Welcome!

@BigDataExpo Authors: Elizabeth White, Carmen Gonzalez, Roger Strukhoff, Liz McMillan, Scott Millis

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
Internet-of-Things discussions can end up either going down the consumer gadget rabbit hole or focused on the sort of data logging that industrial manufacturers have been doing forever. However, in fact, companies today are already using IoT data both to optimize their operational technology and to improve the experience of customer interactions in novel ways. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Gordon Haff, Red Hat Technology Evangelist, will share examples from a wide range of industries – includin...
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...
Between 2005 and 2020, data volumes will grow by a factor of 300 – enough data to stack CDs from the earth to the moon 162 times. This has come to be known as the ‘big data’ phenomenon. Unfortunately, traditional approaches to handling, storing and analyzing data aren’t adequate at this scale: they’re too costly, slow and physically cumbersome to keep up. Fortunately, in response a new breed of technology has emerged that is cheaper, faster and more scalable. Yet, in meeting these new needs they...
When it comes to cloud computing, the ability to turn massive amounts of compute cores on and off on demand sounds attractive to IT staff, who need to manage peaks and valleys in user activity. With cloud bursting, the majority of the data can stay on premises while tapping into compute from public cloud providers, reducing risk and minimizing need to move large files. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Scott Jeschonek, Director of Product Management at Avere Systems, discussed the IT and busin...
According to Forrester Research, every business will become either a digital predator or digital prey by 2020. To avoid demise, organizations must rapidly create new sources of value in their end-to-end customer experiences. True digital predators also must break down information and process silos and extend digital transformation initiatives to empower employees with the digital resources needed to win, serve, and retain customers.
The IoT is changing the way enterprises conduct business. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Eric Hoffman, Vice President at EastBanc Technologies, discussed how businesses can gain an edge over competitors by empowering consumers to take control through IoT. He cited examples such as a Washington, D.C.-based sports club that leveraged IoT and the cloud to develop a comprehensive booking system. He also highlighted how IoT can revitalize and restore outdated business models, making them profitable ...
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.
"Once customers get a year into their IoT deployments, they start to realize that they may have been shortsighted in the ways they built out their deployment and the key thing I see a lot of people looking at is - how can I take equipment data, pull it back in an IoT solution and show it in a dashboard," stated Dave McCarthy, Director of Products at Bsquare Corporation, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
"We are the public cloud providers. We are currently providing 50% of the resources they need for doing e-commerce business in China and we are hosting about 60% of mobile gaming in China," explained Yi Zheng, CPO and VP of Engineering at CDS Global Cloud, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 19th Cloud Expo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
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...
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, demonstrated how to move beyond today's coding paradigm and sh...
Today we can collect lots and lots of performance data. We build beautiful dashboards and even have fancy query languages to access and transform the data. Still performance data is a secret language only a couple of people understand. The more business becomes digital the more stakeholders are interested in this data including how it relates to business. Some of these people have never used a monitoring tool before. They have a question on their mind like “How is my application doing” but no id...
@GonzalezCarmen has been ranked the Number One Influencer and @ThingsExpo has been named the Number One Brand in the “M2M 2016: Top 100 Influencers and Brands” by Onalytica. Onalytica analyzed tweets over the last 6 months mentioning the keywords M2M OR “Machine to Machine.” They then identified the top 100 most influential brands and individuals leading the discussion on Twitter.
DevOps is being widely accepted (if not fully adopted) as essential in enterprise IT. But as Enterprise DevOps gains maturity, expands scope, and increases velocity, the need for data-driven decisions across teams becomes more acute. DevOps teams in any modern business must wrangle the ‘digital exhaust’ from the delivery toolchain, "pervasive" and "cognitive" computing, APIs and services, mobile devices and applications, the Internet of Things, and now even blockchain. In this power panel at @...
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 effici...
As data explodes in quantity, importance and from new sources, the need for managing and protecting data residing across physical, virtual, and cloud environments grow with it. Managing data includes protecting it, indexing and classifying it for true, long-term management, compliance and E-Discovery. Commvault can ensure this with a single pane of glass solution – whether in a private cloud, a Service Provider delivered public cloud or a hybrid cloud environment – across the heterogeneous enter...
All clouds are not equal. To succeed in a DevOps context, organizations should plan to develop/deploy apps across a choice of on-premise and public clouds simultaneously depending on the business needs. This is where the concept of the Lean Cloud comes in - resting on the idea that you often need to relocate your app modules over their life cycles for both innovation and operational efficiency in the cloud. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at19th Cloud Expo, Valentin (Val) Bercovici, CTO of Soli...
Data is the fuel that drives the machine learning algorithmic engines and ultimately provides the business value. In his session at Cloud Expo, Ed Featherston, a director and senior enterprise architect at Collaborative Consulting, discussed the key considerations around quality, volume, timeliness, and pedigree that must be dealt with in order to properly fuel that engine.
Successful digital transformation requires new organizational competencies and capabilities. Research tells us that the biggest impediment to successful transformation is human; consequently, the biggest enabler is a properly skilled and empowered workforce. In the digital age, new individual and collective competencies are required. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Bob Newhouse, CEO and founder of Agilitiv, drew together recent research and lessons learned from emerging and established compa...
Join Impiger for their featured webinar: ‘Cloud Computing: A Roadmap to Modern Software Delivery’ on November 10, 2016, at 12:00 pm CST. Very few companies have not experienced some impact to their IT delivery due to the evolution of cloud computing. This webinar is not about deciding whether you should entertain moving some or all of your IT to the cloud, but rather, a detailed look under the hood to help IT professionals understand how cloud adoption has evolved and what trends will impact th...