Jonathan Lewis explains the recently announced Oracle Database 12c in-memory option:
The in-memory component duplicates data (specified tables – perhaps with a restriction to a subset of columns) in columnar format in a dedicated area of the SGA. The data is kept up to date in real time, but Oracle doesn’t use undo or redo to maintain this copy of the data because it’s never persisted to disc in this form, it’s recreated in-memory (by a background process) if the instance restarts. The optimizer can then decide whether it would be faster to use a columnar or row-based approach to address a query.
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The intent is to help systems which are mixed OLTP and DSS – which sometimes have many “extra” indexes to optimise DSS queries that affect the performance of the OLTP updates. With the in-memory columnar copy you should be able to drop many “DSS indexes”, thus improving OLTP response times – in effect the in-memory stuff behaves a bit like non-persistent bitmap indexing.
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