Terracotta and Software AG’s Vision for the Cloud
Backed by Software AG, Terracotta will accelerate its existing product development plans.
Last month, it was revealed that the distributed caching and
in-memory computing company, Terracotta,
had been acquired by Software AG. In a press release, Software
AG stated that Terracotta will be used to provide the “cornerstone
technology” for the company’s cloud strategy. In this interview,
JAXenter speaks to Terracotta’s Greg Luck on the two companies’
plans for the cloud, and what the future holds for Terracotta’s
existing open source products.
JAXenter: What impact will the recent
acquisition by Software AG, have on Terracotta’s existing open
source products – Ehcache, Quartz and the Terracotta platform?
Greg Luck: First, if you are a community
member, and have faithfully been using or just contemplating using
any of our technology – from Ehcache, to Quartz, to Terracotta
Server Arrays – rest assured, it gets better from here. We intend
to continue our strategic investments in open source technology,
focused on improving performance and scale for your applications.
We will continue to host the same web sites, services, and domains
you are used to, and in fact will soon be increasing our efforts to
make the community sites easier to use. Everything will continue as
planned – or faster – on the open source front.
JAXenter: How will Terracotta’s snap-in
performance and scale be integrated into Software AG’s
Greg: There will be some initial integration
into Software AG’s products this year followed by further work in
next year’s releases. In general, Terracotta will be used to help
boost the performance and enhance the scalability of Software AG’s
products. The first phase of product integration (planned for later
this year) is expected to deliver enhancements to WebMethods
Integration Server, including public caching services, as well as
improvements to other products such as CentraSite.
JAXenter: What is Terracotta and Software AG’s
vision for the cloud?
Greg: Terracotta works in, and is widely
deployed in, the cloud. Our software is used by adding jars such as
Ehcache to your application and then running up a Terracotta Server
Array on a number of servers. Our vision going forward is that the
Terracotta Server Array will be used as a Caching Utility in the
cloud. Achieving that vision will:
1. Continue to expand cloud features such as automatic
elasticity, multi-tenancy and fine-grained security so that the
software matches the expectations clouds have for Caching
2. Integrate with popular cloud environments and provisioning
Terracotta has a vision for extremely high density in-memory
storage using its BigMemory technology. Outside the cloud, this
vision is achieved with deployments on servers with hundreds of GB
of RAM. Inside the cloud the focus on sharing machine resources has
so far restricted availability of very large virtual machines. Our
vision is for the cloud to support the same high density in-memory
computing. We are pleased that cloud providers like Amazon are
answering this call with so far, VMs with 68GB of RAM, but we would
encourage them to do more. Because they are restricted by the
physical hardware of commodity servers. We also encourage hardware
vendors to make large amounts of memory available at lower
Software AG’s webMethods is a heavy user of databases for
storage of internal results across its components. But database
performance has been a weak area for cloud providers so far.
webMethods will overcome this limitation by leveraging Terracotta
to achieve in-memory storage. Customers today have large enterprise
deployments. The vision is to enable these customers to use the
cloud how they like. So, enabling bursting of capacity to private
clouds connected to these infrastructures first, and then
supporting completely cloud-based deployments.
Finally there are markets of new users who will want to access
Software AG’s products in new ways. Various PaaS and SaaS options
are being considered.
JAXenter: What are the plans for Terracotta’s
Greg: Firstly, backed by Software AG,
Terracotta will accelerate its existing product development plans.
Secondly, Software AG’s products need very much the same
capabilities as our existing customers so not much will change
here. Finally, the focus for development over the next few years
will be on adding more enterprise features, adding more cloud
features and increasing scale.