Uri Cohen, Gigaspaces XAP product Manager, dropped by to bring me up to speed on XAP 8. It appears that the company has done quite a bit of work to extend the product so that it can offer a virtual application environment that will support physical systems, virtual systems and cloud-based systems using the same tools, the same APIs and with little problems for Gigaspace XAP users.
What Gigaspaces has to say about XAP 8
GigaSpaces Technologies, the leading provider of a new generation of virtualized application platforms, announces the launch of eXtreme Application Platform (XAP) 8.0. Openness and continuous scaling are the foundations of GigaSpaces XAP 8.0, the industry's only virtual application platform that enables end-to-end scalability with a single product. XAP 8.0 leverages the best of existing technologies and provides access to the technologies of tomorrow, all while ensuring applications can be updated and scale to need with zero downtime.
8.0’s Same Data, Any API” capability promotes openness and interoperability, supporting all common interfaces for accessing data, such as Memcached, JPA, JMS, Document, and the highly efficient native object-oriented API. 8.0 ensures you can choose the best API for the use case at hand and operate on the same data regardless of the APIs you have chosen. This, in turn, significantly decreases the learning curve associated with adopting the XAP technology, as organizations can use their existing knowledge base to embrace the technologies of tomorrow.
Another major step forward with 8.0 is its support for continuous scaling. Mission-critical enterprise applications – such as in the financial services sector – and Web-focused applications, like e-commerce, online gaming, and social media require continuous changes to the application without bringing the system down. Continuous scaling allows for rolling upgrades, continuous deployment, quick introduction of complex features, and real-time changes to the applications data model, business logic, or even underlying platform with zero downtime. This guarantees that businesses can immediately react to market demands without worrying about costly downtime.
Operations and administration are also simplified with 8.0; XAP’s elastic middleware capabilities encompass the entire application stack, significantly simplifying the administration of applications across large clusters and providing proactive scaling and recovery from failure based on predefined SLA rules. The new simplified Alerting API enables real-time problem isolation and prevention by identifying problematic or erroneous situations and reporting them to the user. The new multi-site deployment support makes deploying and managing geographically distributed applications easier than ever.
GigaSpaces’ long-term vision has been to create a platform that optimizes data-center and cloud readiness, making the development, deployment and operations processes of the most demanding applications more efficient. With XAP 8.0, distributed, scalable and highly performing applications can be designed, modified, and implemented quickly while leveraging existing knowledge and technology resources.
Snapshot analysisGigaspaces has been on my radar screen for quite some time (see Extreme and extensible applications Gigaspaces XAP and VMware vFabric GemFire and Gigaspaces launches XAP 7.1 for more information) and I've been impressed by what I've seen. I've also spoken with users of Gigaspaces technology and they appear to be happy with the tools the company has provided. It was logical for them to extend their product to allow applications built on their application framework to extend from physical and virtual infrastructure out into the clouds if needed.
The challenge users of today's applications face is that the applications must be re-architected to use the tools Gigaspaces offers. So, I have an expectation that most organizations will use tools such as Gigaspaces XAP 8 as a platform for new applications rather than rewiring their current workloads.
Note:After reading this post, Uri Cohen sent me a response. a segment of it is published below:
First of all, I’d like to thank you for the great write-up on GigaSpaces and XAP 8.0! it certainly echoed well with our users, prospects and market in general. One thing I wanted to point our regarding the last paragraph:
“The challenge users of today’s applications face is that the applications must be re-architected to use the tools Gigaspaces offers. So, I have an expectation that most organizations will use tools such as Gigaspaces XAP 8 as a platform for new applications rather than rewiring their current workloads.”
In many cases, you can GigaSpaces in a gradual approach, i.e. not re-architect everything completely, but rather go step by step. For example putting a cache in front of your database for improving the read performance of your application and taking away a lot of the load from the DB. We have many customers that started off this way, and only then went for the whole end to end scaling implementation.
Even when you do go for end to end scaling, assuming your application is well layered and componentized (which is a good practice regardless of GigaSpaces) you can do so without incurring major architectural changes (e.g. you only change the parts of your application that access the data, or that handle with messages / events). More so with 8.0, where you can actually use standard APIs to access your data, and in many cases only small (or none at all) adjustments are needed to move to GigaSpaces.
Thanks for taking the time to respond, Uri.