I’m at the PASS Summit in Charlotte for the Day 1 keynote by Quentin Clarke, Corporate VP of the data platform group at Microsoft. He’s talking about how SQL Server 2014 is “pushing boundaries” and first up is SQL Server 2014’s In-Memory OLTP technology (former codename “hekaton”)
It is a feature that provokes a lot of interest and for good reason as, without any need for application rewrites or hardware updates, it can enable us to ensure that an application can find in memory most or all of the data it needs, and can lead to huge improvements in processing times. A good recent hekaton use cases article talks about applications that need a “Shock Absorber” when either spikes or just a high rate of incoming workload (including data in ETL scenarios) become a primary bottleneck.
To get a really deep look at this technology, I would check out David DeWitt’s summit keynote tomorrow (it will be live streamed). Other than that, to get started I’d recommend Kalen Delaney’s whitepaper. She offers a lot of insight into how it works and how to start to define memory-optimized tables, and natively compiled stored procedures. These memory-optimized tables uses completely optimistic multi-version concurrency control – no waiting on locks!