Pivotal sql fire_wp_delivering_data_042313 (1)


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Pivotal sql fire_wp_delivering_data_042313 (1)

  2. 2. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY JUST AS VIRTUALIZATION has driven huge improve- ments in enterprise infrastructures during the past few years, the application layer that sits above these servers, storage and network components is undergoing change as well. Today’s fast-paced busi- ness climate is completely redefining the way users interact with data, so applications look very different than those of even five years ago. Now applications could easily be mobile and/or Web-based, therefore breaking down basic assumptions of location and access points that were once considered givens. In order for developers to keep up with new demands and variables, they must be able to write and deploy applications that suit the way employees, customers and partners interact with data. As a result, a whole new set of requirements is being placed on the data management layer that supports these applications as well. There is an emerging modern midtier framework that can deliver high performance and horizontal scalability to the most demanding applications, while offering developers a familiar interface to write applications to. This framework distributes data geographically so that it is closer to the point of access, boosting performance while taking advan- tage of the elasticity and affordability of cloud models. And it provides all of the redundancy and reliability of traditional relational database manage- ment systems (RDBMSs) without the expense, rigidity or proprietary hardware requirements. VMware’s vFabric SQLFire is a modern data system that supports the applications of today and tomorrow while delivering the benefits of a distrib- uted cloud architecture. It satisfies users’ need for data anytime, anywhere while allowing developers to leverage their SQL skills and experience and answering administrators’ requirements for enter- prise-grade, reliable data management. vFabric SQLFire is the data portion of VMware’s vFabric cloud application platform that creates an agile computing environment for highly scalable, high- performance computing. 1 VMware’s vFabric SQLFire
  3. 3. IN THE FAST-PACED BUSINESS WORLD, the unfet- tered flow of information is critical. No longer do geographic boundaries or traditional hours of work matter—now business happens wherever, whenever. To support modern business models that are heavily dependent on data, information must also be avail- able wherever, whenever—and it must be up-to-date, on hand in an instant and always reliable. A number of recent trends, both internal and external, are forcing organizations to change the way they make information available to employees, customers, partners, suppliers and others. More than ever, enterprises are allowing employees to leverage handheld devices and mobile applications from the field, at home or on the road in order to stay produc- tive and collaborative. However, if these devices don’t offer up-to-date access to critical corpo- rate data, the productivity of mobile employees is severely hampered. Not only do these employees need access to the right information any time of day, they also expect the same high-performance response times from applications and websites that they access from their mobile devices as they enjoy when sitting in front of their PC connected to the corporate network. Some forward-looking enterprises are addressing performance challenges by leveraging cloud models to geographically distribute applications and data so that these corporate resources are closer to the point of access. Yet if the platforms supporting these applications can’t easily transition to a cloud model, developers and administrators struggle to accom- modate this distributed approach. What’s more, with the recent trend of organizations leveraging big data to derive business insight and push innovation, it’s not enough to simply collect huge volumes of structured and unstructured data. Today businesses need to be able to analyze that data in real time— regardless of its volume, velocity and variety—and act on it accordingly. From the outside, enterprises are also feeling the pressure to provide high-quality, high-performance products and services in an increasingly competi- tive environment. As customers push the limits of e-commerce, expectations for website response and transaction times grow ever higher; customers don’t think twice about abandoning a slow-performing site in favor of a competing one. Much like employees, these customers want to be able to access and interact with websites from the device of their choice, be it a PC, tablet or smartphone. The confluence of these external and internal factors is rendering traditional approaches to data manage- ment insufficient for enterprises that need to maintain their edge in the ever-changing business climate. “We live in an increasingly mobile world, an increas- ingly global marketplace, and employees are using applications and creating the ability to share infor- mation in real time, across continents,” says Jags Ramnarayan, chief architect of data products with VMware’s vFabric division. “Enterprises need to be able to deliver the right information in a real-time, global setting.” 2 Today’s business models depend on data More than ever, enterprises are allowing employees to leverage handheld devices and mobile applications from the field, at home or on the road in order to stay productive and collaborative.
