Welcome!

Java IoT Authors: Liz McMillan, Kevin Benedict, Elizabeth White, Pat Romanski, Jack Jachner

Related Topics: Java IoT, Open Source Cloud, @CloudExpo

Java IoT: Interview

Scaling Java From the Enterprise To the Cloud

Quick Q&A with Geert Bevin, Evangelist, Terracotta Inc.

Simple scalability - that's the Terracotta value proposition. In this Quick Q&A with SYS-CON's Cloud Computing Journal editor-in-chief Alan Williamson, Geert Bevin (pictured) - Evangelist at Terracotta Inc - explains that how Terracotta helps enable Java in the Cloud...and clarifies the difference between the commercial and OSS editions of Terracotta.

Cloud Computing Journal: In a nutshell what is Terracotta?

Bevin: Terracotta's primary value is simple scalability. We deliver this using a high-performance distributed durable caching technology we call Network Attached Memory (NAM): NAM hooks right into the memory of the Java Virtual Machine (JVM) and allows users to share critical in-memory data between servers within the application tier, thereby avoiding unnecessary use of the database as a coordination point or a high availability mechanism. Databases as central "traffic cops" could become a scalability issue in many applications, especially those deployed in cloud infrastructures. We work with a lot of Java frameworks, including Spring and Hibernate, in a plug-in fashion, but you can also use Terracotta to scale and cluster Plain Old Java Object (POJO) applications as well, since we can hook directly into Java memory at the platform level.

Cloud Computing Journal: Is this a more sophisticated memcached for Java?

Bevin: Many people have used memcached with great success, but Terracotta does offer some capabilities that memcached does not. First, for those parts of memory it has been configured to share, Terracotta writes all memory changes asynchronously to disk, so the memory state is recoverable in the event of any hardware failures or machine restarts. With Terracotta, a server shutdown or power failure doesn’t mean important context for the application is lost. Second, Terracotta can provide a distributed read/write cache that is coherent across all application nodes. Also, Terracotta also has an in-process caching layer right in the application server’s local JVM, so many reads never even leave the local machine; with memcached, you have at least one network hop for any read out of the cache.

Cloud Computing Journal: To what is Terracotta ideally suited?

Bevin: Terracotta is ideally suited to applications where scalability is a concern, where you need expand capacity on the application tier easily while maintaining high performance or when you want to ensure that any member of the application tier can take work over from another with no loss in application state. In applications where the database is being used as a central point of coordination, Terracotta can be an excellent fit for reducing database bottlenecks and database licensing and hardware costs.

Cloud Computing Journal: Is Terracotta Java for the cloud essentially?

Bevin: Terracotta definitely makes it much easier to run Java applications in cloud environments, since we can make elastic expansion and contraction of the application tier much simpler to manage. Terracotta shares data with just TCP/IP ­ unlike many other solutions, theree are no multicast requirements, so set-up and provisioning are much simpler. Our partnership with VMware augments this capability, giving users all the push-button management capabilities they expect from VMware, including easy provisioning with server isolation, guaranteed resource capacity to meet SLAs, and more efficient overall hardware utilization. Furthermore, Terracotta offers streamlined change management and enhanced application integrity from application memory that is resilient to failures/restarts and can be shared between servers. This creates a truly adaptive, on-demand deployment model in which an application server within, or added to, the cluster can seamlessly take over the workload from any other server.

Cloud Computing Journal: What is the maximum amount of memory I can store?

Bevin: Online, the "hot" items need to be in RAM because Terracotta automatically swaps the least-used portions of Java heap out to our server array where everything is also copied to disk for recoverability. Essentially, the Java heap can be as big as the available disk, subject of course to reasonable garbage collection considerations. This means users can build a distributed cache without worrying about the amount of RAM on each machine. You don't need enough RAM to contain the whole cache.

Cloud Computing Journal: Just how much can Terracotta scale out to?

Bevin: Terracotta is deployed in some very large applications in industries like financial services, travel and leisure and online gaming. Terracotta delivers mainframe-class transaction volumes with dozens of connected application servers and multi-server Terracotta Server Arrays. The product is also deployed in a large number of applications with two application servers where Terracotta’s HTTP session replication was faster and simpler that other solutions. So there is a range of successful deployments, from two servers to 150 running on Terracotta.

Cloud Computing Journal: Have you any numbers you can share, with say, Amazon EC2?

