Eye on Oracle

Jul 20 2010   12:05AM GMT

Oracle updates Coherence grid software for cloud computing

Mark Fontecchio Mark Fontecchio Profile: Mark Fontecchio

Oracle has updated its Coherence in-memory data grid software, a product gaining some attention for its ability to scale applications for private and public cloud deployments.

Coherence 3.6 has almost 850 improvements since its last release about 18 months ago, according to Cameron Purdy, Oracle VP of development. We’re obviously not going to list them all, but some of the major ones include more exact reporting against live transactional data, better data reliability and improved scalability for .NET applications.

Grid Dynamics, a Silicon Valley-based company, uses Coherence to help its clients build out scaled environments, particularly in deploying public and private cloud environments. Taylor Gautier, principal architect at the company, said they work with a lot of retailers, telecom and financial firms who are looking to either update their infrastructure and/or scale it up for the Web or for internal transactions.

“For example in the retail space, a lot of the technology is 10 years old,” he said. “A lot of them are looking at overhauling their technology to provide dynamic content to users.”

So if a retailer wants to put its product catalog online, for example, Grid Dynamics will do that and may employ Oracle Coherence to help. In telecom, Gautier said that Coherence allows phone companies to build high-performance billing solutions that can process events quickly enough for the company to manage its user accounts. So for example, if a person has a pre-paid cellular telephone, the software is able to quickly tell when the phone has run out of minutes and shut off the service immediately, rather than giving the user free extra time.

Gautier said there were a few features in the new version of Coherence that interested the technical team at Grid Dynamics. One is an improved framework for making additions to the cache. In a retail example, that framework ensures that the price for a product, for example, is the same across the site.

“You don’t want half the population to see that the date is difference from somewhere else on the site,” Gautier said. “That would be a really bad experience for end users. Being able to update all data across the website in real time is really important.”

He said another new feature is an indexing process that makes it easier to locate data spread across multiple compute nodes.

Grid Dynamics doesn’t have Coherence 3.6 in production yet, but they have been beta testing it and plan to go live with it soon.

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