This is part 4 in a 10 part series: 10 reasons for the growth in middleware appliances. The series summarizes what we’ve learned from our clients about what they value in appliances and why they selected Solace.

When it comes to offensive prowess in sports, Wayne Gretzky is the gold standard. From his earliest years he was a scoring machine, famously scoring 378 goals in a season at the age of 10. But as his game matured he became a playmaker who aimed to optimize his team’s scoring and success. Of the records Gretzky holds, his career assists total is the most astonishing—he has 57% more assists than any other player in NHL history.

If a messaging appliance was a hockey player on an enterprise IT team, it would be the playmaker. Messaging is the key technology in some applications, but its role is usually to help other applications and functions score their own goals.

In other words, many companies buy our appliances to make some  other technology faster or more distributed, scalable, or reliable.  Here are some examples:

  • Real-time Distributed Databases—Keeping data current between distributed databases has historically been a periodic batch process, but many corporate goals and government regulations are demanding real-time synchronization. The most common way to update information across  databases is with guaranteed or transactional messaging. Sometimes your goal is to capture events from distributed sources (like payment systems or a sensor network) and use the messaging system to queue the messages for capture in some other database or data warehouse, and other times you want to synchronize geographically divided data like financial risk information or inventory levels. Through a series of optimizations, Solace improves the throughput of real time messages over the WAN by 10 to 30 times when compared to JMS or MQ-based software messaging.
  • Distributed Data Grid—More high-performance applications are using in-memory data grids to accelerate performance by caching frequently used information. Solutions include Oracle Coherence, IBM WebSphere eXtreme Scale, and Gigaspaces XAP, just to name a few. Generally, these products leave hooks into something like JMS for inter-cluster or wide-area messaging functionality. If the requirements for the data grid include high-volume data loading or WAN synchronization, that’s where Solace can be brought to bear to make their implementation faster and more effective.
  • Real-Time Web Applications – Mobile computing, telecommuting and consumer demand for real-time services are all driving more businesses to make real-time information available via the internet and mobile devices. Today they use a message bus to manage the flow of information between data sources inside the firewall, and something like Comet to deliver streaming data to Flash or Javascript applications running in browsers or mobile “apps.” That web streaming protocol is usually a “dumb pipe, ” and any messaging-like functionality is an exercise for the app programmer. Solace is the first company to integrate messaging inside and outside the firewall, to bringing messaging semantics to real-time data streaming.
  • Complex Event Processing (CEP)CEP engines work great for localized deployments, but rely on messaging solutions to scale or handle geographic distribution. Solace can filter massive event streams and send CEP engines a clean, pre-filtered set of just those events relevant to them. Every CEP engine claims to support millions of events natively, but you don’t want to see overbuilt, cascading architectures needed to make it happen. Solace’s messaging takes the heat off CEP engines and lets them do what they’re best at –  identifying patterns and correlations between the most interesting events.
  • BPM, Real-time Analytics, and More – There are many more examples of technologies that exchange events and information, and that rely on a high-speed messaging bus to achieve greater scale or performance. For many of the same reasons outlined above, Solace makes each of them more reliable and scalable.

They say the greatest players make everyone around them better. Gretzky’s perennial linemate Jari Kurri was a talented player, but he scored twice as many goals per season (39) when he played with the Great One than he did in his other 5 NHL seasons (18). Somebody had to knock all those passes into the net!

That’s what a massively scalable, globally deployed, event-driven backbone of messaging appliances can do for many of the other technologies that are used to deploy IT applications. They pass the puck quickly and efficiently, putting other systems in position to score company goals.

Four reasons down, six more to go.

On to Reason #5…

Larry Neumann

Mr. Neumann is responsible for all aspects of strategic, corporate, product and vertical marketing. Before Solace, Mr. Neumann held executive marketing positions with TIBCO and Oracle, and co-founded an internet software company called inCommon which was acquired by TIBCO. During his tenure at TIBCO, Mr. Neumann played a key role in planning company strategic direction relating to target markets and candidate acquisitions.