|By Nikita Ivanov||
|December 30, 2014 05:00 PM EST||
The Facts and Fiction of In-Memory Computing
In the last year, conversations about In-Memory Computing (IMC) have become more and more prevalent in enterprise IT circles, especially with organizations feeling the pressure to process massive quantities of data at the speed that is now being demanded by the Internet. The hype around IMC is justified: tasks that once took hours to execute are streamlined down to seconds by moving the computation and data from disk, directly to RAM. Through this simple adjustment, analytics are happening in real-time, and applications (as well as the development of applications) are working at-pace with this new standard of technology and speed.
Despite becoming both more cost-effective and accepted within enterprise computing, there are still a small handful of falsehoods that confuse even the most technical of individuals in enterprise IT.
Myth: In-memory computing is about databases, so this isn't really relevant to my business.
The best way to clear the air around IMC is to start with a simple explanation of what, in fact, in-memory computing is. While many assume that because we are talking about RAM, we are having a conversation about databases and storage, but this is not the case.
IMC, at its most basic level, is using a middleware software that allows one to store data in RAM - across a broad cluster of computers - and do any and all processing where it resides (in the memory). With traditional methods, data processing is often confined to spinning disks.
By comparison, in-memory computing speeds up this process by roughly 5,000 times. Now you can see that we're not talking about storage only - instead active, fluid data and computing.
Which brings me to another, more tangible point about computing efficiency. By incorporating in-memory, a handful of processes are streamlined in order to save time, resources, and money.
To start, in-memory requires much less hardware; the result - significantly decreased capital, operational and infrastructure overhead.
Moreover, IT departments can also significantly extend the life of existing hardware and software through the increased performance that is inherent with IMC - thus amplifying the ROI on the machines that have already been purchased.
Surprisingly, in-memory computing is not a new phenomenon. Since the inception of RAM, IMC has been viewed as reliable accelerant for high-performance computing, bringing us to the next crucial misconception about this technology.
Myth: In-memory computing is expensive, therefore not practical for my operation.
There is a reason that this is one of the most common misunderstandings about IMC, because there was a point in time where the cost of memory was once quite high. That being said, the cost of RAM has been dropping consistently, at a rate of about 30% - for the last 5 years.
Today, the price of a 1 Terabyte RAM cluster can go for anywhere between $20 and $40 thousand - including all of the CPUs, networking, etc. A few years from now that same setup will likely be available for half that price.
Regardless of the future price of RAM, which based upon current projections will likely continue to fall, the current economics have already placed this technology well within the reaches of the enterprise computing budgets that require this level of scale.
Myth: My needs are already being met by Flash.
There are three different reasons why this mentality is held by IT folks, each of which are highly misinformed. I'll start with the most common, which is the idea that your business doesn't need the Lambourgini-esque super-computing power of IMC.
The hard yet obvious reality is that if your business is in any way data-driven, you likely cannot survive without speed and agility in this department. As time goes on, the amount of data that businesses accumulate compounds with new streams and variances. This is a sink-or-swim reality.
Another myth commonly used to dispel IMC is that if businesses are able to just effectively mount RAM disk, they will get in-memory processing. Unfortunately, it's not that easy. As mentioned earlier, IMC works through middleware to effectively unlock its power.
Finally, there's the notion that one can just replace their HDDs with SSDs in order to get this super-charged performance. For SSDs - in certain situations - the performance gain that you can pull from flash storage in lieu of spinning disk is enough.
However, speed matters - and is rapidly becoming more of a requirement every day. At this point, it's like comparing apples to oranges with speed improvements of 10 to 100x over SSDs.
Myth: Memory is not durable enough to be truly sustainable.
This is another notion that for whatever reason has been both widely perpetuated - and is entirely false.
The fact is - almost all in-memory computing middleware (apart from very simplistic ones) offer one or multiple strategies for in-memory backups, durable storage backups, disk-based swap space overflow, etc.
