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Terracotta Claims To Solve Java’s Memory Conundrum

Java developers might want to think about hoisting Terracotta on their shoulders and marching around JavaOne this weekend

Java developers might want to think about hoisting Terracotta on their shoulders and marching around JavaOne this weekend.

The company thinks it's overcome the garbage collection-created impasse preventing Java apps from using lots of memory just when lots of memory has gotten terribly fashionable in modern servers. And the solution is a lot cheaper and simpler than buying what amounts to a mainframe for Java from Azul.

It'll be at JavaOne showing off the beta of its new BigMemory pure Java add-on for Enterprise Ehcache. The widgetry, compatible with all the popular JVMs, offers an off-heap cache that frees Java applications from the memory and performance restraints of garbage collection by managing the memory directly.

See, JVMs and their attendant applications data are pretty much restricted to 2GB-4GB of in-memory cache, which explains why VMs have proliferated like rabbits. Terracotta is bypassing garbage collection and giving the apps full rein to use the stoked-up memory of the boxes they're running on these days, basically hundreds of gigabytes, and the mojo works with both local and distributed caches.

It says applications will be able to cache 64GB or more of data. With apps running on fewer JVMs and bigger caches, application speed should get blazingly fast and the cost and complexity of operating and scaling applications plunge. Companies will be able to do more server consolidation.

It says the workaround eliminates all that ultimately futile, time-consuming tuning folks do to eliminate those unpredictable GC pauses. Being off-heap, BigMemory is supposed to deliver sustainable results, with deterministic latency and achievable SLAs.

BigMemory's built-in memory manager can reportedly handle hundreds of millions of objects.

Terracotta figures existing Hibernate and Ehcache users will be first to pick the widgetry up. Pricing is value-based and determined by the amount of memory. See http://www.terracotta.org/bigmemory for the beta information.

More Stories By Maureen O'Gara

Maureen O'Gara the most read technology reporter for the past 20 years, is the Cloud Computing and Virtualization News Desk editor of SYS-CON Media. She is the publisher of famous "Billygrams" and the editor-in-chief of "Client/Server News" for more than a decade. One of the most respected technology reporters in the business, Maureen can be reached by email at maureen(at)sys-con.com or paperboy(at)g2news.com, and by phone at 516 759-7025. Twitter: @MaureenOGara

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