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In-memory processing and Microsoft Dynamics: What users and vendors can do now

by Mark Anderson
Contributing Writer,

For most Microsoft Dynamics ERP users today, the benefits of running transactional or analytical processing in-memory (as opposed to on hard drives) may not yet be on their radar. It's an idea whose time is still coming. But with advances in Microsoft SQL Server technology, promising signals from Dynamics R&D, and some interesting early adopter stories, in-memory technology seems poised to have an impact on a growing number of Microsoft Dynamics customers in coming years.

As previously noted, the rock bottom price of RAM today has made running entire databases in memory at least theoretically possible if not yet fully enabled by current-generation enterprise software.

Jeff Ash, technical architect and director of ERP delivery at Green Beacon Solutions, says that while most clients are not asking about in-memory processing, one of his Dynamics clients in particular has been achieving good results using the technology. The business, a retail distributor, has implemented in-memory processing for their Dynamics AX and SQL Server systems. And for this client, performance gains have been dramatic - 60 percent or more compared to more traditional (disk-based) processing.

The client, he says, is a distributor to big box retail stores. And although the latest preview release of SQL Server 2014 does support in-memory transactional (OLTP) database processing, Ash notes that the client is running its in-memory processing using older releases of AX and SQL Server but using dedicated RAM "disks" instead of traditional hard drives.

"This customer will receive an EDI order for all 3000 Walmart stores - and will have over 20 lines for every store, sometimes 50," he says. "That ...

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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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