NRI is looking forward to the big data era when data -- more finely-tuned to its needs than today's mere chatter -- will become available at an instant. Thanks to alliances with social networking services such as Twitter and Facebook, NRI is aware that the volumes of data it needs to process will grow at an exponential rate. It must, therefore, be able to process even more data in real-time.
NRI develops mobile phone navigation solutions for individual users. Its popular "Zenryoku Annai!" is a widely adopted service that helps subscribers receive superior navigation advice like the shortest route, ETA (estimated time of arrival), etc.
In order to provide this information at higher degrees of accuracy than the competition, NRI requires high-performing real-time processing of massive volumes of traffic information -- just the sort of compute SAP's in-memory solutions could help. NRI conducted various tests to verify the performance of the SAP HANA in-memory analysis appliance. The results of these tests confirmed that 336-million items of data acquired from approximately 13,000 taxis and by Zenryoku Annai! subscribers (who have given permission for their locations to be used) could be analysed in just over one second. In other words, what would normally take several minutes in a RDBMS (relational database management system) environment could be completed in less than a second. In real terms, the search speed was increased by a factor of more than 1,800.
The New Data Frontier
In both cases of Nongfu Spring and Nomura Research Institute, the potential of in-memory database is not just in streamlining operations and cutting down cost but also in introducing new types of services that could not have otherwise been made available to customers.
Taking away the mechanical functions of database management and analytics to make it more adaptable to real-time use makes all the difference between remaining a mediocre provider of services to becoming a thriving and competitive company in any industry.
In-memory database will create a huge impact on traditional data management. What remains to be seen is how receptive industries would be to having such a new way of looking at their data. As a company, SAP will ensure that new technologies to improve database management are utilised to their fullest while keeping customers happy.
Suraj Pai is Vice President for Database & Technology at SAP Southeast Asia.
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