calif.-based headquarters, enables Oracle's 12c database to run queries between 100 and 1,000 times faster.

With in-memory technology, Oracle's 12c database stores data in both row and columnar formats simultaneously, which makes online transaction processing run twice as fast as previous Oracle databases, according to Ellison.

[Related: Ellison: Oracle's In-Memory Tech Is So Fast, Some Customers Think Their Database Is Broken ]

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With all this extra horsepower, database-driven apps will run more quickly, and Oracle customers will be able to do business faster than they've been able to in the past, Ellison said at the event.

But Bill Kendall, a practice director at BIAS Corp., an Atlanta-based Oracle Platinum partner, said Oracle's in-memory technology offers more than just speed. It also enables customers to better utilize their technology resources, he said.

This is especially true for Oracle's engineered systems customers. Adding in-memory technology to Oracle's Exadata machines gives BIAS Corp. more flexibility in terms of how it sets up customers' databases, according to Kendall.

For example, it's now possible to proactively load oft-accessed data into memory for faster performance, Kendall said.

Ellison said one reason Oracle took longer to release its in-memory technology is because it wanted to make sure customers wouldn't have to make changes to their existing apps in order to use it.

Kendall said this is an important point that will make it simple for customers to adopt the technology. "It's incredibly expensive to change apps," he told CRN. "If app changes were needed to take advantage of in-memory, I couldn't do it."

One thing that isn't clear is how much Oracle plans to charge for its in-memory technology. That information will be revealed next month when Oracle makes the product generally available.

In the meantime, Oracle is hoping its in-memory technology will help it beat back competition from SAP HANA and other, smaller startup competitors that all have eyes on its database cash cow.