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In-Memory

In-memory Consistency

A comment on one of my early blogs about the 12c in-memory database option asked how Oracle would deal with read-consistency. I came up with a couple of comments outlining the sort of thing I would look for in a solution, and this note is an outline on how I started to tackle the question – with a couple of the subsequent observations. The data is (nearly) the same as the data I generated for my previous article on the in-memory database (and I’m running 12.1.0.2, of course):

The Next Big Thing

Oracle’s 12.1.0.2 was released a few weeks ago (You can download it from OTN here: Oracle 12.1.0.2 Download). While technically a minor point release, it contains a couple of major features that would normally be rolled out in a more substantial version change like 12cR2 or perhaps V13. Of course the most highly anticipated feature is a new option (Oracle In-Memory Option) that provides a column oriented, in-memory store. Enkitec was in the Beta program, so we’ve been testing it out for quite a while now and we are impressed.

In-memory Aggregation

The title of this piece is the name given to a new feature in 12.1.0.2, and since I’ve recently blogged about a limitation of the in-memory option I thought I’d pick this feature as the next obvious thing to blog about. This is a bit of a non sequitur, though, as the feature seems to have nothing whatsoever to do with the in-memory option; instead it’s a cunning mechanism combining aspects of the star-transformation (but without the bitmap indexes), Bloom filters, and “group-by” placement to minimise the cost of aggregation over high-volume joins.

Here’s a small data set I’ll use to demonstrate the feature:

In-memory limitation

I’ve been struggling to find time to have any interaction with the Oracle community for the last couple of months – partly due to workload, partly due to family matters and (okay, I’ll admit it) I really did have a few days’ holiday this month. So making my comeback with a bang – here’s a quick comment about the 12.1.0.2 in-memory feature, and how it didn’t quite live up to my expectation; but it’s also a comment about assumptions, tests, and inventiveness.

Analogy – 2

I suggested a little while ago that thinking about the new in-memory columnar store as a variation on the principle of bitmap indexes was quite a good idea. I’ve had a couple of emails since then asking me to expand on the idea because “it’s wrong” – I will follow that one up as soon as I can, but in the meantime here’s another angle for connecting old technology with new technology:

Oracle Database 12.1.0.2.0 – Turning OFF the In-Memory Database option

So how to turn it the option off/disabled…As a privileged database user: > Just don’t set the INMEMORY_SIZE parameter to a non zero value…(the default...
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Analogy

So 12.1.0.2 is out with a number of interesting new features, of which the most noisily touted is the “in-memory columnar storage” feature. As ever the key to making best use of a feature is to have an intuitive grasp of what it gives you, and it’s often the case that a good analogy helps you reach that level of understanding; so here’s the first thought I had about the feature during one of the briefing days run by Maria Colgan.

“In-memory columnar storage gives you bitmap indexes on OLTP systems without the usual disastrous locking side effects.”

In-Memory Column Store and More

It was inevitable that I would have to have a play with the In-Memory Column Store.

It’s just a functional look. I have no idea about performance at the moment, although I should be starting a proof of concept in the next couple of weeks for one of our internal systems, so it will be interesting to see how it holds up. :)

Another thing that has come out of this release is the Full Database Cache Mode. That’s nothing to do with the In-Memory Column Store, but I can definitely see us using this on some of our stuff!

Using Database In-Memory Column Store with Complex Datatypes (1)

The Oracle database 12.1.0.2 version, with the In-Memory option, isn’t yet released, but a lot of detail is already out there since it’s announcement by...
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