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Revolutionize the Performance in SQL Server With in-memory OLTP System

Vikas Arora
Loves pursuing excellence through writing and have a passion for technology.
・4 min read

OLTP (Online transaction processing) is the biggest reason why should you switch to the latest versions of SQL servers when compared to traditional editions. Under the favourable conditions, OLTP offers significant performance benefits and increased the code execution times up to 30 times or more.

The in-memory OLTP concept was introduced in SQL server 2014 with a plenty of limitations but all of those limitations have been eliminated in the latest 2016 version. This content will be helpful for software developers and software architects to get an idea how to make maximum benefits of potential performance improvements.

Let us start with the introduction first. Then we will discuss OLTP objects and various characteristics or benefits for OLTP technology.

A Quick Introduction to OLTPM

Memory was quite an expensive historically. Data was first stored on the disks then it was moved to the memory for further processing. With the discovery of affordable memory storage, there was a need for robust processing model that could handle the storage wisely. This is the reason why in-memory OLTP concept came into existence.

The technology was discovered with an objective of scalable fast processing and model results in relatively know latches, locks, limited CPU cycles only. These are the fewer parameters that help in performance improvements significantly.
OLTP can be combined with various components of SQL Server 2016 seamlessly without any requirement of system refactoring that is taken as the biggest advantage by SQL developers. The OLTP processing model has still some limitations but they are relatively lower as compared to SQL server 2014.

In-memory OLTP Objects

This section will start with the discussion how to prepare a database to use in-memory OLTP objects.

● Create OLTP table and filegroup
First of all, you need to create OLTP tables and filegroup. At the same time, indexes are also created.

● Create indexes – Hash & non-clustered
Two most popular indexes that are used in SQL server are hash indexes and non-clustered indexes. Hash indexes are used for key lookups and non-clustered indexes are utilized to search a vast amount of data.

● Access compiled stored procedures
Further, you need to inspect the stored procedures that have the freedom to access OLTP tables and further compiled into DDLs for best performance levels.

● Prepare database to use in-memory OLTP objects
Finally, there is OLTP engine that is used to insert data into the database with the help of objects, tables, indexes, filegroup etc.

OLTP Benefits

In this section, we will discuss OLTP characteristics and benefits. Once you will go through this section carefully, you will get to know yourself why in-memory OLTP technology has become a primary choice for all software developers and the architects.

OLTP Characteristics

● Every OLTP environment has the relatively short response time as compared to the other similar technologies that allow users to remain productive.

● OLTP system focuses on small transactions only. It typically reads or manipulates selected data or a limited data files only. This is the reason complex joins are rare in case of OLTP system and data processing is highly simpler.

● It handles reporting program and data changing programs that should run periodically. Take an example, fewer tasks are running in the background when you are busy with other work and it generally needs intensive computation jobs. OLTP has the capability to handle all these things together with proper data maintenance operations.

● OLTP may have endless users accessing data at the same time. For example, there is one result announcing website where thousands of users are logged in together to check their results.

● Based on our above discussion that signifies shorter response time, small transactions etc, the higher concurrency, in this case, is pretty common.

● On the basis of certain parameters like the number of users, amount of data or data processing time, OLTP systems can be really huge than your expectations. Take an example of the banking system, where every connected user can avail online banking facility and check its past one-year history with a single click.

● Under OLTP system, different data access patterns can be defined together to make the product a big HIT.

What are the benefits?
➢ OLTP systems provide wonderful support for large sized databases with excellent backups and recovery options.

➢ The data maintenance operations can be managed well through partitioning management techniques that generate minimum redo when compared to the equivalent DML operations.

➢ The system offers relatively higher concurrency by eliminating all other limitations like response time, data processing speed, latches, blocking etc.

Final words:

OLTP is a common data processing tool for large enterprises today. Classical OLTP systems were not so good in performance but modern systems can be used almost everywhere and witnessing excellent performance improvement as compared to other similar technologies or systems.

A list of characteristics and benefits discussed throughout the article are the biggest reason why should you switch to latest OLTP system in SQL server 2016 and enjoy flexible data maintenance operations like never before.

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