Recently I posted a video about how the SQL Server Community was looking into emerging trends in BI and Database technologies - one of the key technologies mentioned in that video was in-memory.

Many Microsoft customers have been using in-memory technologies as part of SQL Server since 2010 including xVelocity Analytics, xVelocity Column Store and Power Pivot, something we recently covered in a blog post following the ‘vaporware’ outburst from Oracle SVP of Communications, Bob Evans. Looking forward, Ted Kummert recently announced project codenamed “Hekaton,” available in the next major release of SQL Server. “Hekaton” will provide a full in-memory transactional engine, and is currently in private technology preview with a small set of customers. This technology will provide breakthrough performance gains of up to 50 times.

For those who are keen to get a first view of customers using the technology, below is the video of online gaming company bwin using “Hekaton”.

Bwin is the largest regulated online gaming company in the world, and their success depends on positive customer experiences. They had recently upgraded some of their systems to SQL Server 2012 - a story you can read here. Bwin had already gained significant in-memory benefit using xVelocity Column Store, for example – a large report that used to take 17 minutes to render now takes only three seconds.

Given the benefits, they had seen with in-memory technologies, they were keen to trial the technology preview of “Hekaton”. Prior to using “Hekaton”, their online gaming systems were handling about 15,000 requests per second, a huge number for most companies. However, bwin needed to be agile and stay at ahead of the competition and so they wanted access to the latest technology speed.

Using “Hekaton” bwin were hoping they could at least double the number of transactions. They were ‘pretty amazed’ to see that the fastest tests so far have scaled to 250,000 transactions per second.

So how fast is “Hekaton” – just ask Rick Kutschera, the Database Engineering Manager at bwin – in his words it’s ‘Wicked Fast’! However, this is not the only point that Rick highlights, he goes on to mention that “Hekaton” integrates seamlessly into the SQL Server engine, so if you know SQL Server, you know “Hekaton”.

-- David Hobbs-Mallyon, Senior Product Marketing Manager