VMware's SpringSource Buys Java Caching Provider GemStone

By Chris Preimesberger  |  Posted 2010-05-06 Print this article Print

GemStone Systems provides a fabric-oriented distributed caching engine. SpringSource and VMware currently do not feature this data center component, which is becoming increasingly desirable as workloads increase and speed and performance requirements mount.

VMware's August 2009 acquisition, Java Web development provider SpringSource, is busy making buys of its own.

SpringSource, which bought open messaging software maker Rabbit Technologies in April, announced May 6 that it had agreed to acquire in-memory Java cache maker GemStone Systems. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

SpringSource's Spring Framework provides a lightweight programming platform that makes applications portable across open-source and commercial application systems from IBM, Oracle, Dell, Hewlett-Packard and others.

However, the platform does not feature distributed Java caching, which is becoming a much-desired data center component as workloads increase and speed and performance requirements mount.

SpringSource will integrate GemStone's IP into Spring Framework and SpringSource's own Apache-based Web server.

GemStone uses distributed memcache to handle messaging of high volumes of data queries while providing many other storage-related functions, including partitioning and replication of block data.

GemStone can be deployed on a dedicated commodity-type server. Functions of this type used to require a mainframe or dedicated Unix or Solaris server to handle use cases such as high-volume financial transactions, scientific research, oil and gas exploration, and government agency tasks.

"VMware's acquisition of GemStone is further validation of in-memory caching as a powerful approach to scaling enterprise applications and improving their performance," Terracotta CEO Amit Pandey said in an e-mail to eWEEK. "It also shows that VMware understands that this is a large and growing market, due to the huge demand from enterprise customers to scale out applications on cloud infrastructures."

Terracotta, a competing San Francisco-based infrastructure maker that provides scalable, high-availability middleware for Java applications, recently acquired its own distributed caching specialist, Ehcache, maker of an already widely used product.
"What is a bit surprising is the company VMware chose, given SpringSource's reputation for ease of use, which in our view is the foundation of their market position," Pandey said. "Integrating the technologies will be a challenge, especially given that GemStone deployments are mostly in specialized use cases in some banks."

Chris Preimesberger Chris Preimesberger was named Editor-in-Chief of Features & Analysis at eWEEK in November 2011. Previously he served eWEEK as Senior Writer, covering a range of IT sectors that include data center systems, cloud computing, storage, virtualization, green IT, e-discovery and IT governance. His blog, Storage Station, is considered a go-to information source. Chris won a national Folio Award for magazine writing in November 2011 for a cover story on Salesforce.com and CEO-founder Marc Benioff, and he has served as a judge for the SIIA Codie Awards since 2005. In previous IT journalism, Chris was a founding editor of both IT Manager's Journal and DevX.com and was managing editor of Software Development magazine. His diverse resume also includes: sportswriter for the Los Angeles Daily News, covering NCAA and NBA basketball, television critic for the Palo Alto Times Tribune, and Sports Information Director at Stanford University. He has served as a correspondent for The Associated Press, covering Stanford and NCAA tournament basketball, since 1983. He has covered a number of major events, including the 1984 Democratic National Convention, a Presidential press conference at the White House in 1993, the Emmy Awards (three times), two Rose Bowls, the Fiesta Bowl, several NCAA men's and women's basketball tournaments, a Formula One Grand Prix auto race, a heavyweight boxing championship bout (Ali vs. Spinks, 1978), and the 1985 Super Bowl. A 1975 graduate of Pepperdine University in Malibu, Calif., Chris has won more than a dozen regional and national awards for his work. He and his wife, Rebecca, have four children and reside in Redwood City, Calif.Follow on Twitter: editingwhiz

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