Welcome!

Microservices Expo Authors: Liz McMillan, Elizabeth White, Aruna Ravichandran, Pat Romanski, Cameron Van Orman

Related Topics: @CloudExpo, Microservices Expo, Agile Computing, @BigDataExpo, SDN Journal, @DevOpsSummit

@CloudExpo: Article

In-Memory Data Grids and Cloud Computing

The promise of the cloud is a reduction in total cost of ownership

The use of in-memory data grids (IMDGs) for scaling application performance has rapidly increased in recent years as firms have seen their application workloads explode. This trend runs across nearly every vertical market, touching online applications for financial services, ecommerce, travel, manufacturing, social media, mobile, and more. At the same time, many firms are also looking to leverage the use of cloud computing to meet the challenge of ever increasing workloads. One of the fundamental promises of the cloud is elastic, transparent, on-demand scalability -- a key capability that has become practical with the use of in-memory data grid technology. As such IMDGs are becoming a vital factor in the cloud, just as they have been for on-premise applications.

What makes IMDGs such a good fit with cloud computing? The promise of the cloud is a reduction in total cost of ownership. Part of that reduction comes from the ability to quickly provision and use new server capacity (without having to own the hardware). The essential synergy between IMDGs and the cloud derives from their common elasticity. IMDGs can scale out their memory-based storage and performance linearly as servers are added to the grid, and they can gracefully scale back when fewer servers are needed. IMDGs take full advantage of the cloud's ability to easily spin-up or remove servers. IMDGs enable cloud-hosted applications to be quickly and easily deployed on an elastic pool of cloud servers to deliver scalable performance, maintaining fast data access even as workloads increase. This is an ideal solution for fast-growing companies and for applications whose workloads create widely varying demands (like online flowers for Mother's Day, concert tickets, etc.). These companies no longer need to create space, power, and cooling for new hardware to meet these fluctuating workloads. Instead, with a few button clicks, they can start up an IMDG-enabled cloud architecture, which transparently meets their performance demands at a cost is solely based on usage.

Expanding on the promise of the cloud, some in-memory data grids can span both on-premise and cloud environments to provide seamless "cloud bursting" for handling high workloads. Let's say your e-commerce application stores shopping carts in an IMDG to give customers fast response times. To spur sales, your marketing group plans to run a special online sales event. Because projected traffic is expected to double during this event, additional web servers will be needed to handle the workload. Of course, maintaining fast response times as the workload increases is essential to success. By deploying your web app in the cloud and connecting it to your on-premise server farm with an IMDG, you can seamlessly double your traffic-handling capacity without interrupting current shopping activity on your site. You don't even need to make changes to your application. The combined deployments transparently work together to serve web traffic, and data freely flows between them within the IMDGs at both sites.

These synergies form a solid basis for making 2014 a watershed year for IMDGs in the cloud. But, there's another big trend that will further drive adoption. As the discussion around "Big Data" analysis heats up, the emerging combination of Big Data and cloud computing - cloud-based analytics - promises to fundamentally change the technology of data mining, machine learning and many other analytics use cases. In 2014, we expect to see the trend toward in-memory, predictive analytics sharply increase, and cloud computing will be a fundamental enabler of that trend.

IMDGs integrate memory-based data storage and computing to make real-time data analysis easily accessible to users and help extend a company's competitive edge. IMDGs automatically take full advantage of the cloud's elasticity to run analytics in parallel across cloud servers with lightning fast performance. Now it's possible to host a real-time analytics engine in the cloud and provide on-demand analytics to a wide range of users, from SaaS services for mobile devices to business simulations for corporate users. Or, maybe you want to spin-up servers with, say, a terabyte of memory, load the grid, run analytics across that data, and then release the resources. In an extreme example, chemistry researchers recently used Amazon Web Services to achieve a "petaflop" of computing power</a> running an analysis of 205,000 molecules for just one week. The elasticity of the cloud again makes the difference by providing the equivalent of a parallel processing supercomputer at your fingertips without the huge capital investment (it costs $33,000 total).

