There’s a technology called in-memory databases that is taking the enterprise by storm. And Microsoft wants in.Today, Redmond promised users of its SQL Server database that it, too, would have an in-memory database to compete with the likes of SAP’s Hana and Oracle’s Exadata.
The new database is codenamed “Hekaton,” and will be available in “the next major release of SQL Server,” Ted Kummert, vice president of Microsoft’s Business Platform Division, told attendees at Microsoft’s database conference taking place in Seattle this week.
Kummert left out a few details though, like when Microsoft plans to release the next major version of SQL Server. This could be years away. Microsoft just released the last major version, SQL Server 2012, in March. It first began talking about that version in 2010.
In-memory databases are one of hottest thing to hit the enterprise data centre in years. Instead of storing data on a separate storage device attached to the server, they keep it all in the system’s memory. This makes them superfast. To make that work, they often run on special, expensive servers.
Microsoft is promising that when its in-memory database arrives, it will work up 50 times faster and it won’t require special servers, working with the ones a company already has.
But Microsoft is getting a very late start to this market.
Both Oracle and SAP are selling in-memory databases now and are racking up customers. SAP introduced Hana a little more than a year ago and says it is its fastest-selling product of all time. The company has nabbed nearly 600 customers for Hana so far and it is on track to bring in over $400 million in revenue, Computerworld’s Chris Kanaracus reports.
Meanwhile, Oracle’s CEO Larry Ellison introduced its Hana-killer last month—with his usual dollop of SAP-bashing trash talk. Oracle’s Exadata x3 can hold a mind-boggling amount of data in memory, some 26 terabytes. This lets its users “ask a question and get an answer at the speed of thought,” Ellison said.
He claimed Exadata x3 was bigger, faster, better, and less expensive than Hana. That boast led one SAP exec to retort that Ellison’s statement “fries my brain.”
While it’s too soon to say how well Exadata x3 is selling versus Hana, we know that Oracle is pushing its sales team hard to sell it. One Oracle insider told us that salespeople who don’t sell enough of the company’s “Exa” family of products could be facing layoffs.
The Exa family are Oracle’s products that include closely integrated hardware and software, what the company calls “engineered systems.” It includes the Exadata in-memory database server, the Exalogic application server and the Exalytics in-memory analytics server.
Don’t miss: The 10 Most Disruptive Enterprise Tech Companies
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.