Increased Mobility With an In-memory Cache

By Juliet D'cruz

The rise of big data has also given way to the increased usage and relevance of mobile data in today’s business. It has been heralded as one of the main components of an organization’s digital maturity, which is closely tied with successful digital transformation. Wielding the power of mobile data comes at a cost, however, with challenges at both the software and hardware level, including low bandwidth, unstable network connections, and scarcity of infrastructure and resources. Maintaining quality of service means preserving the quality of data, and this could only be achieved if companies find ways to prioritize data coherence and consistency. This, while also ensuring that they are able to provide quick response times and high availability. In creating a strategic data management process, the main objective should be ensuring that members of the organization understand that the process of data management and digital transformation is essentially leveraging digital technologies to achieve overall business goals.

Mobile data is a major consideration when it comes to crafting a data management strategy because it has implications that affect what methods or strategies are appropriate. It comes with challenges at the networking layer but presents big opportunities at the higher layers by using geolocation to improve and personalize the user experience. Data prefetching is one of mobile data’s main draws, and it can be categorized under two distinct infrastructures: single-hop and multi-hop. In single-hop, mobile devices communicate through a stationary host that routes data; in multi-hop, an ad-hoc wireless network is responsible for communication between the requester and the data source through a dissemination tree. This is where modern caching comes in. Modern caching is beneficial for either infrastructure because it helps improve the system performance and availability of both. It does away with I/O or remote data retrieval by keeping data requests in main memory. This, in effect, reduces service time and prevents network bottlenecks. More than speeding up data retrieval, in-memory caching also focuses on consistency of data and the efficiency of its dissemination.

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Mobile Data Consistency and Integrity

The value of mobile communication and data is highlighted by how rampant it is in business. Even the healthcare industry has seen the value of technology through telehealth, automation, and other AI-powered healthcare solutions. Ironically, one of the main drawbacks in mobile communication are the mobile devices themselves and their inherent limitations. Wireless communication has limited bandwidth because data is remotely accessed from a mobile host. This contributes to increased response times and taxes the limited battery power of mobile devices since transmitting and receiving data consumes a significant amount of energy. This becomes a challenge because the operations performed on mobile devices need to be synchronized with the mobile host and sites used to route data. This synchronization can be quite complex, but it can be simplified if mobile devices are allowed to cache data. Locally cached data ensures that performance won’t be affected even if it’s completely disconnected from the network. To allow this, there are two ways that updates can be propagated to mobile devices: eager replication, where copies of an item within a single transaction can be synchronized, and lazy replication, where transactions that help keep coherent replicas are run independently as database transactions after the original transaction is done.

Making Disconnected Operation Possible

In-memory caching makes disconnected operation possible because it allows for data to be updated on the mobile device. Disconnected operation is vital because it allows mobile clients to operate autonomously regardless of an unstable connection or disconnection from the network. Concurrent operation in the host and mobile client is achieved through prefetching or preloading data in the mobile device’s cache. Prefetched or preloaded data can be determined automatically through implicit information or manually specified through user-provided instructions. Two-tier caching helps in complying with optimistic consistency maintenance protocols by allowing update propagation to be done at the mobile site. Common consistency protocol characteristics of two-tier caching also include integrations at the mobile host and local data that can be read but not updated without further validation.


As businesses become increasingly dependent on data, mobile computing is poised to be a major component of forward-thinking businesses of the future. Since in-memory caching helps address the main limitations of mobile data management, it, too, seems to have a bright future in the many aspects of business—even those businesses that don’t have an apparent connection with digital technology. All businesses today are digital, and those that deny this fact are missing out on the benefits of technology.

Discussions about mobile computing almost always lead to wireless technologies and devices, and this is where in-memory caching shines. It helps minimize delays in data access by limiting queries to and from the mobile host and client. It also helps reduce energy consumption by performing necessary operations on the mobile devices themselves using a data cache. Ultimately, it helps improve data consistency and quality while also helping prolong the life cycle of mobile devices.

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