Persistent Memory became available to the public as directly addressable memory after considerable delay. Although it does not replace the need for DRAM, it is fully addressable memory in large capacities in a single NVDIMM. As with all new memory technologies, it will take several years for the price of the hardware to achieve scale, and will go through several iterations to reduce costs further. It will also take several years for DBMS vendors to modify their software to take advantage.

By 2021, persistent memory will represent over 10% of in-memory computing memory GB consumption.

Gartner Predicts

What do Persistent Memory Servers Enable?

Persistent memory has two modes of operation:

  1. Memory mode: Plug and play as a larger memory pool.

  2. Application direct mode: Persistent memory pool, requiring application modification and optimization.

In memory mode, large memory sizes are available with no changes necessary to the software. However, memory mode does not include persistence. Although far easier to use (as no modifications are necessary) it loses the benefits of persistence for high availability (HA), as it remains volatile.

In application direct mode, large memory sizes are also available and are persistent, realizing the true benefits of persistent memory. This mode requires vendors to modify their software to take advantage of persistent memory. This will have a profound effect on HA, disaster recovery, and how a system restarts after a failure.

How Does This Impact Your Organization and Skills?

  • There is little or no change to the skills required to use persistent memory as necessary changes are within the DBMS software.

  • Over time, as the cost drops, and as servers with persistent memory become widely available, the use of in-memory DBMS will grow.

  • The impact on the organization will be in areas of consolidation, more-efficient HA for in-memory systems, higher performance, and the enabling of new architectures, such as hybrid transactional/analytical processing (HTAP).

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