Wednesday Jul 20, 2016

Announcing Coherence

Oracle Coherence is here!  That's a lot of numbers.  Or three, depending on how you count.  What it really means is that this release is a patch-set and not a large new release.  The release is packed full of goodies for users of the new Federated Caching and Persistence features released in October 2015 as part of Coherence 12.2.1, and also contains many improvements for users of any prior Coherence release.

Here is a summary of the changes.  For a full description of the changes in, check our release notes.  

Federated Caching Improvements 

Coherence Session API

  • The Coherence Session API provides applications with a new and recommended interface to get a reference to a NamedCache instance. 

Proxy Tier Management Information

  • New Proxy Tier Management Information includes the number of connections across each proxy server and the total messages that were sent and received. Management attributes are included on the ConnectionManagerMBean and are viewable on the Proxy HTTP Report and the HTTP Servers tab in the Coherence-JVisualVM Plug-in. 

Two Member Partition Assignment

Simplified Configuration of Persistence and Federation with Managed Coherence Servers

Zero Downtime Support

IBM WebSphere Liberty Support

  • Coherence*Web supports IBM WebSphere Liberty 8.5 and higher. Support for Coherence*Web with other IBM WebSphere versions has been removed. See Supported Web Containers for a full list of supported containers for Coherence*Web.

Dynamic Active Persistence Quorum Policy

  • The dynamic recovery quorum policy is used with active persistence and automatically configures the persistence recovery quorum based on a predefined algorithm. 

Tuesday Oct 27, 2015

Oracle Coherence 12cR2 Offers Major New Innovations

We are very happy to announce major new innovations with the release of Oracle Coherence 12.2.1 This release is one of the largest we have done and delivers several major features aimed at both developers and operations that improve developer productivity, support infrastructure consolidation, provide better security, and simplify multi-datacenter solutions. We are also announcing a new licensing option for low-cost deployment of small-to-medium sized deployments.

New Features

Coherence 12.2.1 is packed with major new features and capabilities:

  • The new Persistence feature enables Coherence to be a system-of-record and improves time-to-recovery from planned or unplanned, partial or total, cluster outage. Persistence can be configured to work in an on-line mode persisting changes as they are made to the cluster, or to take a snapshot of a data grid. Local disk configuration maximizes scalability, while network-attached storage maximizes availability.   Both data and metadata (indexes, listeners, expiry, locks, etc.) are stored, and recovery is completely automatic.
  • Federated Caching provides support for Active-Active, Active-Passive, Hub and Spoke, and custom multi-datacenter topologies. Implemented at the lowest level of Coherence, Federated Caching takes advantage of Message Bus, Elastic Data, and our new Persistence feature to improve scalability, durability, latency, and configurability of data replication over prior solutions.  
  • Coherence Multitenancy allows WebLogic Server Multitenant applications to share a cluster across a set of tenants and applications, consolidating infrastructure requirements. Multitenancy provides tenant-specific caches as well as shared caches for hosting reference data.  It is fully integrated with Oracle Traffic Director, WebLogic Server, and the Oracle Database to provide an end-to-end multitenant solution.
  • One of our most exciting new features is the integration we have done with Java 8 to provide Distributed Lambdas and Streams. We now provide the ability to execute Lambdas and Streams remotely, using standard Java 8, distributed across cluster members, without the need to deploy code on cluster servers. This provides the ability to do distributed, parallelized stream-based functional programming.  By reducing the need to deploy classes to servers, we have also greatly simplified application upgrade.
  • New Security Features include the ability to do fine-grained Authorization and Auditing of all cache access and updates.   We have also improved our SSL support.
  • For developers, we have also added support for Asynchronous Cache operations via Java 8 CompletableFutures for quicker, parallel execution of multiple tasks as well as a Streaming Async API to improve performance and reduce memory pressure on bulk reads. We also offer improved Generics Support.
  • Customers will notice increased performance from near cache optimizations and automatic, dynamic thread pool tuning. 
  • We have improved cluster and port management, and switched data communications to run over TCP via the TCP Message Bus. We also provide Dynamic Coherence Management Node for Management HA.
  • We also have a number of other goodies, including support for Sliding Expiry, a new cache truncate operation, REST Server-Sent Events, and JSON Passthrough that improve the developer experience and offer new functionality.

New Packaging and Licensing Options

We also offer new (and sometimes free!) options for deploying Coherence in production.

