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In-memory processing and Microsoft Dynamics: What can users expect (and when)?

by Mark Anderson
Contributing Writer,

Although it was less than a decade-and-a-half ago, the year 2000 was ancient times in terms of RAM prices. Computer memory cost $1 per megabyte back then, but today that price has dropped to 0.4 cents per megabyte. As Microsoft noted in a white paper (PDF) last summer, a typical server that today costs $50,000 can boast enough processor cores (32) and enough RAM (1 terabyte) to comfortably fit and properly crunch entire databases.

So last fall Redmond quietly introduced a feature into the second community technology preview release of SQL Server 2014 that Microsoft Dynamics users should be enjoying before long as well: In-memory database processing.

Though the technology - technically called "in-memory OLTP" - may sound like something aimed squarely at the hardcore IT crowd, it has the potential to transform the roles of non-technical enterprise users.

"A lot of manufacturing done in the Dynamics space is understanding what your materials requirements are, and being able to do that effectively is clearly a key requirement of manufacturing," says Joshua Greenbaum, analyst and principal at Enterprise Applications Consulting. "In the old world of non-in-memory technology, most companies would do what's called an MRP [Materials Requirements Planning] run, run it overnight, and show up the next morning and say, ‘What are we making today based on this MRP run?'"

"In the in-memory world, you can take a process that might have taken hours and hours and it takes literally minutes. So instead of just doing this one-time finite analysis, you can build into it ...

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About Mark Anderson

Mark Anderson is a science and technology journalist, author and copywriter. Based in western Massachusetts, he's written for many top publications and about everything from IT to genomics to energy. He recently launched a business copywriting service and is the author of two nonfiction books about science, history and literature.

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