  4. 4. 3 TRADITIONAL DATABASES that were developed in the 1970s don’t make the cut in the current business environment. For decades, enterprises have relied on monolithic, proprietary and costly relational databases to provide the foundation for their data frameworks. However, these one-size-fits-all rela- tional databases aren’t equipped to deal with the unpredictable, shifting loads that have become the norm. They weren’t designed to serve hundreds or thousands of users at once and be able to provide the low-latency rates that users expect. They can’t manage the different types of data—website comments, GPS coordinates, video clips, etc.—that Older databases can’t keep up enterprises need to be able to analyze in real time in order to find answers to pressing business questions. Nor can they support applications that are built and deployed for a wide range of mobile devices. Traditional databases end up leaving employees disconnected from the data that they require to make business-critical decisions, satisfy customers, inform partners and push innovation. Attempting to leverage decades-old data management technology to solve today’s business problems can have serious consequences on an enterprise’s ability to sustain growth and competitiveness. vFabric SQLFire vs. Traditional RDBMSs VMware’s vFabric SQLFire offers a number of advantages over traditional database management systems in the following areas: SQLFire memory-based, lower latency scale linearly with commodity hardware virtualized, cloud-based, distributed consistent, real-time view of data regardless of where it’s stored Traditional RDBMSs disk-based, higher latency scale up via expensive hardware, adds complexity centralized, proprietary, monolithic reside on a single server ç Performance è ç Scalabilityè ç Designè ç Visibilityè
  5. 5. 4 WHEN IT COMES TO CREATING the infrastructure required to meet current application and website performance demands, the database is typically the most challenging element. A highly scalable database is necessary to meet the needs of modern applications. Enterprises require an agile, modern cloud application platform that can provide: Unparalleled performance of in-memory data management. Unlike traditional database manage- ment systems that store data in disk, in-memory systems are optimized for low latency and high performance, making data on demand a reality regardless of how or from where it is accessed. “Today, servers are more powerful, as are networks, and memory is abundant. But one thing hasn’t changed—physical disk speeds haven’t improved. So there’s an order of magnitude difference between how fast you can access memory vs. how fast you can access disk,” says VMware’s Ramnarayan. Real-time access to data. Superior performance levels are also achieved by distributing data to different locations across the globe for better prox- imity. By enabling applications to execute stored procedures in the database, data-intensive logic is moved closer to where that data resides. Continuous availability. Reliability is achieved by replicating or partitioning database tables while maintaining one or more redundant copies. Data changes are replicated asynchronously as well as in batch to one or more remote clusters for disaster recovery. Active-active clustering across a WAN allows application clients to read and write to either cluster, and failover can happen to either cluster. Horizontal scale. From the ground up, so that all data management functions—data inserts, key lookups, stored procedures and functions, joins, transactions, etc.—benefit from better performance, more capacity and higher availability. Elasticity. Transactional websites that experience unpredictable fluctuations in traffic need to be able to accommodate these unexpected loads by scaling out so that there’s no degradation in performance. They must also scale back easily and automatically, to reduce hardware costs and taxing resources whenever possible. Low-cost benefits of commodity hardware. A modern cloud application platform that can pool and share memory to manage data doesn’t require expensive servers with extensive disk space, offering significant cost savings. Support recovery operations. With the option to write data to disk in parallel across the cluster as a function of the “shared nothing” architecture, fail- ures in disk or cache don’t affect other instances of the data. Leverage existing knowledge. A modern cloud plat- form must be able to incorporate existing on-staff developer skills so that applications can be created quickly and additional headcount is avoided. Building the framework for data on demand “Today, servers are more powerful, as are networks, and memory is abundant. But one thing hasn’t changed— physical disk speeds haven’t improved.” —Jags Ramnarayan chief architect of data products VMware’s vFabric division
