Terracotta's customers, like any other customer running sizable Java based applications, have been dealing with the fact that when the JVM decides to take out the trash, applications can grind to a hault, unable to respond to incoming requests in an acceptable amount of time. Add on the fact that one can't always predict when garbage collection might take place, the issue of gc can be a serious one.
But Terracotta says they have solved the problem. Well, at least, they've solved the problem for anyone using Terracotta's Ehcache. By simply adding in a few extra lines of XML to the configuration files, the snap-in Ehcache module provides off-heap memory storage, completely bypassing the the standard JVM memory management mechanism. Curiously, the solution is actually 100% Java based, so it's actually using a Java based solution to solve one of Java's biggest problems.
With BigMemory, the garbage collection process now uses a predictable amount of resources, and does not cause any related performance spikes. As a result, applications can dedicate hundreds of gigs of memory to individual JVMs without having to worry about the gc delays that are commonly associated with huge heap sizes. It's some good news.
So, will it be open sourced? Don't hold your breath. If you want to use BigMemory, you've got to be using Terracotta's Ehcache. But if you are an Ehcache customer, you can start using it right away. And you'll finally be able to start taking advantage of all of that hardware and memory you purchased that until now, was sliced up into a ridiculous number of smaller JVMs as you tried to avoid the gc problem.
Breakthrough BigMemory™ for Enterprise Ehcache