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Tutorial 3: Modern Main-Memory Database Systems

Presenters: Per Ake Larson (Microsoft Research), Justin Levandoski (Microsoft Research)
Date: Mon Sep 5, 2016
Time: 2.00 p.m. - 3.30 p.m., 4:00 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.
Venue: Pearl 1


This tutorial provides an overview of recent developments in mainmemory database systems. With growing memory sizes and memory prices dropping by a factor of 10 every 5 years, data having a "primary home" in memory is now a reality. Main-memory databases eschew many of the traditional architectural tenets of relational database systems that optimized for disk-resident data. Innovative approaches to fundamental issues such as concurrency control and query processing are required to unleash the full performance potential of main-memory databases. The tutorial is focused around design issues and architectural choices that must be made when building a high performance database system optimized for main-memory: data storage and indexing, concurrency control, durability and recovery techniques, query processing and compilation, support for high availability, and ability to support hybrid transactional and analytics workloads. This will be illustrated by example solutions drawn from four state-of-the-art systems: HStore/VoltDB, Hekaton, HyPeR, and SAP HANA. The tutorial will also cover current and future research trends.

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Per-Ake (Paul) Larson has conducted research in the database field for well over 30 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 has worked in a variety of areas: file structures, materialized views, query processing, query optimization, column stores, and main-memory databases. He collaborated closely with the SQL Server development team to drastically improving system performance by adding column store indexes and a new main-memory database engine to SQL Server. Paul is a Fellow of the ACM and Vice-President of the Executive Committee of the VLDB Endowment.

Justin Levandoski is a researcher in the database group at Microsoft Research. He is interested in a broad range of topics dealing with large-scale data management systems. His current interests include main-memory databases, database support for new hardware platforms, document-oriented databases, transaction processing, and cloud computing. His research has been commercialized in a number of Microsoft products, including the SQL Server Hekaton main-memory database engine, Azure DocumentDB, and bing.