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TimesTen Performance Software

Providing Real-Time Data Management Software

Based on high performance IMDB (in-memory database) technology, TimesTen's products manage some of the most vital, time-critical data inside next-generation voice and data networks, high-volume financial services applications and dynamic e-business infrastructures

Suppose you're cash-poor but rich in plastic in downtown San Francisco. An automatic teller machine linked to your bank would improve your cash position, fast. But where is the nearest one? Is it time to tap a stranger's shoulder to find out?

According to James Groff, CEO of TimesTen Performance Software, the days of asking strangers for such favors are on the wane. Instead, we'll soon be tapping into next generation Internet services to find the nearest ATM (or Italian restaurant or FedEx office or photo finishing store) when on unfamiliar turf.

"Instead of the 'one size fits all' Internet access model we have today, where you click on a web page and what you see is what everyone else sees--soon all the information you get will be personalized," says Groff, "And you'll access it not just from your PC--but also from a mobile phone, a handheld or from whatever personal information appliance you've got with you. As in this case, you'd be able to use your cell phone to quickly find the nearest automatic teller machine."

While it may sound cool to get instant, personalized information whenever, wherever from whatever--a new breed of data management software must be in place before Internet service providers can deliver such services, says Groff. " Data management software with remarkably higher levels of performance and scalability is critical to providing an instantaneous, customized response amidst a torrent of e-commerce and transactional requests at busy times of the day."

It's this need for micro second Internet response time that is driving TimesTen's approach to real-time data management software, says Groff, who adds that it's these kinds of innovations that will usher in the next generation of Internet services.

In-memory data management enables next generation I-services
TimesTen was actually born inside Hewlett Packard, where an engineering team developed the original technology in 1992 to embed in some HP telecom systems, says Groff. Then in 1996, TimesTen was officially spun off from HP to become its own entity. "So the core of what we do today at TimesTen is in-memory (memory-based) data management and transaction management software."

What's an in-memory database? Imagine a database that resides entirely in the main memory of a computer system, as compared to a conventional disk-based database, where data is mostly on disk, and sometimes in main memory. Since all transactional requests are handled in memory by this database, there's a huge performance gain in both throughput and response time compared to conventional disk-based systems, claims Groff. The difference is, on average, a 10x performance improvement because of the efficiency of the in-memory architecture. This translates into the click-speed/real-time responsiveness which is essential for today's Internet e-businesses, financial services applications, and voice and data network infrastructures, to give users the instantaneous customized information they're looking for.

Intel 64 Fund Invests in TimesTen
From mid-1998 to early 1999, Groff says his team had been talking to Intel Capital about the Intel® Itanium" based technologies. "There seemed to be a good fit between what we were doing and where Intel was heading with its Itanium processor technology," says Groff, "Then the Intel 64 Fund came along, and we were both struck by the great fit there was between the Fund's objective and TimesTen."

Going to Itanium-based technologies was a strong pull for us, says Groff. "Intel Itanium architecture brings us very advanced technology that opens up vast amounts of database information (compared to 32-bit architectures) that is instantly accessible, held in-memory--and offers much higher process data rates. This, coupled with the promise that this Itanium technology can be delivered at mass market price points, made it a compelling move for TimesTen, since it now also becomes economical to deploy and market this next generation of Internet services."

After meeting extensively with the TimesTen team, the Intel 64 Fund team saw that a 64-bit operating environment is particularly synergistic with in-memory database technology, because it allows for vastly larger in-memory databases than a 32-bit system can support.

For this reason, TimesTen became one of the first three companies to receive an investment from the Intel 64 Fund in 1999. The investment was made to support TimesTen's commitment to develop an optimized version of the TimesTen* in-memory database for Intel's Itanium product family, which would help extend the breadth of solutions available to users of Itanium-based systems. In addition, TimesTen also entered into a collaborative development and optimization agreement for this project with Intel.

A smooth working relationship
Today, TimesTen products include TimesTen, a leading in-memory database, and TimesTen Front-Tier*, a dynamic data cache. Groff states that "TimesTen customers span some of the best known names in e-business and voice and data networks including LivePerson, CNN, Aspect Communications, Propel, Cisco Systems, Ericsson, and Lucent Technologies, to name just a few."

According to Groff, the TimesTen team began porting TimesTen's software to early prototype Itanium-based systems in the summer of 1999. From the start, the Intel 64 Fund investment has worked very well, says Groff.

"Throughout the investment, we've had excellent cooperation from Intel in porting and tuning TimesTen software on early prototypes of the Itanium systems. We've had access to senior Intel management, and we've received early prototype Itanium systems to do our development work on," says Groff, "We've also had great engineering support from Intel, with their engineers working side-by-side with our engineers with the source code to help get it converted over, debug it, and tune it. It's been a very smooth relationship," says Groff.

In addition, Groff says that the Intel 64 Fund team has been supportive from a marketing and visibility perspective. "For example, senior Intel management has used our TimesTen Itanium software to illustrate the potential of Itanium processors in a demo at the Intel 64 Fund Conference last spring and at the San Jose Business Expo in July. These events offered us great visibility, where we've benefited significantly from being one of the examples being actively used to show the power of this new architecture."

Groff says that the Intel 64 team also benefits from the working relationship with TimesTen. "What they get is technology that really takes full advantage of Itanium and future Itanium-based processors, enabling this new class of solution, of Internet services, to run on Itanium architecture systems. As well, Intel 64 Fund companies also get an early window of visibility on this key piece of technology to start planning for what new capabilities they might want to offer."

TimesTen Performance Software

"For TimesTen, working with the Intel 64 Fund has been a very positive experience. The Intel Itanium architecture products are an excellent platform for us, and offer a good technical fit. Over the course of the investment, we've had great technical cooperation, and excellent marketing visibility through Intel's Sr. management, who have has used TimesTen Itanium based software to illustrate the potential of Intel Itanium processors."

James Groff
TimesTen Performance Software


TimesTen Performance Software
James Groff
Mountain View, CA

For more information, contact TimesTen Performance Software, Intel Capital.

Last updated: April 2000

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