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GigaSpaces Cloudify for Microsoft's Azure - Java in the clouds

Java is a broadly used execution environment for applications in nearly every industry. What's new here is that GigaSpaces thought Java users would like deploy their applications on Microsoft's Azure platform services. The key question is will they?

GigaSpace's Uri Cohen recently introduced me to the company's offering that allows Java-based applications to be run on top of Microsoft's Azure cloud computing platform. He pointed out that the goal was to make it possible for organizations to take advantage of the availability, scaleability and cost advantages of Microsoft's cloud computing environment without also having to re-write the applications.

What GigaSpaces has to say about

Windows Azure enables developers to build, host and scale applications in Microsoft datacenters located around the world. Developers can use existing skills with .NET, Java, Visual Studio, PHP and Ruby to quickly build solutions with no need to buy servers or set up a dedicated infrastructure. The solution also has automated service management to help protect against hardware failure and downtime associated with platform maintenance.

The GigaSpaces solution for Windows Azure provides the following unique values:

  • On-board mission critical enterprise Java/JEE/Spring and big-data applications to Windows Azure: Quickly and seamlessly, with no code change.
  • True enterprise-grade production environment: Continuous availability and failover, elastic scaling across the stack and automating the application deployment lifecycle.
  • Make Windows Azure services natively available to enterprise Java applications: Through tight integration between the GigaSpaces platform and Azure.
  • The GigaSpaces market-leading Java in-memory data grid: Provides extreme performance, low latency and fine-grained multi-tenancy.
  • Control and visibility: Built-in application- and cluster-aware monitoring.
  • Avoiding vendor lock-in: Enables businesses to maintain existing development practices, and provides support for any application stack.

Snapshot analysis

It appears that GigaSpaces has made it easy to prepare applications and then deploy them in Microsoft's Azure environment. The product automatically provisions the appropriate resources and offers an abstraction layer so that Java applications can continue to request and consume services as if they were running in a native Java environment.

The company points out that its product helps organizations avoid vendor lock in. Since I don't know of another product designed to run Java on top of Azure platform services, companies would face a lock-in, to GigaSpaces.

It was impressive how many industry catch phrases and buzzwords were shown in the slide deck. I saw "enterprise grade," "tight integration," and even "big data." It does show how widely and broadly used Java is today.

What is not clear to me is whether a Java user would chose Microsoft's Azure platform services rather than running their workloads in an environment where Java executes natively.

If your organization wants to deploy Java-based workloads on Azure, this product just may be the ticket.