|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.
As more and more data is generated from a variety of connected devices, the need to get insights from this data and predict future behavior and trends is increasingly essential for businesses. Real-time stream processing is needed in a variety of different industries such as Manufacturing, Oil and Gas, Automobile, Finance, Online Retail, Smart Grids, and Healthcare. Azure Stream Analytics is a fully managed distributed stream computation service that provides low latency, scalable processing of streaming data in the cloud with an enterprise grade SLA. It features built-in integration with Azur...
Aug. 28, 2015 02:15 PM EDT Reads: 118
A producer of the first smartphones and tablets, presenter Lee M. Williams will talk about how he is now applying his experience in mobile technology to the design and development of the next generation of Environmental and Sustainability Services at ETwater. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Lee Williams, COO of ETwater, will talk about how he is now applying his experience in mobile technology to the design and development of the next generation of Environmental and Sustainability Services at ETwater.
Aug. 28, 2015 02:00 PM EDT
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 technology leadership, Micron's memory solutions enable the world's most innovative computing, consumer,...
Aug. 28, 2015 12:30 PM EDT Reads: 137
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, advanced analytics, and DevOps to advance innovation and increase agility. Specializing in designing, imple...
Aug. 28, 2015 12:00 PM EDT Reads: 178
While many app developers are comfortable building apps for the smartphone, there is a whole new world out there. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Narayan Sainaney, Co-founder and CTO of Mojio, will discuss how the business case for connected car apps is growing and, with open platform companies having already done the heavy lifting, there really is no barrier to entry.
Aug. 28, 2015 11:30 AM EDT
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. 28, 2015 11:15 AM EDT Reads: 802
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. 28, 2015 10:00 AM EDT
WebRTC has had a real tough three or four years, and so have those working with it. Only a few short years ago, the development world were excited about WebRTC and proclaiming how awesome it was. You might have played with the technology a couple of years ago, only to find the extra infrastructure requirements were painful to implement and poorly documented. This probably left a bitter taste in your mouth, especially when things went wrong.
Aug. 28, 2015 07:45 AM EDT Reads: 388
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 about through a Communications Platform as a Service which allows for messaging, screen sharing, video...
Aug. 28, 2015 07:30 AM EDT Reads: 543
SYS-CON Events announced today that IceWarp 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. IceWarp, the leader of cloud and on-premise messaging, delivers secured email, chat, documents, conferencing and collaboration to today's mobile workforce, all in one unified interface
Aug. 28, 2015 03:00 AM EDT Reads: 341
The Internet of Things (IoT) is about the digitization of physical assets including sensors, devices, machines, gateways, and the network. It creates possibilities for significant value creation and new revenue generating business models via data democratization and ubiquitous analytics across IoT networks. The explosion of data in all forms in IoT requires a more robust and broader lens in order to enable smarter timely actions and better outcomes. Business operations become the key driver of IoT applications and projects. Business operations, IT, and data scientists need advanced analytics t...
Aug. 28, 2015 12:30 AM EDT Reads: 337
With the proliferation of connected devices underpinning new Internet of Things systems, Brandon Schulz, Director of Luxoft IoT – Retail, will be looking at the transformation of the retail customer experience in brick and mortar stores in his session at @ThingsExpo. Questions he will address include: Will beacons drop to the wayside like QR codes, or be a proximity-based profit driver? How will the customer experience change in stores of all types when everything can be instrumented and analyzed? As an area of investment, how might a retail company move towards an innovation methodolo...
Aug. 27, 2015 06:15 PM EDT Reads: 388
Too often with compelling new technologies market participants become overly enamored with that attractiveness of the technology and neglect underlying business drivers. This tendency, what some call the “newest shiny object syndrome,” is understandable given that virtually all of us are heavily engaged in technology. But it is also mistaken. Without concrete business cases driving its deployment, IoT, like many other technologies before it, will fade into obscurity.
Aug. 27, 2015 01:00 PM EDT Reads: 291
Consumer IoT applications provide data about the user that just doesn’t exist in traditional PC or mobile web applications. This rich data, or “context,” enables the highly personalized consumer experiences that characterize many consumer IoT apps. This same data is also providing brands with unprecedented insight into how their connected products are being used, while, at the same time, powering highly targeted engagement and marketing opportunities. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Nathan Treloar, President and COO of Bebaio, will explore examples of brands transforming their businesses by t...
Aug. 27, 2015 11:30 AM EDT Reads: 154
Akana has announced the availability of the new Akana Healthcare Solution. The API-driven solution helps healthcare organizations accelerate their transition to being secure, digitally interoperable businesses. It leverages the Health Level Seven International Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (HL7 FHIR) standard to enable broader business use of medical data. Akana developed the Healthcare Solution in response to healthcare businesses that want to increase electronic, multi-device access to health records while reducing operating costs and complying with government regulations.
Aug. 26, 2015 07:00 AM EDT
For IoT to grow as quickly as analyst firms’ project, a lot is going to fall on developers to quickly bring applications to market. But the lack of a standard development platform threatens to slow growth and make application development more time consuming and costly, much like we’ve seen in the mobile space. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Mike Weiner, Product Manager of the Omega DevCloud with KORE Telematics Inc., discussed the evolving requirements for developers as IoT matures and conducted a live demonstration of how quickly application development can happen when the need to comply wit...
Aug. 2, 2015 11:15 AM EDT Reads: 540
The Internet of Everything (IoE) brings together people, process, data and things to make networked connections more relevant and valuable than ever before – transforming information into knowledge and knowledge into wisdom. IoE creates new capabilities, richer experiences, and unprecedented opportunities to improve business and government operations, decision making and mission support capabilities.
Aug. 1, 2015 10:00 AM EDT Reads: 470
Explosive growth in connected devices. Enormous amounts of data for collection and analysis. Critical use of data for split-second decision making and actionable information. All three are factors in making the Internet of Things a reality. Yet, any one factor would have an IT organization pondering its infrastructure strategy. How should your organization enhance its IT framework to enable an Internet of Things implementation? In his session at @ThingsExpo, James Kirkland, Red Hat's Chief Architect for the Internet of Things and Intelligent Systems, described how to revolutionize your archit...
Jul. 30, 2015 07:30 PM EDT Reads: 1,558
MuleSoft has announced the findings of its 2015 Connectivity Benchmark Report on the adoption and business impact of APIs. The findings suggest traditional businesses are quickly evolving into "composable enterprises" built out of hundreds of connected software services, applications and devices. Most are embracing the Internet of Things (IoT) and microservices technologies like Docker. A majority are integrating wearables, like smart watches, and more than half plan to generate revenue with APIs within the next year.
Jul. 30, 2015 02:30 PM EDT Reads: 271
Growth hacking is common for startups to make unheard-of progress in building their business. Career Hacks can help Geek Girls and those who support them (yes, that's you too, Dad!) to excel in this typically male-dominated world. Get ready to learn the facts: Is there a bias against women in the tech / developer communities? Why are women 50% of the workforce, but hold only 24% of the STEM or IT positions? Some beginnings of what to do about it! In her Opening Keynote at 16th Cloud Expo, Sandy Carter, IBM General Manager Cloud Ecosystem and Developers, and a Social Business Evangelist, d...
Jul. 30, 2015 12:00 PM EDT Reads: 2,218