More sophisticated vendors provide a comprehensive tiered storage approach where users can decide what portion of the overall data set is stored in RAM, local disk swap space or RDBMS/HDFS - where each tier can store progressively more data but with progressively longer latencies.
Yet another source of confusion is the difference between operational datasets and historical datasets. In-memory computing is not aimed at replacing enterprise data warehouse (EDW), backup or offline storage services - like Hadoop, for example. The goal of IMC is to improve the operational datasets that require mixed OLTP and OLAP processing and in most cases are less than 10TB in size. That is to say, in-memory computing is not "all or nothing" - and does not require that every aspect of data be housed in memory.
The in-memory computing revolution is by no means intended to obliterate disks from the enterprise. For now, the disk still serves a well-defined role for offline/backup use cases - tasks that are not the focus of IMC.
Myth: In-memory is inaccessible to my business because so few developers actually know how to use it.
Yes indeed, In-memory computing is a highly complex technology, that for now, only a few vendors have even been able to successfully develop offerings for. However, like much of high-technology, in-memory computing has entered the world of open source - bringing its capabilities and power to the fingertips of developers around the world.
Currently, with GridGain, developers have the ability to get their hands on IMC with a simple download at http://gridgain.org/.
In-memory computing is already being tapped across a broad range of functions and industries including (but not limited to) financial trading systems, online game, bioinformatics, hyper-local advertising, cognitive computing, and geospatial analysis.
By raising awareness, and bringing the capabilities of IMC to more developers and organizations - industries around the globe are poised to experience entirely new standards of speed, computing, and performance.
SYS-CON Events announced today that DataClear Inc. will exhibit at the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. The DataClear ‘BlackBox’ is the only solution that moves your PC, browsing and data out of the United States and away from prying (and spying) eyes. Its solution automatically builds you a clean, on-demand, virus free, new virtual cloud based PC outside of the United States, and wipes it clean...
Aug. 31, 2015 01:45 PM EDT Reads: 404
Amazon and Google have built software-defined data centers (SDDCs) that deliver massively scalable services with great efficiency. Yet, building SDDCs has proven to be a near impossibility for ‘normal’ companies without hyper-scale resources. In his session at 17th Cloud Expo, David Cauthron, founder and chief executive officer of Nimboxx, will discuss the evolution of virtualization (hardware, application, memory, storage) and how commodity / open source hyper converged infrastructure (HCI) so...
Aug. 31, 2015 01:05 PM EDT
Culture is the most important ingredient of DevOps. The challenge for most organizations is defining and communicating a vision of beneficial DevOps culture for their organizations, and then facilitating the changes needed to achieve that. Often this comes down to an ability to provide true leadership. As a CIO, are your direct reports IT managers or are they IT leaders? The hard truth is that many IT managers have risen through the ranks based on their technical skills, not their leadership ab...
Aug. 31, 2015 12:30 PM EDT Reads: 353
With the Apple Watch making its way onto wrists all over the world, it’s only a matter of time before it becomes a staple in the workplace. In fact, Forrester reported that 68 percent of technology and business decision-makers characterize wearables as a top priority for 2015. Recognizing their business value early on, FinancialForce.com was the first to bring ERP to wearables, helping streamline communication across front and back office functions. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Kevin Roberts...
Aug. 31, 2015 12:16 PM EDT
eCube Systems has released NXTmonitor, a full featured application orchestration solution. NXTmonitor, which inherited the code base of NXTminder, has been extended to support multi-discipline processes and will act as a DevOps utility in a heterogeneous enterprise environment. Previously, NXTminder was packaged with NXTera middleware to configure and manage Entera and NXTera RPC servers. “Since we are widening the focus of this solution to DevOps, we felt the need to change the name to NXTmon...
Aug. 31, 2015 12:15 PM EDT
Contrary to mainstream media attention, the multiple possibilities of how consumer IoT will transform our everyday lives aren’t the only angle of this headline-gaining trend. There’s a huge opportunity for “industrial IoT” and “Smart Cities” to impact the world in the same capacity – especially during critical situations. For example, a community water dam that needs to release water can leverage embedded critical communications logic to alert the appropriate individuals, on the right device, as...
