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Keeping It All In Memory Expand / Collapse
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Posted Monday, February 1, 2010 9:18 AM


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From what I understand, most tempdb operations already take place purely in RAM, till they get too big to fit there. Temp tables and table variables both work that way. Maybe transaction log actions on temp tables involve disk I/O, I'm not sure. If they do, they could be moved into a RAM version of the tran log just for tempdb and that might improve performance by some tiny amount on really busy systems.

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Post #857285
Posted Monday, February 1, 2010 10:34 AM
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Actually, for a little while (in SQL 2000) we used to pin tables in memory using the "dbcc pintable" command. It didn't load the entire table into memory by default, but once pages were read from disk, they would be cached in memory until you "unpinned" the table or restarted the server. This was pretty close to an in-memory database... for those tables which you pinned. However, this feature was deprecated in SQL 2005, mostly because the SQL engine does this kind of in-memory caching of pages automatically, as long as there is enough RAM (or so I have read). I was kind of sad to see it go though, because it did give a little bit of extra control and possibility for using all that RAM that servers have these days.

Jon
Post #857391
Posted Monday, February 1, 2010 8:55 PM


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It's ironic... as someone once said, "The more things change, the more they stay the same". Holy shades of "RAM DISK", Batman!

--Jeff Moden
"RBAR is pronounced "ree-bar" and is a "Modenism" for "Row-By-Agonizing-Row".

First step towards the paradigm shift of writing Set Based code:
Stop thinking about what you want to do to a row... think, instead, of what you want to do to a column."

(play on words) "Just because you CAN do something in T-SQL, doesn't mean you SHOULDN'T." --22 Aug 2013

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Post #857697
Posted Tuesday, February 2, 2010 6:05 AM


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Jeff Moden (2/1/2010)
It's ironic... as someone once said, "The more things change, the more they stay the same". Holy shades of "RAM DISK", Batman!


I thought the same thing.

Sure would add a lot of challenges to DR, but might get a little boost in performance. I think I'd aim more for SSD instead of in-RAM databases, if I really needed just that tiny edge in speed. Less risky, lots faster than HDD.


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Post #857879
Posted Wednesday, February 3, 2010 11:05 PM
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In-memory databases are suitable for a specific set of applications which need extreme performance without worrying too much about recoverability. In such apps recoverability is handled outside the database by the app itself using custom logic. One example would be a stock market order matching engine where tens of thousands of transactions are done per second. Recovering from system failure is handled by the application by rebuilding the IMDB from various sources. Such systems fall under a narrow niche category. A majority of apps need persistence and cannot use IMDBs (at least not till reliable recoverability is built-in).

I would like to see an IMDB version of SQL Server Compact Edition - the zero install embedded database. If that happens, a massive number of desktop applications, Windows service applications and small to medium websites can use it as a local cache in innumerable performance enhancement situations in the form of a multi-key hashtable which can be queried with regular SQL.
Post #859338
Posted Thursday, February 4, 2010 5:10 AM


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Instrumented data collection apps, especially in the medical and device control fields, would greatly benefit from IMDB instances as well.

--Jeff Moden
"RBAR is pronounced "ree-bar" and is a "Modenism" for "Row-By-Agonizing-Row".

First step towards the paradigm shift of writing Set Based code:
Stop thinking about what you want to do to a row... think, instead, of what you want to do to a column."

(play on words) "Just because you CAN do something in T-SQL, doesn't mean you SHOULDN'T." --22 Aug 2013

Helpful Links:
How to post code problems
How to post performance problems
Post #859527
Posted Thursday, February 4, 2010 4:18 PM
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For the niche solutions you mention above check out the StreamInsight component that ships with SQL Server 2008 R2 (currently in beta (as of Feb 2010)).
I think you'll find it meets your needs beautifully. It ships & is licensed as part of SQL Server, but can run as a separate component hence can be configured for way less overhead than running entire SQL stack if you only need the high speed matching bits.
Post #860036
Posted Thursday, February 4, 2010 6:48 PM
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StreamInsight and SQL 2008 R2 should be RTM in May 2010. See this article for more info about the release.

I'm excited about the great new features! It's a good time to be a SQL Server user!

Jon
Post #860095
Posted Friday, February 5, 2010 7:32 AM


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Streaminsight looks good, unfortunately in SS2K8 R2 it's only in data center edition

So most of us won't get to use it. We can play in Developer, but to actually deploy it would take some serious $$$$







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Post #860455
Posted Friday, February 5, 2010 1:16 PM
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Steve, isn't that always how it goes? ;)
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