  • Coherence Standard Edition One replaces Standard Edition.   SE One is a low-priced ($800 / socket) dual-server Active/Standby solution that provides all Coherence APIs from Java, REST, JCache, and Memcached clients. It is perfect for smaller deployments where you data fits into a single node, e.g. anywhere up to around 20GB or larger depending on your tolerance for larger GC pauses and need for scale-out. SE One also includes the new Persistence features.
    • The good news around SE One does not end there.  SE One is included in Java SE Advanced (with the limitation that it is a single-server deployment with no standby).
    • Since WebLogic Server Enterprise Edition includes Java SE Advanced, WebLogic customers can now deploy Coherence for free in configurations not needing scale-out or advanced features of Enterprise and Grid Edition.
    • Customers needing the scale-out or other features of Coherence Enterprise Edition or Grid Edition can upgrade without code change since SE One provides the full Coherence API.
  • Real-Time Extend Data Clients are now included for free in every Coherence edition to provide deployment flexibility.  No longer do you need to decide whether you will use near cache or whether you will use an Extend proxy before you choose the appropriate Coherence edition.
  • Persistence is part of every Coherence edition. 
  • WebLogic Server Multitenant and WebLogic Server Continuous Availability  both provide the right to upgrade from Enterprise Edition to Grid Edition. If you own Coherence Enterprise Edition or WebLogic Suite and by WLS MT or CA, you will be able to deploy Coherence GE to take advantage of multitenant and continuous availability features of Coherence in your WLS applications.
  • Finally, we have improved our Free Developer’s License on OTN to allow developers to use Coherence for free in development even after Coherence has been deployed in production. 

I hope this has whet your appetite for Coherence 12.2.1. As you can tell, I am quite excited about it. Please check Coherence 12.2.1 Documentation for more information on the features above and watch as deep-dive videos from our engineering team are added to the YouTube OracleCoherence Channel over the next few days. 

Wednesday Oct 14, 2015

Oracle Coherence recognized as a leader in new Forrester Wave report

Oracle Coherence has been cited as leader and top ranked across several categories in a new Forrester Research report.  The Forrester Wave™: In Memory Data Grids, Q3 2015.  The report, which is subtitled “There Is No Better Way To Achieve Blazing Fast Performance At Scale” analyzes features, market presence, and roadmap of eleven vendors in the In-Memory Data Grid space.

[Read More]

Tuesday Aug 12, 2014

Coherence State of the Union

Six years after I joined Coherence following Oracle’s acquisition of BEA, it is great to see how the industry has embraced In-Memory Data Grid’s as a mainstream technology to scale middleware applications. This adoption is driven by growth in customer demand to manage more and more data, and to act on that data faster and faster. The mission that the Coherence team set upon over a decade ago has come to fruition, and our core team – still intact all this time later even as we continue to grow the team in new directions – is working on new challenges as in-memory data grid based solutions become standard.

The latest release of Coherence and the new announcement of the In-Memory Option for the Oracle Database make this an opportune time to answer some recent questions I’ve received about where Coherence is headed. First lets review the recent announcements.

In June we announced Coherence 12.1.3, the second release of Coherence 12cR1. Coherence 12.1.2, released in 2013, introduced groundbreaking operational improvements like Managed Coherence Servers and GAR files, GoldenGate HotCache to keep caches and databases in sync, and Live Events to respond to state and data changes in real-time. With Coherence 12.1.3 Oracle became the first commercial vendor to support the recently ratified JSR-107 (JCache) spec, the standard for caching on the Java platform. We also introduced a JVisualVM plugin for developers, asynchronous EntryProcessors to allow clients to submit work to the data grid without waiting for a response, memcached client support, and optimization improvements to our Exalogic Infiniband optimizations (Exabus). Check out all the cool new features of Coherence 12.1.3 in our release notes.

In July, Oracle announced the availability of the In-Memory Option for the Oracle Database. The In-Memory Option is designed to accelerate database performance by orders of magnitude for analytics, data warehousing, and reporting by storing columnar data in-memory. It supports ad-hoc queries and full-table scans without requiring application changes; the interface is standard SQL. Maria Colgan answers frequently asked questions about this release on her blog.

The new In-Memory option has also led to some confusion in the In-Memory Data Grid market. Let me try to clarify some of the confusion.

Oracle Coherence is not embedded in the In-Memory Option for the Oracle Database. Although I have seen rumors of this to the contrary, this would make absolutely no sense. Coherence is a distributed key-value store; the in-memory option is a columnar store. The In-Memory option is purpose built and optimized to work as one with the database with its primary access method being SQL. (Of course, Coherence is part of many other Oracle solutions, such as Oracle Service Bus which offers web services results caching via a check box, or the Elastic Charging Engine, which is architected on top of Coherence’s fault-tolerant distributed processing.  (As you can see, Coherence has become strategic within Oracle.)

The In-Memory Option focuses on different use cases than Coherence. In-Memory focuses on ad-hoc full-table scans of unindexed data.  in the words of Maria Colgan "The main use case for the In-Memory column store is fast analytics, which has very different access patterns to OLTP. Typically analytic queries access a few columns from a table but they examine all of the entries in those columns. You need to scan the whole table or segment, not just a small part of the table to answer these queries.” Storing these columns in-memory, in columnar format, speeds full-table scans orders of magnitude.

By contrast, Coherence focuses on providing scale-out data management and processing to middleware applications thereby reducing load on shared services such as databases, mainframes, and web services.  By caching data in domain object format close the application, Coherence also increases responsiveness and availability of applications. 

So if the In-memory Option is not related to Coherence, what has the Coherence team been up to? Glad you asked! Aside from the two 12c releases over the past year, we continue to invest in several strategic areas (you can get a pretty good sneak peak of upcoming releases at Oracle OpenWorld next month).

