Welcome!

Cognitive Computing Authors: Elizabeth White, Jason Bloomberg, Liz McMillan, Jyoti Bansal, Carmen Gonzalez

Blog Feed Post

In-Memory Data Grid: Explained…

In-memory processing has been a pretty hot topic lately. Many companies that historically would not have considered using in-memory technology because it was cost prohibitive are now changing their core systems’ architectures to take advantage of the low-latency transaction processing that in-memory technology offers. This is a consequence of the fact that the price of RAM is dropping significantly and rapidly and as a result, it has become economical to load the entire operational dataset into memory with performance improvements of over 1000x faster. In-Memory Compute and Data Grids provide the core capabilities of an in-memory architecture.

The goal of In-Memory Data Grids (IMDG) is to provide extremely high availability of data by keeping it in memory and in highly distributed (i.e. parallelized) fashion. By loading Terabytes of data into memory IMDGs are able to work with most of the Big Data processing requirements today.

At a very high level IMDG is a distributed object store similar in interface to a typical concurrent hash map. You store objects with keys. Unlike traditional systems where keys and values are often limited to byte arrays or strings – with IMDGs you can use any domain object as either value or key. This gives tremendous flexibility by allowing to keep exactly the same object your business logic is dealing with in the Data Grid without the extra step of marshaling and de-marshaling alternative technologies would require. It also simplifies the usage of data grid as you can in most cases interface with distributed data store as with a simple hash map. Being able to work with domain objects directly is one of the main differences between IMDGs and In-Memory Databases (IMDB). With the latter, users still need to perform Object-To-Relational Mapping which typically adds significant performance overhead.

There are also some other features in IMDGs that distinguish them from other products, such as NoSql databases, IMDBs, or NewSql databases. One of the main differences would be truly scalable Data Partitioning across cluster. Essentially IMDGs in their purest form can be viewed as distributed hash maps with every key cached on a particular cluster node – the bigger the cluster, the more data you can cache. The trick to this architecture is to make sure that you collocate your processing with the cluster nodes where data is cached to make sure that all cache operations become local and that there is no (or minimal) data movement within the cluster. In fact, when using well designed IMDGs, there should be absolutely no data movement on stable topologies – the only time when some of the data is moved is when new nodes join in or some existing nodes leave, hence causing some data repartitioning within the cluster.

The picture below shows a classic IMDG with a key set of {k1, k2, k3} where each key belongs to a different node. The external database component is optional. If present, then IMDGs will usually automatically read data from the database or write data to it.

Another distinguishing characteristic of IMDGs is Transactional ACID support. Generally a 2-phase-commit (2PC) protocol is used to ensure data consistency within cluster. Different IMDGs will have different underlying locking mechanisms, but usually more advanced implementations will provide concurrent locking mechanisms (like MVCC – multi-version concurrency control) and reduce network chattiness to a minimum, hence guaranteeing transactional ACID consistency with very high performance.

Data consistency is one of the main differences between IMDGs and NoSQL databases. NoSQL databases are usually designed on top of Eventual Consistency (EC) approach where data is allowed to be inconsistent for a period of time as long as it will become consistent *eventually*. Generally, the writes on EC-based systems are somewhat fast, but reads are slow (or to be more precise, as fast as writes are). Latest IMDGs with an *optimized* 2PC should at least match if not outperform EC-based systems on writes, and be significantly faster on reads. It is interesting to note that the industry has made a full circle moving from a then-slow 2PC approach to the EC approach, and now from EC to an *optimized* 2PC which often is significantly faster.

Different products provide different 2PC optimizations, but generally the purpose of all optimizations is to increase concurrency, minimize network overhead, and reduce the number of locks a transaction requires to complete. As an example, Google’s distributed global database, Spanner, is based on a transactional 2PC approach simply because 2PC provided a faster and more straightforward way to guarantee data consistency and high throughput compared to MapReduce or EC.

Even though IMDGs usually share some common basic functionality, there are many features and implementation details that are different between vendors. When evaluating an IMDG product pay attention to eviction policies, (pre)loading techniques, concurrent repartitioning, memory overhead, etc… Also pay attention to the ability to query data at runtime. Some IMDGs, such as GridGain for example, allow users to query in-memory data using standard SQL, including support for distributed joins, which is pretty rare.

The typical use for IMDGs is to partition data across the cluster and then send collocated computations to the nodes where the data is. Since computations are usually part of Compute Grids and have to be properly deployed, load-balanced, failed-over, or scheduled, the integration between Compute Grids and IMDGs is very important. It is especially beneficial if both In-Memory Compute and Data Grids are part of the same product and utlize the same APIs which removes the need of integration and usually renders utmost performant and reliable systems.

IMDGs (together with Compute Grids) are used throughout a wide spectrum of industries in applications as diverse as Risk Analytics, Trading Systems, Bio Informatics, eCommerce, or Online Gaming. Essentially every project that struggles with scalability and performance can benefit from In-Memory Processing and IMDG architecture.

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Thomas Krafft

Over 15 years of experience in marketing and demand creation, with strategies driving over $500 million in revenue for a variety of companies in several high-growth and competitive markets, including consumer software and web services, ecommerce, demand creation through web and search, big data, and now healthcare.

