VOICEOVER: GigaSpaces is the world’s leading maker of middleware platforms for demanding, distributed applications. GigaSpaces software is deployed in production by Fortune 100 companies such as Dow Jones and Societe General, powering applications that demand the most extreme performance, scalability and reliability.
VOICEOVER: GigaSpaces offers the eXtreme Application Platform, also called XAP. XAP is a high-end application server, built on a single platform with the world’s leading in-memory data grid. It’s the only product that allows existing enterprise applications to run on a private or public cloud, in virtualized environments, or in a traditional data center – with no code changes. This allows you to choose your optimal mix of new and traditional computing models, without getting locked in to a particular environment. In the next slides we’ll explore the five aspects of GigaSpaces XAP that set it apart from other solutions in the middleware space: single platform, high performance, scalable on-demand, always on, and open.
VOICEOVER: The first aspect of XAP we’ll explore is Single Platform. Most high-end enterprise applications rely on numerous pieces of middleware. These may be bundled and provided by the same vendor, but nevertheless they’re different software products – each represents one more “moving part” that threatens the scalability, performance and reliability of your applications. Each adds integration pains and more overhead for your operations team. And together, they represent a very high license and maintenance cost.
VOICEOVER: GigaSpaces XAP unites all these different parts into one platform. It provides all the middleware functions in-memory, in-process, including data storage and management, messaging, and processing for software services. All these functions share the same built-in clustering, providing high availability right out of the box. They provide the same functionality both on and off the cloud, bridging the gap between new and traditional infrastructure. They are also packaged in one lightweight container which XAP deploys, scales and manages automatically, without requiring additional management tools. The bottom line is that with XAP you’ll pay less for software licenses and maintenance, and get a more reliable, manageable middleware stack. This simplified middleware stack is also one of the secrets behind the next aspect of XAP we’ll explore – High Performance.
VOICEOVER: Traditional software architectures are highly centralized and complex, and thus prone to bottlenecks. This is a big problem for demanding applications that need to keep response times to a minimum. The centralized database, and the physical disk it runs on, is the #1 performance issue. Next in line are the large number of “moving parts” and the network hops between these different parts – each network hop increases the time it takes for the system to respond.
VOICEOVER: GigaSpaces XAP is the only product that runs the application and all its middleware in the same process, eliminating moving parts and resulting in zero network hops. It performs ultra-fast, in-memory processing, which is as reliable as a traditional database without the performance penalty. How is this possible? By moving the database to the background. Behind the scenes, XAP saves *all data* to a traditional database – but it does this asynchronously, ensuring that the database doesn’t become a bottleneck. Instead of relying on the database for reliability and data consistency, XAP relies on live in-memory backups, which are always ready to take over when a failure occurs. This way it can deliver blazing in-memory speeds, even under massive peak loads, with enterprise-grade resiliency and guaranteed data consistency. That’s why XAP is trusted to power the world’s fastest applications – transaction processing at leading stock exchanges, real-time currency trading, and online gaming. XAP’s ability to speed things up by removing bottlenecks has another important benefit – it makes it much easier to scale applications to support larger data volumes or more users. This brings us to the next aspect of XAP, Scalable on Demand.
VOICEOVER: In traditional software architectures, scalability beyond a single machine is always complex, and often requires complete re-architecture of an application, which can cost millions. Scalability is also non-linear, so every notch of growth requires more hardware – until the application cannot scale further. The root cause of these problems is that traditional software architecture wasn’t designed for scalability – it is complex and has centralized components, primarily the database, which quickly become overloaded when the application grows.
VOICEOVER: GigaSpaces XAP addresses this root cause by packaging the entire application, from the load balancer on the front end to the database on the back end, into a lightweight scalable unit, running entirely in-memory. Simply duplicating this unit on additional machines gives you unlimited, linear scalability. XAP distributes the data between these in-memory units, releasing the database bottleneck. XAP also balances the available resources on-the-fly, by automatically deploying the scalable units based on custom policies and service levels you define. Because scaling happens on-demand, you can handle unpredictable peaks without experiencing downtime – this brings us to the next aspect of XAP, Always On.
VOICEOVER: Mission-critical applications are almost always backed up by solid high availability systems, but this is not enough to prevent downtime. Many organizations experience catastrophic system failure, due to unpredictable loads which overwhelm the available hardware. Crashes or slowdowns simply cannot be avoided, because even if additional hardware is available elsewhere in the organization, the application cannot take advantage of it fast enough. Case in point – when AT&T launched Apple’s Iphone in the United States, with queues running around the block, the number of phone activations was much larger than they anticipated. The activation system was overloaded, and the result was widely-publicized activation failures and delays, which frustrated buyers and damaged the reputation of the companies involved.
VOICEOVER: When the IPhone was launched in the UK a few months later, the network operator chose GigaSpaces XAP to power their activation system. Like in the US, the system experienced massive unpredictable loads, three times larger than anticipated in early testing. But this time around, with GigaSpaces XAP, the system scaled up in real time, spreading the load across additional machines, ensuring a totally smooth launch. And this is only half the story – in systems like these, when loads decrease back to normal, XAP automatically frees up computing resources for use by other applications. Instead of keeping expensive machines on standby, and using them only on the busiest days of the year, XAP users can utilize these resources throughout the year, but still have them available when peaks occur. This dramatically improves hardware utilization.
VOICEOVER: The last aspect of XAP we’ll explore is Open. GigaSpaces XAP gives you freedom of choice. It supports major open frameworks and standards, including Spring and Java EE, and provides full interoperability between Java, .NET and C++. XAP allows enterprises to build applications once, using existing skills, and run them on any hardware in *any* environment – private or public clouds, virtualized operating systems, commodity hardware or specialized high-end systems – with no changes to code or configuration. XAP is integrated with leading cloud infrastructure providers such as Amazon EC2 and GoGrid, and supports major virtualization products, including VMware. XAP even allows you to move applications between traditional and cloud or virtualized environments at the click of a button, giving you the freedom to choose your optimal mix of new and traditional computing models. Most importantly, XAP integrates seamlessly with any existing application infrastructure, including traditional application servers, ESBs, databases and enterprise grids. Many customers use only some of XAP’s capabilities, filling in the rest with existing systems. This makes it possible to make a gradual transition to XAP, and also to easily remove any part of the XAP infrastructure, minimizing lock-in to GigaSpaces technology.
Thank you for listening this overview of GigaSpaces XAP, the leading application server for high-end distributed applications. If you’d like to test-drive XAP online right now, with no installations, just enter your e-mail on the left and click “Start Free Trial”.
About GigaSpaces Technologies GigaSpaces is the leading maker of middleware for demanding, distributed applications.
GigaSpaces eXtreme Application Platform (XAP) GigaSpaces eXtreme Application Platform (XAP) High-End, Scalable, High-Performance Application Server Traditional Data Centers Private and Public Clouds (Platform as a Service) Build Once, Run Anywhere Virtualized Environments