It can be very challenging for a non-IT person to have a conversation with an IT professionals. This is partially due to the various terms used in IT that may not have the same meaning assigned to those terms in other businesses or in general conversation. When it comes to in memory computing this may be the case, but it really is a very simple and very important concept.
What Is It?
Whenever you use any program on a computer some of that information is put into RAM or random access memory. RAM is where the operating system, all the applications, and everything you are currently working on is stored while in use. It is like the short term memory in your brain, and it allows fast recall of all the data the computer needs to operate based on the tasks you are asking it to perform.
The problem is that once you close a program, or are no longer using the program, the RAM clears, or is overwritten, and that data is no longer immediately available. However, it is still available through the permanent storage on a hard disk or other form of storage.
With in memory computing, the data is retained in the RAM rather than being overwritten as new programs or opened or as the data is no longer being accessed. Since the data is readily available and doesn’t have to be brought back from storage, having in memory computing speeds up the computer processing and improves overall efficiency of the system.
When is it Important?
The most common use of in memory computing is for the management of large amounts of data in research, analytics, analysis and even in things like inventory management.
The effects of having this in place means that there isn’t that delay in retrieval, which in a huge system with hundreds of thousands of bits of data can be significant.
This delay in retrieval of information without the use of in-memory systems creates potential issues for companies and businesses where split-second timing is required in making decisions that can impact the company or business opportunities. This can include financial institutions, buying on the open market, and even to have instantaneous ability to monitor trends as they are occurring in real time.
While not every business needs to have in memory computing, for large companies, research facilities, and where a large volume of data is generated that is relevant to making decisions, it is certainly a benefit to any organization.