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Will The Real In-Memory Database Please Stand Up?

February 10, 2010 — In-memory database systems (IMDSs) have changed the software landscape, enabling “smarter” real-time applications and sparking mergers and acquisitions involving the largest technology companies.

But these days, the database sector teems with products purporting to be IMDSs. The problem is, most of them aren’t. The majority of products promoted as in-memory databases are merely old-style (on-disk) DBMSs, wearing a thin coat of IMDS paint.

McObject’s new white paper, “Will the Real IMDS Please Stand Up”, explains how to tell the difference between real and imitation in-memory database systems, and explains why it matters. This report is available for free download from McObject’s Web site.

Download the report now.

IMDSs provide the features of traditional database management systems (DBMSs)—including transactions, multi-user concurrency control, and high level data definition and querying languages—but with a key difference: in-memory databases store records in main memory, eliminating disk storage and related overhead. This enables IMDSs to offer faster performance as well as a more streamlined design and smaller code size.

But today, IMDSs’ popularity has sparked a flurry of products falsely claiming to be in-memory database systems. Understanding the distinction is critical for potential users whose problem domain is best served by the technology. The differences can affect the hardware requirements (and therefore total cost of ownership), performance, time-to-revenue, and ultimately the success or failure of a solution.

Distinguishing between real and fake IMDSs often means examining the key areas of origins and wholeness. The origins of a purported IMDS can point to whether the product is truly optimized for in-memory use, and reveal whether performance-sapping “artifacts” remain from its original design as an on-disk DBMS. Wholeness asks the question, does this product offer a complete set of DBMS features? Developers and end-users shouldn’t have to settle for less.

Prospective users can download McObject’s free “Will the Real IMDS Please Stand Up” to help gauge whether they will obtain the hallmark IMDS benefits of fast performance and superior database efficiency from specific vendors and products often described as (or purporting to be) in memory database systems.


About McObject
Founded by embedded database and real-time systems experts, McObject offers proven data management technology that makes applications and devices smarter, more reliable and more cost-effective to develop and maintain. McObject counts among its customers industry leaders such as Chrysler, Maximizer Software, Siemens, Phillips, EADS, JVC, Tyco Thermal Controls, F5 Networks, DIRECTV, CA, Motorola and Boeing. McObject, based in Issaquah, WA, is committed to providing innovative technology and first-rate services to customers and partners. The company can be reached at +1-425-888-8505, or visit

McObject and eXtremeDB are trademarks or registered trademarks of McObject LLC. All other company or product names mentioned herein are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective owners.