At the opening day of the SQL PASS Summit, Microsoft announced that it will be adding in-memory technology, codenamed Hekaton, into SQL Server Next. Hekaton is currently in private technology preview with a small set of customers, which company officials are planning to expand to 100 before the end of this calendar year.
In-memory databases, originally the domain of telephony, financial services, industrial control and other real-time-sensitive customers, rely on main memory, rather than disk storage, for achieving faster query results even when processing increasingly larger volumes of data. Most of the big commercial database players, including IBM, Oracle and SAP, have been talking publicly about their in-memory database products and strategies for a number of years. Microsoft, too, has been talking up its in-memory capabilities, on both the analytics-tool and column-store technology fronts.
Going forward, Microsoft is attempting to distinguish itself from other in-memory database players like SAP and Oracle by emphasizing the cost-savings and reduced management complexity it will achieve by folding in-memory technology into its core database, rather than making it a separate add-on.
"You will be able to take advantage of the hardware you already have and acclerate it by adding more memory," said Doug Leland, General Manager of SQL Server Marketing.
Leland said Microsoft is seeing up to 50 times (not 50 percent -- 50 times) performance improvements among the customers already involved in the Hekaton technical preview.