Jason Andersen, Director Middleware Product Line Management at Red Hat, explained to that the starting point for people to consider the Data Grid is when they have a performance or latency issue with their Java apps. The Data Grid is a key-value store that is embedded in-memory, providing a performance boost to disk-bound applications.
"Data Grid is a distributed grid of generally smaller nodes that are connected together that an application can call upon and leverage," Andersen said. "They can use the Data Grid as the source of data. In other use cases it can be used as a layer between the database on the backend and the front end of [an] application."
For financial services, where there are regulatory requirements, it's more likely that the data will be written back to a relational database that is the system of record, which can be audited later. Whereas for developers that are using only session data, it's more likely that they will choose to leave the data in-memory.
JBoss Data Grid 6 is a drop-in replacement for memcached, according to Red Hat Product Manager Allen Santos.
Data Grid's Enterprise Java Features
As a commercial product, Red Hat is going beyond what is available in the Infinispan project, by packaging in some additional capabilities that enterprise developers are likely to require. Data Grid also includes components from the JBoss EAP (Enterprise Application Platform) for server functionality.
The general idea behind leveraging EAP as well as supporting memcached is to enable developers to improve application performance without the need to refactor applications. The system will also be able to leverage JBoss' existing support for Hibernate.
"Hibernate abstracts the database from the app server," Andersen said.
As a data-caching system, Data Grid can be used to support Apache Tomcat deployments as well.
Regardless of the middleware platform used, Santos stressed that data is a constant question and concern for developers.
"All of our customers have to interact and deal with data in some way," Santos said. "This is an opportunity for us to make developers more efficient and agile."
JBoss Data Grid is set for general availability in the coming weeks and will be sold on a subscription basis like other JBoss products.
Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at InternetNews.com, the news
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