Stanford University spin-out Angara Database Systems Inc has taken Oracle Corp’s VLM database-in-RAM concept to its logical conclusion and developed a relational database engine designed from the ground-up to run entirely in a computer’s main memory. The seven-person, San Jose, California-based one year-old start- up has garnered $2.5m venture funding from Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and will make its Main Memory Database available on a limited basis in December. It’s designed to provide high- speed analysis of complex data sets typically 500Mb to 2Gb in size and is claimed to handle the permanently memory resident tables ten times faster than the cache of a standard disk-based database. Key difference between Angara and conventional databases, even with VLM very large memory options, is they lay out data in what are called disk pages, mapped to data that’s stored on the disk. Their index structures tend to be wide and flat to prevent trips out to disk which makes them unwieldy. Angara has none of those disk page restrictions and its index is taller and skinnier. Angara says it expects to win business from organisations maintaining their own custom database-in-RAM applications and to be used in conjunction with VLM and other relational databases, plucking data from disk-based data stores into its RAM-based tables. Work on Angara started four years ago as a university project to write the fastest database possible. Angara says it’s leveraging the falling cost of RAM and the trend towards accessing smaller amounts of data more frequently. It’s up on Solaris and HP-UX with a Windows NT version due. It takes up 500Kb versus the many megabytes of memory conventional relational offerings require. It’ll sell direct, via OEMs and integrators and will cost tens of thousands of dollars per enterprise license. Early versions will be available in December, the product is currently in beta test. The Angara River is part of one of the longest rivers in the world, and drains the largest lake in the world, Lake Baikal, in southeast central Russia.