Is a transaction time of <10ms for an SQL database viable? If so, under what conditions?

Appreciate this is a rather odd question, so I will try to clarify as much as possible. Please also be assured this is a question purely for my own education, I’m not about to rush off and do crazy things in our software on the back of it.

I have a customer requirement for a transaction time of <10ms on a system that is based around an SQL database – in our specific implementation it is Oracle DB. I’m aware that this is not a useful or meaningful requirement, so with my business hat on I’ll be dealing with that. I fully expect that the requirement will be revised to something more useful and achievable.

However, I am curious on a technical level. Could you squeeze transaction time on an SQL DB down below 10ms? Lets be generous and say this is pure SQL execution time, no comms, no abstraction layers etc. Right now, running select 1 from dual on one of our systems gives a reported execution time of 10-20ms and I’d assume that’s about the simplest query possible. What if anything might you do to reduce that time (a) within Oracle/SQL or the server environment (b) by making a different tech choice? I’d assume maybe a higher clock speed on the CPU might help, but I wouldn’t bet on it.

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Author: SimonN