Red Hat to preview Java caching technology

JBoss Enterprise Data Grid 6 is based on Red Hat's Infinispan data grid technology

Red Hat will launch a preview of a new commercial enterprise Java data caching technology, based on its experimental Infinispan data grid software, the company announced Tuesday.

JBoss Enterprise Data Grid 6 will compete with other enterprise Java data caches, such as Oracle's Coherence, VMware's GemStone, and Terracotta's Ehcache.

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Large-scale distributed Java caches "are a niche area now, but from the customers we've spoken to we're seeing a definite interest. We could see real mainstream adoption," said Rich Sharples, Red Hat's director of applications and platforms.

Red Hat has also submitted the specifications of Infinispan for possible inclusion as the standard data caching layer for the Java Enterprise Edition standard. "We think this is an area ripe for standardization," Sharples said.

Data caches are used to scale applications beyond a single server by pooling working memory across multiple servers. Running the application and its data in this pooled memory can speed the application's response time due to the fewer writes and reads needed to and from disks.

"Disks are the new tape," Sharples said.

Infinispan's data grid architecture differs from other Java data caches in that it was built specifically for scalable multi-terabyte deployments that can involve thousands of servers, Sharples said.

Infinispan borrows ideas from Amazon's Dynamo architecture, which offered a technique to reliably store large amounts of information across multiple servers. It also features easy scalability and the ability to partition off multiple applications from one another on a single data grid.

Red Hat has launched a free Early Adopter Program in order to get customer feedback, which it will use to improve the reliability of the software and develop new enterprise-friendly features. The company hopes organizations will set up test deployments and offer feedback. The program will offer a working version of Infinispan as well as updates, Web tutorials, and access to the open source working code.

A pre-beta of the working code should be out within a few months, with successive beta versions to follow. The company plans to release a production-ready version of the product around the end of the year, Sharples said.

Joab Jackson covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Joab on Twitter at @Joab_Jackson. Joab's email address is Joab_Jackson@idg.com

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