To sum-up, in 2014 we expect firms to adopt cloud computing and cloud-hosted IMDGs at a rapid rate, and the trends of in-memory computing and data analytics will converge to enable fast adoption of in-memory data grid technology in public, private, and hybrid cloud environments. Enterprises that take advantage of this convergence are expected to enjoy a quantum leap in the value of their data without the need to break their IT budgets.

More Stories By William Bain

Dr. William L. Bain is founder and CEO of ScaleOut Software, Inc. Bill has a Ph.D. in electrical engineering/parallel computing from Rice University, and he has worked at Bell Labs research, Intel, and Microsoft. Bill founded and ran three start-up companies prior to joining Microsoft. In the most recent company (Valence Research), he developed a distributed Web load-balancing software solution that was acquired by Microsoft and is now called Network Load Balanc¬ing within the Windows Server operating system. Dr. Bain holds several patents in computer architecture and distributed computing. As a member of the Seattle-based Alliance of Angels, Dr. Bain is actively involved in entrepreneurship and the angel community.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


@MicroservicesExpo Stories
DevOps at Cloud Expo, taking place October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 21st Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to w...
Is advanced scheduling in Kubernetes achievable? Yes, however, how do you properly accommodate every real-life scenario that a Kubernetes user might encounter? How do you leverage advanced scheduling techniques to shape and describe each scenario in easy-to-use rules and configurations? In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 21st Cloud Expo, Oleg Chunikhin, CTO at Kublr, will answer these questions and demonstrate techniques for implementing advanced scheduling. For example, using spot instances ...
We all know that end users experience the Internet primarily with mobile devices. From an app development perspective, we know that successfully responding to the needs of mobile customers depends on rapid DevOps – failing fast, in short, until the right solution evolves in your customers' relationship to your business. Whether you’re decomposing an SOA monolith, or developing a new application cloud natively, it’s not a question of using microservices – not doing so will be a path to eventual b...
In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Michael Burley, a Senior Business Development Executive in IT Services at NetApp, will describe how NetApp designed a three-year program of work to migrate 25PB of a major telco's enterprise data to a new STaaS platform, and then secured a long-term contract to manage and operate the platform. This significant program blended the best of NetApp’s solutions and services capabilities to enable this telco’s successful adoption of private cloud storage and launchi...
Transforming cloud-based data into a reportable format can be a very expensive, time-intensive and complex operation. As a SaaS platform with more than 30 million global users, Cornerstone OnDemand’s challenge was to create a scalable solution that would improve the time it took customers to access their user data. Our Real-Time Data Warehouse (RTDW) process vastly reduced data time-to-availability from 24 hours to just 10 minutes. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Mark Goldin, Chief Technolo...
Digital transformation leaders have poured tons of money and effort into coding in recent years. And with good reason. To succeed at digital, you must be able to write great code. You also have to build a strong Agile culture so your coding efforts tightly align with market signals and business outcomes. But if your investments in testing haven’t kept pace with your investments in coding, you’ll lose. But if your investments in testing haven’t kept pace with your investments in coding, you’ll...
Enterprises are adopting Kubernetes to accelerate the development and the delivery of cloud-native applications. However, sharing a Kubernetes cluster between members of the same team can be challenging. And, sharing clusters across multiple teams is even harder. Kubernetes offers several constructs to help implement segmentation and isolation. However, these primitives can be complex to understand and apply. As a result, it’s becoming common for enterprises to end up with several clusters. Thi...
Containers are rapidly finding their way into enterprise data centers, but change is difficult. How do enterprises transform their architecture with technologies like containers without losing the reliable components of their current solutions? In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 21st Cloud Expo, Tony Campbell, Director, Educational Services at CoreOS, will explore the challenges organizations are facing today as they move to containers and go over how Kubernetes applications can deploy with lega...
