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Java Dynamic Networking with Jini Technology, Part 2 : Page 4

Having trouble keeping your distributed system up and running? Learn about the various mechanisms that Jini technology provides to support distributed component interactions.

Jini Technology in the Real World Today
With this brief introduction to Jini technology as a foundation, you may better understand what it can do from a technical perspective. To translate that into real world value, however, consider a few of the common use case scenarios in which Jini technology is being successfully deployed today. Each of the following types of distributed systems is characterized by its need for adaptivity—a need that Java dynamic networking with Jini technology is serving:
  • Edge Networking
    Distributed systems deployed beyond the data center differ from their data center-focused counterparts in that they are subject to a wider range of failure modes and they are not readily accessible to a systems administrator. These systems must be able to automatically recover from failure at the network edge, and they must be easy to update and manage without manual administration. Jini technology is being used today to enable the creation of self-healing edge-networking systems, and to allow new or updated services to be introduced into these systems without the need for an administrator to restart the system.
  • Compute grids
    Jini technology is being used today as the underlying infrastructure supporting compute grid applications in financial services, defense, logistics planning, life sciences, image processing, scientific research, manufacturing, and other domains. Jini technology-based grids automatically accommodate the runtime addition, removal, or loss of compute resources, which means that these grids can scale dynamically to accommodate changing loads, and they keep running even though most grid networks operate in a near constant state of partial failure.
  • Dynamic systems integration
    Jini technology is today supporting many companies' needs to keep their systems up and running while dynamically integrating in-house or third party services whenever they are available. The technology is helping these users deal with service failures, updates, and implementation details that are beyond their control, often stemming from their need to integrate services from external sources. Also, by isolating clients from the need to implement any of the multiple proprietary communications protocols that many different service providers use, Jini technology is simplifying these users' approach to integrating third-party services.
  • Dynamic clustering
    Whether they are used to increase availability or scalability, clusters created with Jini technology are successfully accommodating the run time addition, loss, or removal of clustered services for many users today. These Jini technology-based clusters scale out readily with the simple addition of service instances to be clustered, and they scale down just as easily by removing unneeded service instances. The location, name, or provider or any service to be clustered can be changed without the need to bring these clusters down.
  • Workflow/message switching
    Jini technology, especially the JavaSpaces service, provides a simple way to share objects across a dynamic network. Telecommunications, financial services, and other applications are exploiting the technology's support for loosely coupled interactions and its ability to transfer data (and/or code) through the system.
  • Ad-hoc networking
    Jini technology is being used to enable the spontaneous bootstrapping of networks of services that come together in an ad-hoc fashion. Current deployments are using this capability to power solutions in a range of new ad-hoc networking markets, including home networking, telematics systems, and sensor networks, to name a few.
  • Dynamic service provisioning
    The ability to flexibly provision networks to offer specific configurations of services that may be re-provisioned to accommodate changing needs over time is what underlies the move to utility computing today. Developers have leveraged Jini technology's support for dynamic service discovery and delivery, as well as its straightforward service substitution capabilities, to create such dynamic service provisioning infrastructures.

That Concludes the Tour
I hope you've enjoyed this whirlwind tour of Jini technology. Hopefully, this intro provided you with enough information to determine whether or not Jini technology is worth a deeper look. Certainly, if you have hit a wall in your ability to deal with change in your distributed systems, you should invest more time into learning about it.

If you decide that you'd like to learn more about Jini technology, make your first stop the Jini Community(SM) Web site. As an active participant or a quiet observer in the Community, you are welcome to join other individuals, companies, and organizations who collaborate through Jini technology-focused development projects, discussion lists, and events. Hope to meet you there soon!

Jennifer Kotzen is a Sun Microsystems senior product marketing manager who has focused on Jini technology for the past four years. She has been working in the software industry for 18 years in various technical and marketing roles, including developer and systems engineer.
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