The Cloud. Oracle has increased investment in accelerating’s Coherence role in our various cloud offerings, from public to private PAAS. Our Coherence cloud team is leveraging investments in Managed Coherence Servers to simplify operations and continue to integrate Coherence into the cloud environment. In addition, Coherence integrates with other Oracle technology to provide a full cloud management solution.

Operational Efficiency. Related to the Cloud, but somewhat separate, we are innovating to reduce the cost it takes, both from a hardware and IT staff perspective, to manage an in-memory data grid solution. I

Maximum Availability Architectures.  Several features in our next release will dramatically increase the availability of data to your applications. Features include new advancements in mutl-datacenter solutions and protecting the availability of the in-memory data grid within a single datacenter.

Developer Productivity.  We continue to invest in new functionality, new integration points (e.g. REST, JSR-107, memcached in recent releases) that complement our native clients. We also invest in new product features that simplify the lives of developers both from an API (Asynchronous EntryProcessors) and from a tooling (JVisual VM plugin and Coherence tooling in Oracle Enterprise Pack for Eclipse, or OEPE).

To get more specific of all these investments, you can join me at my Coherence Product Strategy and Roadmap talk at OpenWorld.

Friday Nov 15, 2013

Hadoop MapReduce and Coherence - A Perfect Match

Leveraging existing powerful Coherence functionality, the solution combines the Real-Time/Fast-Data nature of Coherence In-Memory Data Grids with the popular Hadoop MapReduce API., giving developers the freedom to choose the most appropriate data-store while preserving their existing M/R assets.

[Read More]

Thursday Sep 05, 2013

From Mainframe to Coherence: Is it worth it?

OP-Pohjola Group is the leading financial services group in Finland. It is made up of some 200 member cooperative banks and OP-Pohjola Group Central Cooperative which they own, including its subsidiaries and closely related companies. OP-Pohjola Group has more than four million customers -- joint banking and non-life insurance customers total over one million. With over 530 branches, the Group boasts the broadest customer base and the most extensive branch network in Finland.

OP-Pohjola architecture is based on innovative Java EE technology running on Oracle WebLogic Server. A vital part of their architecture is Oracle Coherence distributed cache which has enabled remarkable cost savings in mainframe request volumes and improved performance in most critical and popular eBanking services. Oracle Coherence has had a critical role in enabling mobile eBanking solution as a cost effective platform to build new services with exponential usage growth. Efficient caching technology has enabled both service efficiency and remarkable savings in mainframe costs with mainframe request volumes dropping by 40%. This mainframe optimization has resulted in both financial cost savings while simultaneously enabling growth of eBanking service volumes. Come join OP-Pohjola in this session to hear about how this customer leverages Oracle technologies such as WebLogic and Coherence to achieve such fantastic results. In addition, while at OpenWorld don’t miss other Cloud Application Foundation Innovator. You can join the session whether you are an OpenWorld attendee or not.

Wednesday Sep 04, 2013

Join Emerson Network Power at OpenWorld discuss Coherence for Real Time Data Processing

Emerson (NYSE: EMR), based in St. Louis, Missouri, is a global leader in bringing technology and engineering together to provide innovative solutions for customers in industrial, commercial, and consumer markets around the world. The company is comprised of five business segments: Process Management, Industrial Automation, Network Power, Climate Technologies, and Commercial & Residential Solutions. Sales in fiscal 2012 were $24.4 billion. Emerson Network Power delivers software, hardware and services that maximize availability, capacity and efficiency for data centers, healthcare, and industrial facilities. A trusted industry leader in smart infrastructure technologies, Emerson Network Power provides innovative data center infrastructure management solutions that bridge the gap between IT and facility management and deliver efficiency and uncompromised availability regardless of capacity demands. Emerson Network Power’s acquisition of Avocent a few years back led to significant growth of the company’s product portfolio and customer base. The acquisition also provided a unique challenge for Emerson, as many of the newly acquired products were built on open source software and were difficult to develop, deploy and manage. Another big issue was integrating all these point-solution products into an integrated suite. In addition, there were scalability and performance concerns. Oracle Fusion Middleware provided Emerson with a more reliable, scalable and integrated infrastructure.

As the data center infrastructure management (DCIM) market matures over the next few years, Emerson believes that customers will need a lot more functionality than they currently realize. Moving forward, customers will need the ability to analyze data, create insights and develop predictive capabilities across the entire infrastructure in real-time. A single, open platform that incorporates hardware and software to meet current and future customer needs in an effective and efficient manner was a major requirement. The most critical customer needs are data scalability, availability and high performance in processing of the real-time data. The Trellis platform represents a groundbreaking DCIM innovation from Emerson Network Power – one that mitigates IT risk while increasing operational  efficiency. Come join Emerson in this session to hear about how this customer leverages Oracle technologies such as Coherence, ADF, CEP, EJB and TopLink and how the Oracle Coherence solution is implemented to satisfy the scalability and high performance of real-time data processing. Also, don’t miss other Cloud Application Foundation Innovators. You can join this session whether you are an OpenWorld attendee or not.


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