I’m in England (outside of London in Hampshire) for Intel’s Enterprise Board of Advisors (EBOA). This is an annual event where we meet with key end user customers to get their perspectives on current technology and issues confronting IT organizations. It includes both client and server discussions. The specifics are confidential, but I can share my interpretations with you.I’m in attendance because we are doing a breakout session focused on Business Intelligence and Database, with a goal of understanding customer reactions to everything from Database and BI appliances to recent mergers and acquisitions like EMC & Greenplum, IBM & Netezza and the evolution of new technologies such as SAP HANA , Columnar stores , etc.What seems to be fueling a lot of discussion is a lengthy paper by Philip Winslow, a Research Analyst at Credit Suisse, entitled: “The Need for Speed – How In-Memory and Flash could transform IT architectures and drive the next ‘Killer Apps’” While you would need to acquire the full paper from Credit Suisse we do have a summary presentation on The Need For Speed paper.In short form, the paper proposes that bigger, cheaper memory and solid-state storage are creating new opportunities for breakthroughs in both OLTP and real-time analytics. The paper also outlines which software vendors are best prepared to exploit this market evolution. I happen to think they are right, the only question is exactly when it all comes together to create the right performance at the right price point.I think REAL, real-time BI is the Holy Grail, and there isn’t a business out there that doesn’t want to make smarter, timelier decisions, with the flexibility to do REAL ad-hoc queries in response to changing market situations. The question has always been what does it cost and what’s the ROI? The big guys do it today – they just spend a lot of money. The proposition is that NVRAM could deliver price points that make this a reality for the masses –then it’s just a “mere matter of software.”I suggest you check out the Winslow Slides, and stay tuned to my next blog which will actually report back on the high points of what we heard from the advisors.I’d love to hear your reactions to Winslow’s views.