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Terracotta 3.2 and Quartz EX Unleashed

01.12.2010
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Terracotta is keeping its foot on the gas pedal in 2010.  Just two months after the acquisition of Quartz, Terracotta announced today the immediate availability of an integrated product.  Quartz EX is a new version of the Quartz Java job scheduler that is tightly integrated with the Terracotta server array and job store.  With Quartz, Terracotta followed the same formula that it used in the Ehcache acquisition.  After acquiring Ehcache, they took only two months to come out with a platform-integrated product.  Along with the Quartz announcement, Terracotta also released version 3.2 of the Terracotta shared memory platform, which is already providing better performance for customers.  DZone spoke with the Terracotta VP of Marketing and Products, Jeff Hartley, about these two significant releases.

Hartley says that Quartz fits right in with Terracotta's concept of a scalability continuum. "People really need to have ways to make their applications scalable without having to change the application, and in the case of Quartz it's not necessarily one application, but many," said Hartley.  "We're getting a lot more inquiries about running  jobs, and things of that nature, in clouds.  Quartz will enable people to do that much more easily."  Hartley said customers want the same job scheduling capabilities for the cloud that they already have in mainframes.  "We can definitely provide that with this release," he said.  With Terracotta's Quartz integration, users no longer have to use the database for scheduling jobs across multiple servers.  After the acquisition, Terracotta was able to build an enterprise-level Quartz product that harnessed the full Terracotta platform.  Better scalability, higher performance, and lower cost are the business benefits that Terracotta has brought to Quartz scheduling, Hartley said.

Terracotta uses integration modules for plugging in technologies that they don't own.  Integration modules for Ehcache and Quartz were available for about a year before they were acquired.  Ehcache and Quartz were a little harder to use with just the integration module.  Ehcache, for example, required more bytecode manipulation because Terracotta was hooking in to memory.  Now that Terracotta owns Quartz, they have refactored the integration to make it more efficient and easier to use with the Terracotta platform.

The Terracotta 3.2 is another big step for the company's offerings.  A few months ago, Terracotta CTO Ari Zilka told DZone that Terracotta 3.1.1 was already 3 to 10 times faster than everyone, and Terracotta 3.2 would be 4 times faster than 3.1.1.  Most of the improvements to Terracotta's platform are internal, "down in the guts," improvements, Hartley says.  Terracotta 3.2 can now handle larger datasets and utilize CPU and memory more efficiently.  Zilka said that 3.2 users are getting 30-50% percent more throughput almost immediately.

Terracotta's platform is more aligned with application tier rather than the database tier, Hartley said.  "I think as more and more people get into clouds, this will be more important because they'll start realizing that the database is potentially a big impediment to scalability," said Hartley.  "Databases don't lend themselves well to horizontal scalability."

Terracotta's products, including Ehcache and Quartz are, are available, fully-featured, in open source for commercial use.  Terracotta's commercial offerings include 24/7 support, legal indemnification, certified software updates, and enterprise features.
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