On Monday we announced a noteworthy addition to our product offering—fully-integrated in memory data caching. It’s intended for applications or services where clients need to replay historical data or lookup “last values” by topic, whether in context of market data or a sensor network. Why bother to build a cache when there are already so many to choose from? Because our customers asked us to. For many applications having a cache that is ultra-fast and pre-integrated is better than having one that one that can slice bread and read your palm if you just want it to store and retrieve messages.
That’s not to underplay its capabilities though – when it comes to message caching its performance, scalability and robustness are second to none. It can cache half a million messages a second, can be distributed for extreme performance and scalability, and it lets you decide how to handle exceptional situations such as when data is updated while a cache request is in progress.
Our solution is not, however, a full-featured in-memory application server like what you’d get from GigaSpaces or Oracle Coherence. Think of it like TiVo for your message stream—it records shows as they are broadcast (caches messages as they’re sent), and then lets you watch (retrieve) them later. Only really fast. TiVo is a special purpose Linux box that has been optimized to excel at, and seriously simplify, one function: recording and playing back TV shows. You can’t back up your PC’s files to it, you can’t edit the shows you’ve recorded, you can’t (easily) move the files from your TiVo to other computers, etc.
Many of our customers will already have a product like Gigaspaces or Coherence and in those cases, we will continue to integrate with these 3rd party products. But for customers that want a fully integrated, one-vendor solution, the Solace cache may well be the ticket.