Aug. 31, 2015 12:00 PM EDT
Everyone talks about continuous integration and continuous delivery but those are just two ends of the pipeline. In the middle of DevOps is continuous testing (CT), and many organizations are struggling to implement continuous testing effectively. After all, without continuous testing there is no delivery. And Lab-As-A-Service (LaaS) enhances the CT with dynamic on-demand self-serve test topologies. CT together with LAAS make a powerful combination that perfectly serves complex software developm...
Aug. 31, 2015 12:00 PM EDT Reads: 200
SYS-CON Events announced today that HPM Networks will exhibit at the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. For 20 years, HPM Networks has been integrating technology solutions that solve complex business challenges. HPM Networks has designed solutions for both SMB and enterprise customers throughout the San Francisco Bay Area.
Aug. 31, 2015 11:30 AM EDT Reads: 887
SYS-CON Events announced today that Micron Technology, Inc., a global leader in advanced semiconductor systems, will exhibit at the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Micron’s broad portfolio of high-performance memory technologies – including DRAM, NAND and NOR Flash – is the basis for solid state drives, modules, multichip packages and other system solutions. Backed by more than 35 years of tech...
Aug. 31, 2015 11:15 AM EDT Reads: 226
As more intelligent IoT applications shift into gear, they’re merging into the ever-increasing traffic flow of the Internet. It won’t be long before we experience bottlenecks, as IoT traffic peaks during rush hours. Organizations that are unprepared will find themselves by the side of the road unable to cross back into the fast lane. As billions of new devices begin to communicate and exchange data – will your infrastructure be scalable enough to handle this new interconnected world?
Aug. 31, 2015 11:00 AM EDT Reads: 160
SYS-CON Events announced today the Containers & Microservices Bootcamp, being held November 3-4, 2015, in conjunction with 17th Cloud Expo, @ThingsExpo, and @DevOpsSummit at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. This is your chance to get started with the latest technology in the industry. Combined with real-world scenarios and use cases, the Containers and Microservices Bootcamp, led by Janakiram MSV, a Microsoft Regional Director, will include presentations as well as hands-on...
Aug. 31, 2015 10:45 AM EDT Reads: 282
Through WebRTC, audio and video communications are being embedded more easily than ever into applications, helping carriers, enterprises and independent software vendors deliver greater functionality to their end users. With today’s business world increasingly focused on outcomes, users’ growing calls for ease of use, and businesses craving smarter, tighter integration, what’s the next step in delivering a richer, more immersive experience? That richer, more fully integrated experience comes ab...
Aug. 31, 2015 10:30 AM EDT Reads: 642
SYS-CON Events announced today that Pythian, a global IT services company specializing in helping companies leverage disruptive technologies to optimize revenue-generating systems, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 17th Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Founded in 1997, Pythian is a global IT services company that helps companies compete by adopting disruptive technologies such as cloud, Big Data, advance...
Aug. 31, 2015 10:15 AM EDT Reads: 300
Cloud and datacenter migration innovator AppZero has joined the Microsoft Enterprise Cloud Alliance Program. AppZero is a fast, flexible way to move Windows Server applications from any source machine – physical or virtual – to any destination server, in any cloud or datacenter, using its patented container technology. AppZero’s container is also called a Virtual Application Appliance (VAA). To facilitate Microsoft Azure onboarding, AppZero has two purpose-built offerings: AppZero SP for Azure,...
Aug. 31, 2015 10:15 AM EDT Reads: 182
In today's digital world, change is the one constant. Disruptive innovations like cloud, mobility, social media, and the Internet of Things have reshaped the market and set new standards in customer expectations. To remain competitive, businesses must tap the potential of emerging technologies and markets through the rapid release of new products and services. However, the rigid and siloed structures of traditional IT platforms and processes are slowing them down – resulting in lengthy delivery ...
Aug. 31, 2015 09:45 AM EDT Reads: 590