Abstract: Byte addressable, non-volatile memory (NVRAM) with close to DRAM speed is becoming a reality. Low capacity DIMMs (10s of MBs) are already available and high capacity DIMMs (100s of GB) are expected in 2017. This talk is about how database systems, in particular, main-memory databases can benefit from NVRAM. It will begin with an outline of the characteristics of different types of NVRAM and how the operating systems provide applications access to NVRAM. Ensuring that data structures such as indexes in NVRAM can be recovered to a consistent state without data or memory loss after a crash is challenging. The talk will discuss what causes the difficulties and how they can be overcome. It will then show how NVRAM can be used to greatly reduce the latency of commit processing and replication. By storing a main-memory database, including indexes, in NVRAM it is possible to achieve near-instant recovery after a crash. The final part of the talk will discuss how this can be achieved.
Paul has conducted research in the database field for over 35 years. He served as a Professor in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Waterloo for 15 years and as a Principal Researcher at Microsoft Research for close to 20 years. Paul is a Fellow of the ACM. He has worked in a variety of areas: file structures, materialized views, query processing, query optimization, column stores, and main-memory databases among others. Paul collaborated closely with the SQL Server team to drastically improve SQL Server performance by adding column store indexes, a novel main-memory engine (Hekaton), and support for real-time analytics.