Tangosol Delivers New Data Grid System

 
 
By Darryl K. Taft  |  Posted 2006-02-27
 
 
 
Tangosol is expected to announce a new version of its data grid environment at the 2006 Web Services/SOA on Wall Street conference on Feb. 27 in New York.

Tangosol will announce Version 3.1 of Coherence, its solution for helping enterprises achieve high availability and broadly scalable performance for large-scale Java and J2EE (Java 2 Enterprise Edition) applications.

"This is one of our biggest releases since we came out with the software originally five years ago," said Cameron Purdy, president of the Somerville, Mass., company. Coherence 3.1 "represents a major expansion in the positioning of Coherence and introduces a fundamental paradigm shift in how we—and the industry—think about the relationship between compute grids and the data that feeds them," he said.

Coherence 3.1 has an extensive number of new features that raise the bar for data grid functionality and scalable performance, Purdy said. These features include data grid features such as a new Coherence Realtime Desktop, Coherence Data Grid Agents and Coherence Aggregate Functions, and a Coherence Distributed Work Manager. The new version also features an extension of the products JMX (Java Management Extensions) services to cover Tangosols CoherenceWeb offering—CoherenceWeb is an HTTP Session management solution. Coherence 3.1 also features new integration support for BEA WebLogic Portal, Hibernate and BerkeleyDB.

"All servers have equal access to the data; our job is to keep the applications crunching on data and not bottlenecking on the database or the application server," Purdy said. "Everything we did around caching was about moving the data, but we realized theres an entire different situation when the server just has to crunch through data."

Coherence provides the infrastructure for building data grid services, as well as the client- and server-based applications that utilize a data grid, Purdy said. At a basic level, Coherence can manage an immense amount of data across a large number of servers in a grid, he said. Coherence provides a data grid by dynamically, transparently and automatically partitioning the data set across all storage-enabled nodes in a cluster, he added.

Coherence Data Grid Agents and Coherence Aggregate Functions open up the compute and data resources of the entire data grid to an applications custom processing requirements, Purdy said. Using these capabilities, an application can execute data-related processing in parallel across the entire data grid, achieving "limitless linear scalability" for both data management and application processing across hundreds of thousands of servers.

"We did what we call the Work Manager where the data grid is tied around particular data," Purdy said. "Think of it more like a batch process as opposed to a data process."

The Coherence Distributed Work Manager is a grid-enabled implementation of the standard CommonJ Work Manager API provided in the BEA WebLogic and IBM WebSphere application servers, Tangosol officials said. Using the Coherence Distributed Work Manager, an application can submit a collection of work that needs to be executed, and the Work Manager will automatically distribute the work for execution across the entire grid, the company said.

Coherence 3.1 also features a continuous query capability, which combines a query result with a continuous stream of related events that maintain the query result in a real-time fashion, Purdy said. "You can issue a query, get the results back and never have the results get out of date," he said.

This capability is key to the Coherence RTD (RealTime Desktop) feature in Coherence, Purdy said. "And we support rich clients," he said. "You have a real-time client for large-scale data."

Purdy said many of the new features are based on work Tangosol has done for major financial institutions. He said Coherence RTD represents a competitive advantage opportunity for banking, securities and other financial institutions that depend on the availability of timely and accurate information. Using Coherence RTD, these institutions can provide immediate access at the desktop to the most up-to-date information, including the very latest transactions, he said.

"Its a pretty amazing jump technologically for us," Purdy said.

Rich Ptak, a partner at Ptak, Noel & Associates, said in a statement: "There exists widespread demand for the capabilities introduced in this Tangosol Coherence release. The rapid acceptance of initiatives based on the innovations of service oriented architecture [SOA] and grid computing demonstrates how leading organizations are eager for an extra edge in delivering services to customers. However, these organizations must also reduce IT operating costs."

In addition, Coherence helps to reduce IT operating costs by combining distributed application processing concepts and unlimited data caching capacity with the relocation of processing to the most appropriate location, Ptak said.

Privately held Tangosol more than doubled its revenues last year and continues to grow its staff, Purdy said. However, larger players are entering the space. IBM has a competitive product in this space with its ObjectGrid feature of WebSphere. ObjectGrid is an extensible transactional object caching framework for Java 2 Standard Edition and J2EE applications.

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