Java applications get another scale-out feature when running with the 3.2 version of the Terracotta cluster caching system.

Charles Babcock, Editor at Large, Cloud

January 14, 2010

3 Min Read

Terracotta has issued its 3.2 release of the Terracotta cluster caching system with Quartz, a popular Java application job scheduler, integrated into the system.

Terracotta acquired the Quartz open source code project in November and has integrated its job scheduler into its flagship product. The Terracotta system started out as a way to combine the random access memories on nodes of a server cluster as pooled resource, and use it to rapidly scale up Java application servers and shared data as needed in the pool.

With the addition of Quartz, Terracotta is moving beyond addressing one phase of scalability in Java application deployment to cover several chokepoints, said Amit Pandey, CEO, in a recent interview.

Terracotta now offers what it calls the Terracotta Platform, which combines Terracotta's core memory management with Ehcache, an open source single server caching system addressed by Java programmers through a standard API.

With Ehcache integrated into its core system, a Java application can use cache in the memory of a single server as long as that is sufficient. When demand increases, it uses the Ehcache API to open a path to additional cache on the cluster managed by Terracotta. Ehcache was also an open source project that's been acquired by Terracotta.

Quartz adds another scalability feature to the Terracotta system by giving the platform the ability to schedule the jobs of a Java application across multiple servers, making sure each node in the cluster understands its role in completing the job, said Jeff Hartley, VP of marketing, in an interview.

Quartz is employed by 80-90% of the Java applications being built today, he said. It is typically downloaded 10,000 times a month from the Quartz development site.

"Quartz to a Java application is almost like fries on the side," said Pandey. Most Java applications are going to need the job scheduler to make their job run complete itself as expected. By adding Quartz to the Terracotta Platform, Java applications can scale out on a server cluster with their various jobs coordinated by the scheduler, he said.

The Terracotta Platform has move from a cluster caching system into a multi-pronged approach to addressing the issues of scaling up Java applications. When the application developer knows his application will be working alongside Terracotta, many of the scalability issues are removed from his shoulders and taken on by the Terracotta system, Pandey said.

The issue of scaling has drawn much more attention than it used to because of wide fluctuations in Web site traffic, where Java applications frequently run, and the opportunity to run applications on large server clusters, where they can scale out to any amount of traffic with the appropriate management system. Applications running on public cloud infrastructure can take advantage of the many servers avaialble through the scalability management.

Terracotta's core system is freely downloadable as open source code at It is also available in enhanced commercial products with extra management features at prices that range from $5,000 for the entry level version to $10,000 for the full fledged management and scale-out version.

About the Author(s)

Charles Babcock

Editor at Large, Cloud

Charles Babcock is an editor-at-large for InformationWeek and author of Management Strategies for the Cloud Revolution, a McGraw-Hill book. He is the former editor-in-chief of Digital News, former software editor of Computerworld and former technology editor of Interactive Week. He is a graduate of Syracuse University where he obtained a bachelor's degree in journalism. He joined the publication in 2003.

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