  6. 6. 5 A modern cloud application platform VMWARE’S VFABRIC SQLFIRE, which is part of the company’s vFabric Suite, is designed to run business-critical and Web applications in virtual and cloud environments. SQLFire is an in-memory, distributed SQL database that delivers dynamic scalability and high performance for modern, data- intensive applications. The memory-optimized architecture of vFabric SQLFire minimizes time spent waiting for disk access, which is the main performance bottleneck in traditional databases. It achieves dramatic scaling by pooling memory, CPU and network bandwidth across a cluster of machines and can manage data across geographies. VMware’s vFabric SQLFire can either replace or augment disk-oriented database architectures with data structures and indexes optimized for fast main memory, with options for write-through or write-behind to disk. SQLFire is ideal for primary data stores that require high transaction rates, continuous availability and simplified access by database programming staff without specialized coding assistance. In addition to the fast performance and high reli- ability that users experience with vFabric SQLFire applications, the platform also offers these benefits: q For developers—Database application devel- opers can easily incorporate a memory-oriented approach to data management with the familiar, standard SQL interface that SQLFire offers; for example, creating a simple table in SQLFire is the same as creating one in any other standard SQL database. This allows developers to leverage existing skills and experience with SQL as well as with other established standards such as JDBC and ADO.NET. SQLFire also works well with a large ecosystem of compatible products and frameworks, such as object-relational mapping tools, including Hibernate and NHibernate; schema-editing and database management tools; and Spring JDBC. What’s more, applications that use the standard SQL syntax supported by vFabric SQLFire can easily migrate to and from other relational data- bases, for flexibility and future-proofing as well as unparalleled performance. q For administrators—SQLFire ensures continuous availability within or across data centers and supports granular disaster recovery to the level of individual tables. Data is replicated across nodes for redundancy, so if one server goes down users are automatically redirected to an available server, ensuring there’s no interruption in service. Use of nonproprietary hardware offers an economical way to achieve high database performance at extremely large scale. In addition, vFabric SQLFire can be used as either a primary database for new applications—which is particularly useful to eliminate bottlenecks in mobile and Web environments—or it can be integrated with existing traditional databases or analytics engines. In the second case, vFabric SQLFire acts as a high-performance caching layer between an application and an existing database. SQLFire is ideal for primary data stores that require high transaction rates, continuous avail- ability and simplified access by database programming staff without specialized coding assistance.
  7. 7. 6 Who Needs Speed? Innovative enterprises in highly competitive markets such as finance, travel, insurance and telecommunications, as well as defense and intel- ligence organizations, are turning to VMware’s vFabric SQLFire to solve business problems and gain a competitive edge. Online travel sites, for example, base their financial success on their ability to provide lightning-fast results to visitors who come to their websites looking to book travel. These visitors could be accessing travel sites from a variety of endpoints, including mobile devices. While presenting search results for site visitors might mean having to pull real-time data from a variety of different sources, such as partnering airlines and hotels, all that the visitors care about is getting a price quote quickly. Being able to provide a full-featured site regard- less of access method and return fast query results is a business-critical issue, since a website’s ability to provide price quotes has a direct impact on the amount of revenue it generates. In this highly competitive market there are few second chances; visitors who have a poor experience at one travel site aren’t likely to come back, opting instead to take their business to a competitor. “The data these sites rely upon needs to be relevant, real-time and fast. If a site is sluggish, that company isn’t going to be able to compete well. It’s important to deliver the highest performance possible with these applications,” says Blake Connell, product marketing manager for VMware’s vFabric SQLFire. “But it’s not just high performance that’s needed; there’s also a real need for sustained, steady-state performance regardless of spikes in activity, so that site visitors keep coming back.” There are many examples of an enterprise’s revenue potential being tied to data performance. A tele- communications company that found itself suffering from low customer-satisfaction levels realized it needed to revamp its customer-facing system in order to respond better to inquiries and to also enable the development of