The exciting thing about the cloud – for application architects – is the jump in scale: some applications now serve millions of online users in fractions of a second with information refined from huge amounts of data.
This category of application has big data, heavy processing, and high transactions-per-second. At a certain level, the cheapest and best solution is an in-memory architecture (see RAMClouds), which explains why every industry player is betting on some sort of “in-memory database/data grid” product – the industry trends point inexorably to this solution for high-value web sites.
What’s exciting is that the scale, reach, and low cost of this jump in scale will make a whole new raft of applications commercially and technically viable.
However, the problem with cloud architectures for mission-critical applications revolves around ACID transactions – specifically, the lack of them. Brilliant engineers have tried to use existing techniques such as distributed transactions (e.g., XA) to provide scalable applications with ACID support. This effort has failed because distributed transactions are too slow and unreliable.
The CloudTran Approach
The CloudTran solution is to unbundle transaction management from the data stores (i.e., databases, document stores).
This echoes the approach of Unbundling Transaction Services in the Cloud – which proposed an approach to scaling cloud databases, by unbundling the transaction management from the data storage functions.
Successful companies in the future will need faster web sites that calculate more refined intelligence from deeper analysis of personal preferences and social trends. To achieve this, live data will need to move to the front – alongside the processing of services and events – rather than stored in a separate database tier.
The upside of the move is increased competitiveness and the ability to serve a global customer base. The challenge is the uncertainty as new tools are adopted, and risks in strategy and execution. CloudTran’s strong, scalable transactionality linking to standard databases gives architects and developers a familiar reference point.
Want to learn more? Have questions? Join us for a live webinar:
When: Tuesday, May 17, 2011 @ 2PM CT
Topic: An architecture for scalable OLTP applications in distributed environments using CloudTran
Cameron Nouri, from the Rackspace Business Development team, is your connection to the Rackspace Cloud Tools Partner Ecosystem. If you have developed solutions or services that makes life easier for people to take advantage of the cloud he would like to talk to you! You can contact Cameron any time to learn more about this unique program and the benefits for your business.