@ThingsExpo Stories
The emerging Internet of Everything creates tremendous new opportunities for customer engagement and business model innovation. However, enterprises must overcome a number of critical challenges to bring these new solutions to market. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Michael Martin, CTO/CIO at nfrastructure, outlined these key challenges and recommended approaches for overcoming them to achieve speed and agility in the design, development and implementation of Internet of Everything solutions with...
Every successful software product evolves from an idea to an enterprise system. Notably, the same way is passed by the product owner's company. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Oleg Lola, CEO of MobiDev, will provide a generalized overview of the evolution of a software product, the product owner, the needs that arise at various stages of this process, and the value brought by a software development partner to the product owner as a response to these needs.
In 2014, Amazon announced a new form of compute called Lambda. We didn't know it at the time, but this represented a fundamental shift in what we expect from cloud computing. Now, all of the major cloud computing vendors want to take part in this disruptive technology. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, John Jelinek IV, a web developer at Linux Academy, will discuss why major players like AWS, Microsoft Azure, IBM Bluemix, and Google Cloud Platform are all trying to sidestep VMs and containers...
SYS-CON Events announced today that MobiDev, a client-oriented software development company, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place October 31-November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. MobiDev is a software company that develops and delivers turn-key mobile apps, websites, web services, and complex softw...
Smart Cities are here to stay, but for their promise to be delivered, the data they produce must not be put in new siloes. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Mathias Herberts, Co-founder and CTO of Cityzen Data, discussed the best practices that will ensure a successful smart city journey.
Technology vendors and analysts are eager to paint a rosy picture of how wonderful IoT is and why your deployment will be great with the use of their products and services. While it is easy to showcase successful IoT solutions, identifying IoT systems that missed the mark or failed can often provide more in the way of key lessons learned. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Peter Vanderminden, Principal Industry Analyst for IoT & Digital Supply Chain to Flatiron Strategies, will focus on how IoT depl...
Big Data, cloud, analytics, contextual information, wearable tech, sensors, mobility, and WebRTC: together, these advances have created a perfect storm of technologies that are disrupting and transforming classic communications models and ecosystems. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Erik Perotti, Senior Manager of New Ventures on Plantronics’ Innovation team, provided an overview of this technological shift, including associated business and consumer communications impacts, and opportunities it m...
Manufacturers are embracing the Industrial Internet the same way consumers are leveraging Fitbits – to improve overall health and wellness. Both can provide consistent measurement, visibility, and suggest performance improvements customized to help reach goals. Fitbit users can view real-time data and make adjustments to increase their activity. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Mark Bernardo Professional Services Leader, Americas, at GE Digital, discussed how leveraging the Industrial Internet and...
Fact is, enterprises have significant legacy voice infrastructure that’s costly to replace with pure IP solutions. How can we bring this analog infrastructure into our shiny new cloud applications? There are proven methods to bind both legacy voice applications and traditional PSTN audio into cloud-based applications and services at a carrier scale. Some of the most successful implementations leverage WebRTC, WebSockets, SIP and other open source technologies. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Da...
"Tintri was started in 2008 with the express purpose of building a storage appliance that is ideal for virtualized environments. We support a lot of different hypervisor platforms from VMware to OpenStack to Hyper-V," explained Dan Florea, Director of Product Management at Tintri, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
There will be new vendors providing applications, middleware, and connected devices to support the thriving IoT ecosystem. This essentially means that electronic device manufacturers will also be in the software business. Many will be new to building embedded software or robust software. This creates an increased importance on software quality, particularly within the Industrial Internet of Things where business-critical applications are becoming dependent on products controlled by software. Qua...
A critical component of any IoT project is what to do with all the data being generated. This data needs to be captured, processed, structured, and stored in a way to facilitate different kinds of queries. Traditional data warehouse and analytical systems are mature technologies that can be used to handle certain kinds of queries, but they are not always well suited to many problems, particularly when there is a need for real-time insights.
In his General Session at 16th Cloud Expo, David Shacochis, host of The Hybrid IT Files podcast and Vice President at CenturyLink, investigated three key trends of the “gigabit economy" though the story of a Fortune 500 communications company in transformation. Narrating how multi-modal hybrid IT, service automation, and agile delivery all intersect, he will cover the role of storytelling and empathy in achieving strategic alignment between the enterprise and its information technology.
IoT is at the core or many Digital Transformation initiatives with the goal of re-inventing a company's business model. We all agree that collecting relevant IoT data will result in massive amounts of data needing to be stored. However, with the rapid development of IoT devices and ongoing business model transformation, we are not able to predict the volume and growth of IoT data. And with the lack of IoT history, traditional methods of IT and infrastructure planning based on the past do not app...
WebRTC is bringing significant change to the communications landscape that will bridge the worlds of web and telephony, making the Internet the new standard for communications. Cloud9 took the road less traveled and used WebRTC to create a downloadable enterprise-grade communications platform that is changing the communication dynamic in the financial sector. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Leo Papadopoulos, CTO of Cloud9, discussed the importance of WebRTC and how it enables companies to focus o...
The Internet of Things can drive efficiency for airlines and airports. In their session at @ThingsExpo, Shyam Varan Nath, Principal Architect with GE, and Sudip Majumder, senior director of development at Oracle, discussed the technical details of the connected airline baggage and related social media solutions. These IoT applications will enhance travelers' journey experience and drive efficiency for the airlines and the airports.
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing IoT strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @ThingsExpo 2016 in New York. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is as "IoT-Ready" as it can be! Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York, is co-located with 20th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry p...
"LinearHub provides smart video conferencing, which is the Roundee service, and we archive all the video conferences and we also provide the transcript," stated Sunghyuk Kim, CEO of LinearHub, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Things are changing so quickly in IoT that it would take a wizard to predict which ecosystem will gain the most traction. In order for IoT to reach its potential, smart devices must be able to work together. Today, there are a slew of interoperability standards being promoted by big names to make this happen: HomeKit, Brillo and Alljoyn. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Adam Justice, vice president and general manager of Grid Connect, will review what happens when smart devices don’t work togethe...
The 20th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo, to be held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, brings together Cloud Computing, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Containers, Microservices and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding business opportunity. Submit your speaking proposal ...