timely, personalized offerings. The existing batch-processing system, while rich in customer history and information, could only process up to 60 transactions per second. The prospect of rewriting the applications that were dependent on this system proved too expensive, and so the telecom company began seeking a way to improve performance while still being able to preserve the back-end system. The company decided to use VMware’s vFabric SQLFire as a front-end data management system in order to develop new Web and mobile applications that offered much better data responsiveness; these new applications were able to reach 600 transac- tions per second. It was by leveraging VMware tools to extract data from applications and place it in a container attached to SQLFire that the company was able to achieve this significant increase in transac- tion rates. This improvement had a positive impact on satisfaction levels among existing customers, and the company can now serve up personalized offerings to attract new customers and improve the business. CASE STUDY
  8. 8. 7 TODAY, fast access to information is more essen- tial than ever, and corporate data has become the cornerstone of many business models. Without immediate, reliable access to that data, enterprises run the risk of losing customers, hampering produc- tivity and missing out on important business oppor- tunities. Data management systems must be able to deliver the right data to employees, customers and partners anytime, anywhere in a way that’s reliable, cost-effective and leverages existing resources. VMware’s vFabric SQLFire has the power to deliver these capabilities and more to today’s demanding users, while easing back-end management and application development. With its in-memory, distributed design, the database delivers dynamic scalability and high performance for today’s modern, data-intensive applications. n Conclusion www.vmware.com VMware’s vFabric SQLFire delivers the data management platform required by today’s modern applications: In-memory data management with optimized disk persistence. vFabric SQLFire enables applications to manage data entirely in memory by using partitioning and synchronous replication to distribute the data across numerous SQLFire members. vFabric SQLFire provides an optimized disk persistence mechanism for long-term storage. 2012 applications can use vFabric SQLFire to actively cache table data from a traditional disk-based RDBMS. A VMware study found vFabric SQLFire performs 30 times faster than the Oracle 11g database. Continuous availability, elastically scaled, low latency. A flexible architecture enables vFabric SQLFire to pool memory and disk resources from hundreds of clustered members. This clustered approach provides extremely high throughput, predictable latency, dynamic and linear scalability and continuous availability of data. By co-locating application logic with data and executing application logic in parallel, vFabric SQLFire substantially increases application throughput. High adaptability to existing applications. vFabric SQLFire is implemented entirely in Java, and it can be embedded directly within a Java application. vFabric SQLFire members can also be deployed as standalone servers that partici- pate in a cluster. Java applications can connect to a vFabric SQLFire cluster using the provided JDBC drivers. Microsoft .NET applications can connect using the provided ADO. NET driver. The use of JDBC, ADO.NET and SQL means that many existing database applications can be easily adapted to use a SQLFire cluster. vFabric SQLFire introduces several extensions to common SQL data definition language (DDL) statements to manage data partitioning, replication, synchronization with data sources and other features. However, most common queries and data manipulation language (DML) statements are based on ANSI SQL-92, so experienced database appli- cation developers can use their knowledge of SQL when working with vFabric SQLFire. Parallel, data-aware stored procedures. As with common relational databases, vFabric SQLFire enables applications to execute stored procedures in the data- base to move data-intensive logic close to where that data resides. vFabric SQLFire extends this functionality by making application logic, as well as data, highly avail- able. Procedure execution is routed transparently to the appropriate data nodes; this approach increases applica- tion throughput. “Shared nothing” disk persistence. vFabric SQLFire manages replicated and partitioned tables completely in memory, or both in memory and on disk. In vFabric SQLFire, each member node can cause data to persist in disk files independently of other members. Failures in disks or cache failures in one node do not affect other instances’ ability to safely operate on their disk files. This “shared nothing” persistence architecture allows applications to be config- ured such that tables can be persisted on different nodes across the cluster, reducing the impact of disk latencies. Key features of VMware’s vFabric SQLFire