In-memory computing to become mainstream soon says Gartner

The market for in-memory data grid, which Gartner describes as a form of application platform middleware that implements a distributed, reliable, scalable and consistent in-memory NoSQL data store shareable across multiple and distributed applications, is likely to reach $1 billion by 2016 and could be the catalyst to make in-memory computing (IMC) mainstream.

Massimo Pezzini, vice president and Gartner Fellow, said in a statement that "The relentless declines in DRAM and NAND flash memory prices, the advent of solid-state drive technology and the maturation of specific software platforms have enabled IMC to become more affordable and impactful for IT organisations".

In a nutshell, IMC represents a loosely assembled set of technologies that allow users to store data on system memory or on flash memory rather than on traditional hard disk drives.

It has been around for a while but because of the associated inherent high cost and complexity, only vertical markets such as financial trading, telecommunications, military and defence have benefited from it.

But over the past two years, the average price of RAM has fallen down. £100 would buy you 32GB in December 2011 and 40GB in February 2012 and the relative affordability of system memory means that whole computers equipped with 16GB of RAM, an amount restricted to high end servers only a decade ago, now cost under £400.

Even then, manufacturers bold enough to produce so-called RAM drives have been largely restricted to the top end of the market. Another reason why IMC has been slow to pick up mainstream is because applications have been slow to adapt to what proved to be a massive paradigm shift.

But the popularisation of Big Data and cloud computing coupled with mammoth steps in hardware (like smaller nodes) means that IMC is on the brink of penetrating medium and large organisations.

Gartner predicts that more than a third of them will adopt IMC by 2015 up from 10 per cent in 2012 as demand for real-time analytics on ever growing data sets and globalisation push them to embrace the technology.

Still, there are a few issues that need to be resolved before; lack of standards, security concerns, monitoring and management challenges are some of them.

Gartner analysts will examine new opportunities in application and data integration at the Gartner Application Architecture, Development & Integration Summit 2013, 16-17 May, in London. For more information about the Summit, please visit www.gartner.com/eu/aadi. Enter the code GPAADI2 at checkout for a €300 off discount.

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