Bevin: Terracotta has been working on EC2 for more than two years now to include some customers who run key IT components for their business entirely on EC2. We’re in the midst of some testing to establish performance numbers we can share in more detail later, but it is already clear that Terracotta scales linearly in EC2. In our benchmark HTTP session replication test the application scaled linearly to 35 JVMs with one Terracotta server in the server array, and when a second Terracotta server was added, the application scaled linearly to 70 JVMs. We can very easily add or reduce incremental capacity to an application in EC2 to meet changes demand; more importantly, we can also make sure that new servers are immediately aware of application context so they can take over activity and ensure that no work is lost as servers are taken offline. The in-memory data the application needs to function seamlessly across changes in cloud topology is all handled easily and reliably within Terracotta. The types and number of EC2 machine instances you need will, of course, vary with workload, especially since throughput tends to be a bit lower in cloud infrastructures.

Cloud Computing Journal: What is the difference between the commercial and OSS editions of Terracotta?

Bevin: The free OSS edition, Terracotta ES, has all the core clustering features that enable simple scale-out for Java applications, as well as the Developer console that customers use as a valuable visual tuning aid to eliminate a lot of work. Terracotta ES is a great way to do development and testing; when you get to production, though, you should consider Terracotta EX or Terracotta FX. Terracotta EX has the same general feature set as ES, but comes with phone support, support SLA, and a commercial license with wider distribution rights. Terracotta FX includes the support access, SLA, and commercial license of Terracotta EX and adds not only Terracotta Server Array Striping, which allows users to stripe data across an arbitrary number of Terracotta servers, but also the Operations Center, a user interface that lets operators manage a number of applications running on Terracotta more easily (including taking backups and performing advanced diagnostics).

Cloud Computing Journal: A Terracotta server is always required; what sort of specification does that machine need to have to ensure the whole cluster does not suffer performance?

Bevin: The right specification for the servers in the Terracotta Server Array depends on the application workload, but we have seen applications run successfully on a range of devices, from commodity x86 hardware to bigger machines like SPARC gear from Sun. The same goes for a case like EC2, where we've seen various machines in use, depending on workload.

Cloud Computing Journal: How do network delays affect the distributed nature of the app?

Bevin: Terracotta only sends the bytes that change over the wire, not entire objects, so we're less sensitive to network delays than competitive solutions , which generally cannot propagate these "fine grained" changes to data as well as we can. Also, if you load-balance and constrain data overlap on application servers, there is very little coupling between machines; this means that only a reasonable amount of data needs to be sent through Terracotta to provide proper coordination, further reducing any sensitivity to network delays.

More Stories By Alan Williamson

Alan Williamson is widely recognized as an early expert on Cloud Computing, he is Co-Founder of aw2.0 Ltd, a software company specializing in deploying software solutions within Cloud networks. Alan is a Sun Java Champion and creator of OpenBlueDragon (an open source Java CFML runtime engine). With many books, articles and speaking engagements under his belt, Alan likes to talk passionately about what can be done TODAY and not get caught up in the marketing hype of TOMORROW. Follow his blog, http://alan.blog-city.com/ or e-mail him at cloud(at)alanwilliamson.org.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


