An in-memory data grid is created when several computers are networked to pool together their RAM so that apps in one computer can share their data with apps in another computer.
The clustered computers provide space for data movement at super speeds and are important for running big-scale apps that require more RAM to process data. Each RAM runs in parallel with other clustered RAMs to make the running of tasks easier and faster. An IMDG is particularly important to apps that are used to extensively process big data sets in parallel.
Local configuration of IMDG
In-memory data grid (IMDG) works like a data grid that has been improved but the only difference is that all its cluster nodes operate in the same data center. It is configured locally so that it maintains the superfast speed expected of in-memory computing.
It is built to coordinate a unique data architecture across remotely stationed computers that might suffer bottleneck setbacks. In an IMDG, each computer runs its applications independently but each app gets connected through specific data object nodes in the in-memory data grid and the result is a write-through/read-through database located on the other end/ the data center.
The goal of an IMDG
In the beginning, many companies shied away from using in-memory computing because of cost implications. Today, technology has provided solutions in the software development process and the once prohibitive cost is no longer an issue. This is because the development of better-performing software has helped bring the cost of RAM down.
Today, it is economically logical to load big operations data into memory to increase its performance speed by several thousand times. This is made possible by an in-memory architecture whose capabilities are harnessed by a data grid and the in-memory computing technologies.
Consequently, the goal of IMDG becomes a reality. Its goal is to make data highly available by storing it in memory and making it extensively distributed in a parallelized manner.
The outcome is an IMDG that can load and process data in Terabytes and thus meeting the goal of a system that can provide solutions for processing big data that is important in today’s business environment.
How does in-memory data grid work
The working of an in-memory data grid is simple yet complicated because of the processes and software involved. Data processing delays come as a result of a slower pace when reading or writing data on disks. Even when many computers are already clustered in Hadoop or managed in a relational database management system, latency can still be a challenge to a certain level.
It becomes a necessity to develop another system that will help eliminate any form of delay when moving big data because when consolidated, it can translate into a huge cost implication.
An IMDG solves this problem and when it’s integrated, it copies data from several sources like Hadoop, RDBMS, and NoSQL and moves it into computer RAM. This allows the data to be processed with no delays that are common in disks.
Usually, an IMDG is inserted in the middle of apps and data layers to help it share data with other computer clusters connected through nodes located in each remote computer.
An IMDG infrastructure is easily scaled by adding another node into another computer. This is regardless of whether its architecture is located in a hybrid, on-premise, public, or private cloud business environment.
This type of upscaling enables IMDG to have capabilities that can support other integrations like Hadoop, machine learning, ACID deals, spark, advanced security, and Cassandra.
Limitations of an in-memory data grid
Generally, an IMDG is a simple computing technology that provides cost-effective storage solutions for all current applications in a business. Even with that big advantage, IMDG’s storage capacity is limited to the amount of RAM available at any given time.
If the company runs out of memory yet continues to produce data, there will not be enough space to store it and it might affect efficiency. If a company wants to continue enjoying the benefits of IMDG, it must be willing to invest more and buy enough RAM to hold all its data.
Currently, although the cost of RAM is drastically falling, disk storage is still significantly much lower. This is making many companies hold on to disk storage before switching to RAM in the hope that its cost will come further down sooner.
What helps seal this gap is new inventions of memory-centric infrastructures that are enabling companies to store older data in disks and newer data is stored in memory. This architecture also helps to save data retrieval time in the case where a system failure may occur.
When the system is rebooted, the business will not have to again wait for data to load from disks because it is already stored in memory.
Greatest beneficiaries of in-memory data grids
IMDG has exceedingly great efficiency and provides a large storage solution. The cost of RAM is becoming highly affordable by most companies allowing more businesses to take advantage of big data storage benefits.
Despite the few IMDG limitations, most fortune 50 companies are already benefiting greatly from IMDG processes and their unique architecture. Some of the greatest beneficiaries are financial and HR SaaS providers, some of which have related to processing more than 180 million transactions daily.
Another major beneficiary is the social media service providers, some of whom are achieving several hundred million posts daily. Other IMDG beneficiaries are insurance companies, major goods retailers, banks, cryptocurrency traders, casinos, and governments.
Advantages of using IMDG
The main benefits enjoyed by companies that are already using IMDG technology are increased super speeds of data processing and solving the challenges of limited data storage common in disks.
IMDG can be integrated with other systems to boost performance and scalability even more. These are integrations like Hadoop, machine learning, spark, and ACID. The architecture provides businesses with strong data consistency that is always current.
Another important advantage of IMDG is that it stores and retrieves data in its original file format. This means data that was originally in PDF, Ms. Word, Jpeg, etc., will be stored in the same format.