In-memory computing (IMC) is set to become more widely used by business over the next few years, according to a new prediction by IT research firm Gartner.
It has said that, while the market is currently small and confined to high tech operations, worldwide sales should reach $1 billion by 2016.
The technology will become more affordable to midsize businesses, and will be picked up by at least a third of the potential market through 2015, compared with 10% in 2012.
IMC involves storing information in the main random access memory of dedicated servers rather than in relational databases on disk drives. This makes it possible to analyse big volumes of data much more quickly.
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Massimo Pezzini, Vice President of Gartner, said the falling prices of dynamic random access memory and NAND flash memory, along with the development of solid state drives and specific software platforms, is making IMC accessible to more organisations.
"During the next two to three years, IMC will become a key element in the strategy of organisations focused on improving effectiveness and business growth," Pezzini said. "Organisations looking for cost containment and efficiency will also embrace IMC."
He added: "Organisations that do not consider adopting in-memory application infrastructure technologies risk being out-innovated by competitors that are early mainstream users of these capabilities."
Among the advantages of IMC identified by Gartner is the ability to complete batch processes in minutes rather than hours, which should support real time cloud services.
But it also says that there are barriers in the way of its adoption, including a scarcity of relevant skills, a lack of standings, security concerns and the relative complexity of its architecture.
In January Gartner identified IMC as one of its top 10 technology trends for 2013.