Adobe taps Terracotta to help Adobe scale its Acrobat collaboration solution. Terracotta's software, which helps businesses scale their enterprise Java environments, will enable users to run ConnectNow without a database.
Terracotta, which makes infrastructure software for enterprise
Java scalability, is providing core technology to deliver high
reliability and scalability to Adobe's ConnectNow Web conferencing
service in Acrobat.com.
By using Terracotta's high-performance redundant cache in runtime
state rather than a database, ConnectNow provides service for a high
volume of Web meetings and activity, while enabling seamless recovery
in case of a partial system failure, said Amit Pandey, CEO of
ConnectNow is a personal Web conferencing service designed for
collaborative meetings for individual users and businesses. Users can
instantly communicate and collaborate through an easy-to-use,
easy-to-access online personal meeting room, Adobe officials said.
ConnectNow is available for free sign up as part of the Acrobat.com
public beta here.
Pandey said Terracotta's shared application memory store is a
fast-emerging approach to scale critical applications, because it
offers the performance of local memory along with the high availability
of a database. This capability eliminates the performance and
reliability tradeoffs that constrain Java applications today, he said.
"Adobe for us is an example of the kind of customer we set out to
get when the company was formed -- customers who have challenging scale
issues but are not into changing their applications to make this scale
happen," Pandey said. "They're an archetype of the customer we are
going after. They are doing scalable Web applications but have given up
on the database."
Pandey said Terracotta has been seeing a lot of momentum from
customers such as Adobe. "We went open-source in December 2006 and
since then have added more than 60 customers, and more than two-thirds
of them have this profile," he said. The other third consists of
enterprise customers "like Tangosol has gone after," Pandey said.
Tangosol is Oracle's in-memory data grid technology designed to meet
the new demands for real-time data analytics, compute-intensive
middleware and high-performance transactions.
"The database as a paradigm for scale is just not cutting it,"
Pandey said. "We think we've opened up a new market that companies like
Tangosol have not been able to go after."
He also said Adobe was able to integrate Terracotta's core technology into its test environment in a matter of days.
Mark Grilli, group product marketing manager for Adobe's Business
Productivity Business Unit, said, "We knew demand for what we were
doing would be high...and that's why we went to Terracotta."
Dennis Griffin, a senior engineering manager at Adobe, said the
company tried other solutions, such as JBoss Cache and Ehcache, "but we
had issues with that where we had to get much more invasive in our code
and in how we model our system architecture," whereas Adobe's goal was
to limit any changes that might be required for the code.
Griffin said Adobe also wanted to maintain the flexibility to change its architecture without having to impact its code base.
"We started out with [Macromedia] Breeze and Adobe Connect Pro," he
said. "That was with a database. It works well for enterprise scale and
small Web scale. But when we were working with a next-generation
architecture we knew we would run into some problems with scale."
Griffin said one of Adobe's engineers first came across Terracotta
at Sun Microsystems' JavaOne conference and convinced Adobe management
to give the Terracotta technology a try.
"Choosing Terracotta for our distributed cache technology has
enabled us to implement our key requirements without needing to make
dramatic changes to our code base," Grilli said. "The Terracotta cache
also has enabled us to build system management and monitoring
applications that are connected to the Terracotta cache, with no
interference to our application servers. And with Terracotta's
responsive support, easy-to-follow samples and guides, and helpful
developer tools, we were able to rapidly build this project."
Darryl K. Taft covers the development tools and developer-related issues beat from his office in Baltimore. He has more than 10 years of experience in the business and is always looking for the next scoop. Taft is a member of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and was named 'one of the most active middleware reporters in the world' by The Middleware Co. He also has his own card in the 'Who's Who in Enterprise Java' deck.