@ThingsExpo Stories
There is only one world-class Cloud event on earth, and that is Cloud Expo – which returns to Silicon Valley for the 21st Cloud Expo at the Santa Clara Convention Center, October 31 - November 2, 2017. Every Global 2000 enterprise in the world is now integrating cloud computing in some form into its IT development and operations. Midsize and small businesses are also migrating to the cloud in increasing numbers. Companies are each developing their unique mix of cloud technologies and service...
WebRTC is great technology to build your own communication tools. It will be even more exciting experience it with advanced devices, such as a 360 Camera, 360 microphone, and a depth sensor camera. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Masashi Ganeko, a manager at INFOCOM Corporation, will introduce two experimental projects from his team and what they learned from them. "Shotoku Tamago" uses the robot audition software HARK to track speakers in 360 video of a remote party. "Virtual Teleport" uses a...
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 21st Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the most profound change in personal and enterprise IT since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago. All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devic...
Recently, IoT seems emerging as a solution vehicle for data analytics on real-world scenarios from setting a room temperature setting to predicting a component failure of an aircraft. Compared with developing an application or deploying a cloud service, is an IoT solution unique? If so, how? How does a typical IoT solution architecture consist? And what are the essential components and how are they relevant to each other? How does the security play out? What are the best practices in formulating...
In his session at @ThingsExpo, Arvind Radhakrishnen discussed how IoT offers new business models in banking and financial services organizations with the capability to revolutionize products, payments, channels, business processes and asset management built on strong architectural foundation. The following topics were covered: How IoT stands to impact various business parameters including customer experience, cost and risk management within BFS organizations.
An increasing number of companies are creating products that combine data with analytical capabilities. Running interactive queries on Big Data requires complex architectures to store and query data effectively, typically involving data streams, an choosing efficient file format/database and multiple independent systems that are tied together through custom-engineered pipelines. In his session at @BigDataExpo at @ThingsExpo, Tomer Levi, a senior software engineer at Intel’s Advanced Analytics ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Elastifile will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Elastifile Cloud File System (ECFS) is software-defined data infrastructure designed for seamless and efficient management of dynamic workloads across heterogeneous environments. Elastifile provides the architecture needed to optimize your hybrid cloud environment, by facilitating efficient...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Golden Gate University will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Since 1901, non-profit Golden Gate University (GGU) has been helping adults achieve their professional goals by providing high quality, practice-based undergraduate and graduate educational programs in law, taxation, business and related professions. Many of its courses are taug...
"We provide IoT solutions. We provide the most compatible solutions for many applications. Our solutions are industry agnostic and also protocol agnostic," explained Richard Han, Head of Sales and Marketing and Engineering at Systena America, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
SYS-CON Events announced today that DXWorldExpo has been named “Global Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Digital Transformation is the key issue driving the global enterprise IT business. Digital Transformation is most prominent among Global 2000 enterprises and government institutions.
21st International Cloud Expo, taking place October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy. Me...
Recently, WebRTC has a lot of eyes from market. The use cases of WebRTC are expanding - video chat, online education, online health care etc. Not only for human-to-human communication, but also IoT use cases such as machine to human use cases can be seen recently. One of the typical use-case is remote camera monitoring. With WebRTC, people can have interoperability and flexibility for deploying monitoring service. However, the benefit of WebRTC for IoT is not only its convenience and interopera...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Secure Channels, a cybersecurity firm, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Secure Channels, Inc. offers several products and solutions to its many clients, helping them protect critical data from being compromised and access to computer networks from the unauthorized. The company develops comprehensive data encryption security strategie...
From 2013, NTT Communications has been providing cPaaS service, SkyWay. Its customer’s expectations for leveraging WebRTC technology are not only typical real-time communication use cases such as Web conference, remote education, but also IoT use cases such as remote camera monitoring, smart-glass, and robotic. Because of this, NTT Communications has numerous IoT business use-cases that its customers are developing on top of PaaS. WebRTC will lead IoT businesses to be more innovative and address...
When shopping for a new data processing platform for IoT solutions, many development teams want to be able to test-drive options before making a choice. Yet when evaluating an IoT solution, it’s simply not feasible to do so at scale with physical devices. Building a sensor simulator is the next best choice; however, generating a realistic simulation at very high TPS with ease of configurability is a formidable challenge. When dealing with multiple application or transport protocols, you would be...
SYS-CON Events announced today that App2Cloud will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct. 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. App2Cloud is an online Platform, specializing in migrating legacy applications to any Cloud Providers (AWS, Azure, Google Cloud).
IoT is at the core or many Digital Transformation initiatives with the goal of re-inventing a company's business model. We all agree that collecting relevant IoT data will result in massive amounts of data needing to be stored. However, with the rapid development of IoT devices and ongoing business model transformation, we are not able to predict the volume and growth of IoT data. And with the lack of IoT history, traditional methods of IT and infrastructure planning based on the past do not app...
Internet-of-Things discussions can end up either going down the consumer gadget rabbit hole or focused on the sort of data logging that industrial manufacturers have been doing forever. However, in fact, companies today are already using IoT data both to optimize their operational technology and to improve the experience of customer interactions in novel ways. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Gordon Haff, Red Hat Technology Evangelist, shared examples from a wide range of industries – including en...
To get the most out of their data, successful companies are not focusing on queries and data lakes, they are actively integrating analytics into their operations with a data-first application development approach. Real-time adjustments to improve revenues, reduce costs, or mitigate risk rely on applications that minimize latency on a variety of data sources. Jack Norris reviews best practices to show how companies develop, deploy, and dynamically update these applications and how this data-first...
Intelligent Automation is now one of the key business imperatives for CIOs and CISOs impacting all areas of business today. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Brian Boeggeman, VP Alliances & Partnerships at Ayehu, will talk about how business value is created and delivered through intelligent automation to today’s enterprises. The open ecosystem platform approach toward Intelligent Automation that Ayehu delivers to the market is core to enabling the creation of the self-driving enterprise.