Today, Oracle releases the latest evolution of Coherence, their flagship, distributed in-memory data grid product. Oracle Coherence 3.7 becomes available for eager adopters today.
For those watching this space with interest, the basics of the Oracle press release, which boasts ‘dramatically more data storage capabilities’ and ‘intelligence and dynamic load balancing of client connections' likely won’t capture anyone’s imagination. That’s the typical marketing hype we expect to hear from any of the players in and around this data grid space, be it Oracle, Gigaspaces, GridGain or Terracotta.
However, more interesting about this latest product release, which doesn’t necessarily make it into the marketing hype, is the work and effort the Coherence team seems to be putting into efficiently managing the capacity handling of the underlying Java Virtual Machine infrastructure upon which coherence lives. “With this release of Coherence, we’re making incredibly more efficient use of memory, both inside and outside of the JVM. And we’re managing that memory space with a level of efficiency the industry hasn’t seen before. With Coherence 3.7, we can manage four times as much data in the same sized heap space.” Says Cameron Purdy, Vice President of Development at Oracle.
Of course, this does beg the question as to how they’ve quadrupled the size of the object graphs they can stuff into a finite sized memory space. The Coherence team throws around all sorts of terms that both sound scientific while smelling like Haitian Voodoo: real time dynamic de-douping in memory, data storage compression, but using technology that goes far beyond the concept of simple zipping up of data, intelligent data structures optimized to for dynamic compression.
And, like the other vendors in this space, Oracle is continuing to push through the shortcomings in the garbage collection algorithms that plague applications that must achieve massive scale. But again, announcements of these types of victories are becoming more and more standard in this sector of the industry. You always have to dig deeper to find out what these press releases are really saying about the state of the industry.
Some good news that those worrying about the future of the various application servers that have found themselves under the control of Oracle Corporation is the fact that Coherence continues to promote integration with Glassfish and the WebLogic application servers. “Oracle Coherence 3.7 introduces native integration with Oracle GlassFish Server via the Coherence Web SPI for GlassFish, providing 'no code change' installation and configuration of Coherence Web, making it dramatically easier for Oracle GlassFish Server users to scale their applications.”
This is a very interesting segment of the industry to be watching. It would be expected that some of the smaller companies in this segment should be able to move with much greater speed and agility as they introduce new features and functionalities into the market before a giant like Oracle could be able to catch up. But the release of Coherence 3.7 shows that Oracle is just as adamant about leading and innovating in this sector as any of the other key players in the industry.