Welcome!

@BigDataExpo Authors: Pat Romanski, Jeev Trika, Liz McMillan, Elizabeth White, Scott Allen

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.


@BigDataExpo Stories
"We work in the area of Big Data analytics and Big Data analytics is a very crowded space - you have Hadoop, ETL, warehousing, visualization and there's a lot of effort trying to get these tools to talk to each other," explained Mukund Deshpande, head of the Analytics practice at Accelerite, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
Cloud Expo, Inc. has announced today that Andi Mann returns to 'DevOps at Cloud Expo 2016' as Conference Chair The @DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo will take place on November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. "DevOps is set to be one of the most profound disruptions to hit IT in decades," said Andi Mann. "It is a natural extension of cloud computing, and I have seen both firsthand and in independent research the fantastic results DevOps delivers. So I am excited t...
SaaS companies can greatly expand revenue potential by pushing beyond their own borders. The challenge is how to do this without degrading service quality. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Adam Rogers, Managing Director at Anexia, discussed how IaaS providers with a global presence and both virtual and dedicated infrastructure can help companies expand their service footprint with low “go-to-market” costs.
IoT is rapidly changing the way enterprises are using data to improve business decision-making. In order to derive business value, organizations must unlock insights from the data gathered and then act on these. In their session at @ThingsExpo, Eric Hoffman, Vice President at EastBanc Technologies, and Peter Shashkin, Head of Development Department at EastBanc Technologies, discussed how one organization leveraged IoT, cloud technology and data analysis to improve customer experiences and effi...
Internet of @ThingsExpo has announced today that Chris Matthieu has been named tech chair of Internet of @ThingsExpo 2016 Silicon Valley. The 6thInternet of @ThingsExpo will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
"Avere Systems is a hybrid cloud solution provider. We have customers that want to use cloud storage and we have customers that want to take advantage of cloud compute," explained Rebecca Thompson, VP of Marketing at Avere Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
Presidio has received the 2015 EMC Partner Services Quality Award from EMC Corporation for achieving outstanding service excellence and customer satisfaction as measured by the EMC Partner Services Quality (PSQ) program. Presidio was also honored as the 2015 EMC Americas Marketing Excellence Partner of the Year and 2015 Mid-Market East Partner of the Year. The EMC PSQ program is a project-specific survey program designed for partners with Service Partner designations to solicit customer feedbac...
The cloud promises new levels of agility and cost-savings for Big Data, data warehousing and analytics. But it’s challenging to understand all the options – from IaaS and PaaS to newer services like HaaS (Hadoop as a Service) and BDaaS (Big Data as a Service). In her session at @BigDataExpo at @ThingsExpo, Hannah Smalltree, a director at Cazena, provided an educational overview of emerging “as-a-service” options for Big Data in the cloud. This is critical background for IT and data profession...
Let’s face it, embracing new storage technologies, capabilities and upgrading to new hardware often adds complexity and increases costs. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Seth Oxenhorn, Vice President of Business Development & Alliances at FalconStor, discussed how a truly heterogeneous software-defined storage approach can add value to legacy platforms and heterogeneous environments. The result reduces complexity, significantly lowers cost, and provides IT organizations with improved efficie...
Predictive analytics tools monitor, report, and troubleshoot in order to make proactive decisions about the health, performance, and utilization of storage. Most enterprises combine cloud and on-premise storage, resulting in blended environments of physical, virtual, cloud, and other platforms, which justifies more sophisticated storage analytics. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Peter McCallum, Vice President of Datacenter Solutions at FalconStor, discussed using predictive analytics to mon...
What does it look like when you have access to cloud infrastructure and platform under the same roof? Let’s talk about the different layers of Technology as a Service: who cares, what runs where, and how does it all fit together. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Phil Jackson, Lead Technology Evangelist at SoftLayer, an IBM company, spoke about the picture being painted by IBM Cloud and how the tools being crafted can help fill the gaps in your IT infrastructure.
Most organizations prioritize data security only after their data has already been compromised. Proactive prevention is important, but how can you accomplish that on a small budget? Learn how the cloud, combined with a defense and in-depth approach, creates efficiencies by transferring and assigning risk. Security requires a multi-defense approach, and an in-house team may only be able to cherry pick from the essential components. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Vlad Friedman, CEO/Founder o...
Ask someone to architect an Internet of Things (IoT) solution and you are guaranteed to see a reference to the cloud. This would lead you to believe that IoT requires the cloud to exist. However, there are many IoT use cases where the cloud is not feasible or desirable. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Dave McCarthy, Director of Products at Bsquare Corporation, will discuss the strategies that exist to extend intelligence directly to IoT devices and sensors, freeing them from the constraints of ...
The pace of innovation, vendor lock-in, production sustainability, cost-effectiveness, and managing risk… In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Dan Choquette, Founder of RackN, discussed how CIOs are challenged finding the balance of finding the right tools, technology and operational model that serves the business the best. He also discussed how clouds, open source software and infrastructure solutions have benefits but also drawbacks and how workload and operational portability between vendors ...
The initial debate is over: Any enterprise with a serious commitment to IT is migrating to the cloud. But things are not so simple. There is a complex mix of on-premises, colocated, and public-cloud deployments. In this power panel at 18th Cloud Expo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, Randy De Meno, Chief Technologist - Windows Products and Microsoft Partnerships at Commvault; Dave Landa, Chief Operating Officer at kintone; William Morrish, General Manager Product Sales at Interou...
Extracting business value from Internet of Things (IoT) data doesn’t happen overnight. There are several requirements that must be satisfied, including IoT device enablement, data analysis, real-time detection of complex events and automated orchestration of actions. Unfortunately, too many companies fall short in achieving their business goals by implementing incomplete solutions or not focusing on tangible use cases. In his general session at @ThingsExpo, Dave McCarthy, Director of Products...
University of Colorado Athletics has selected FORTRUST, Colorado’s only Tier III Gold certified data center, as their official data center and colocation services provider, FORTRUST announced today. A nationally recognized and prominent collegiate athletics program, CU provides a high quality and comprehensive student-athlete experience. The program sponsors 17 varsity teams and in their history, the Colorado Buffaloes have collected an impressive 28 national championships. Maintaining uptime...
The Internet of Things will challenge the status quo of how IT and development organizations operate. Or will it? Certainly the fog layer of IoT requires special insights about data ontology, security and transactional integrity. But the developmental challenges are the same: People, Process and Platform and how we integrate our thinking to solve complicated problems. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Craig Sproule, CEO of Metavine, will demonstrate how to move beyond today's coding paradigm ...
There are several IoTs: the Industrial Internet, Consumer Wearables, Wearables and Healthcare, Supply Chains, and the movement toward Smart Grids, Cities, Regions, and Nations. There are competing communications standards every step of the way, a bewildering array of sensors and devices, and an entire world of competing data analytics platforms. To some this appears to be chaos. In this power panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, Bradley Holt, Developer Advocate a...
Apixio Inc. has raised $19.3 million in Series D venture capital funding led by SSM Partners with participation from First Analysis, Bain Capital Ventures and Apixio’s largest angel investor. Apixio will dedicate the proceeds toward advancing and scaling products powered by its cognitive computing platform, further enabling insights for optimal patient care. The Series D funding comes as Apixio experiences strong momentum and increasing demand for its HCC Profiler solution, which mines unstruc...