Today most companies are adopting or evaluating container technology - Docker in particular - to speed up application deployment, drive down cost, ease management and make application delivery more flexible overall. As with most new architectures, this dream takes significant work to become a reality. Even when you do get your application componentized enough and packaged properly, there are still challenges for DevOps teams to making the shift to continuous delivery and achieving that reducti...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Cloud Academy has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct. 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Cloud Academy is the leading technology training platform for enterprise multi-cloud infrastructure. Cloud Academy is trusted by leading companies to deliver continuous learning solutions across Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform, and the most...
The last two years has seen discussions about cloud computing evolve from the public / private / hybrid split to the reality that most enterprises will be creating a complex, multi-cloud strategy. Companies are wary of committing all of their resources to a single cloud, and instead are choosing to spread the risk – and the benefits – of cloud computing across multiple providers and internal infrastructures, as they follow their business needs. Will this approach be successful? How large is the ...
DevOps is often described as a combination of technology and culture. Without both, DevOps isn't complete. However, applying the culture to outdated technology is a recipe for disaster; as response times grow and connections between teams are delayed by technology, the culture will die. A Nutanix Enterprise Cloud has many benefits that provide the needed base for a true DevOps paradigm. In their Day 3 Keynote at 20th Cloud Expo, Chris Brown, a Solutions Marketing Manager at Nutanix, and Mark Lav...
Many organizations adopt DevOps to reduce cycle times and deliver software faster; some take on DevOps to drive higher quality and better end-user experience; others look to DevOps for a clearer line-of-sight to customers to drive better business impacts. In truth, these three foundations go together. In this power panel at @DevOpsSummit 21st Cloud Expo, moderated by DevOps Conference Co-Chair Andi Mann, industry experts will discuss how leading organizations build application success from all...
DevSecOps – a trend around transformation in process, people and technology – is about breaking down silos and waste along the software development lifecycle and using agile methodologies, automation and insights to help get apps to market faster. This leads to higher quality apps, greater trust in organizations, less organizational friction, and ultimately a five-star customer experience. These apps are the new competitive currency in this digital economy and they’re powered by data. Without ...
A common misconception about the cloud is that one size fits all. Companies expecting to run all of their operations using one cloud solution or service must realize that doing so is akin to forcing the totality of their business functionality into a straightjacket. Unlocking the full potential of the cloud means embracing the multi-cloud future where businesses use their own cloud, and/or clouds from different vendors, to support separate functions or product groups. There is no single cloud so...
For most organizations, the move to hybrid cloud is now a question of when, not if. Fully 82% of enterprises plan to have a hybrid cloud strategy this year, according to Infoholic Research. The worldwide hybrid cloud computing market is expected to grow about 34% annually over the next five years, reaching $241.13 billion by 2022. Companies are embracing hybrid cloud because of the many advantages it offers compared to relying on a single provider for all of their cloud needs. Hybrid offers bala...
With the modern notion of digital transformation, enterprises are chipping away at the fundamental organizational and operational structures that have been with us since the nineteenth century or earlier. One remarkable casualty: the business process. Business processes have become so ingrained in how we envision large organizations operating and the roles people play within them that relegating them to the scrap heap is almost unimaginable, and unquestionably transformative. In the Digital ...
These days, APIs have become an integral part of the digital transformation journey for all enterprises. Every digital innovation story is connected to APIs . But have you ever pondered over to know what are the source of these APIs? Let me explain - APIs sources can be varied, internal or external, solving different purposes, but mostly categorized into the following two categories. Data lakes is a term used to represent disconnected but relevant data that are used by various business units wit...
The nature of the technology business is forward-thinking. It focuses on the future and what’s coming next. Innovations and creativity in our world of software development strive to improve the status quo and increase customer satisfaction through speed and increased connectivity. Yet, while it's exciting to see enterprises embrace new ways of thinking and advance their processes with cutting edge technology, it rarely happens rapidly or even simultaneously across all industries.
It has never been a better time to be a developer! Thanks to cloud computing, deploying our applications is much easier than it used to be. How we deploy our apps continues to evolve thanks to cloud hosting, Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS), and now Function-as-a-Service. FaaS is the concept of serverless computing via serverless architectures. Software developers can leverage this to deploy an individual "function", action, or piece of business logic. They are expected to start within milliseconds...