Hi Friends, Are you sure you have tested SQL Server 2014 In-Memory OLTP the right way?

In one of my recent conversations with a customer, a senior DBA from the customer side expressed that he does not see ‘exponential’ performance when he converts on-disk tables to In-Memory tables. He further expressed that performance by ‘leaps and bounds’ as claimed by Microsoft is only marketing rather than reality.

Is this your opinion too?

Well, instead of a knee-jerk reaction, I was interested in knowing how exactly he tested the In-Memory feature of SQL Server 2014. And after he explained his ‘basic’ test, I kind of figured out where he went wrong.

So here are the two versions of the test. One that he did, and the other that I told him to do!

And for the purpose of this blog post, I am using the codeplex sample provided by Microsoft (Of course, I do not have customers data or their scripts)

So, below are the two scripts: One inserts data (10000 records) in disk based tables and the other inserts the same amount of data in In-Memory tables (both tables are identical). Note the usage of @use_inmem parameter. Based on this parameter value, a stored procedure will insert data either in disk based tables or memory optimized tables.

And after executing the above scripts in SSMS, the execution times were as follows:

On-Disk tables: 34 seconds

In-Memory tables: 15 seconds

While that’s a fairly nice improvement, the DBA expected performance improvement by ‘leaps & bounds’ 🙂

And here is what I told him to do:

I told him to run exactly the same test, but with around 100 concurrent users. And I advised him to use Adam Machanic’s SQLQueryStress or RML utilities to stimulate 100 users. So here are the results (this time I used 100 users, each inserting 1000 records. Not 10K, as this takes a loooong time for disk based tables)

Results of 100 concurrent users, each inserting 1000 records:

Execution times:

On-Disk tables: 4 mins 2 secs

1_SQL_Server_2014_In-Memory_OLTP_Have_You_Tested_It_The_Right_Way

In-Memory tables: 26 seconds

2_SQL_Server_2014_In-Memory_OLTP_Have_You_Tested_It_The_Right_Way

Conclusion?

Well, In-Memory tables are perfect solutions for tables that witness high latch contention. That’s just one case. With one user, there is hardly any latch contention so you are going to see moderate performance improvement. With 100 concurrent users competing to insert data (and the classic last page insert scenario in SQL), SQL Server engine will see high latch contention for disk based tables. In-Memory tables offer latch free design and the transactional throughput will be very high, as the above results show clearly.

Before running each scripts/test, you can clear the latch statistics, as follows:

And after each script/test completes, you can record latch stats as follows and compare the difference:

My intention behind writing this post was to make sure that you test a feature the right way, and of course there is a lot more to be talked & discussed about In-Memory tables, it’s a huge topic. This post is just a quick know-how.

Amit Bansal
SQL MCM, SQL MVP
Director – eDominer Systems, Peopleware India, SQLMaestros

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