In-memory Data Grids x Cloud Computing: Partnering for Scalability

The cloud has been the go-to solution for most companies across industries that are undergoing or have undergone modernization. Aside from allowing companies to boost and maintain application performance, it provides a flexible platform that helps manage the ever-growing demand brought about by large amounts of data and heavy workloads. It also takes away management of the infrastructure from the user to the service provider. Cloud service providers also provide the option of either getting a whole suite of services or getting the services you need on demand. The increasing adoption rate of cloud computing across industries is a good sign; moving to the cloud can help accelerate IT modernization, but only if the migration is standardized and driven by an efficient automation strategy.

Although most cloud services have been simplified for ease of use, businesses need an infrastructure that is easily scalable and allows for the addition of more application instances. It must also provide an environment that will enable applications to scale performance over said instances. An in-memory data grid (IMDG) is the ideal partner for a cloud-based system because it both simplifies and enhances the deployment of scalable applications within the cloud infrastructure. IMDG can work across cloud and on-premise systems to create a hybrid environment that leverages the power of both cloud and on-premise platforms.

In-memory and in the Cloud

Migrating to the cloud has the main benefit of not relying on disk-based storage systems, which could cause bottlenecks within the network. By leveraging the elasticity of cloud services and resources, the need to constantly access the disk is minimized. An IMDG allows you to use available RAM instead of disk as a scalable storage repository for fast-moving and constantly changing data. Although third-party providers also offer cloud storage options, an IMDG can help minimize bottlenecks caused by cloud-based persistent storage through a feature known as “persistent store.” This feature allows data to be processed against the full dataset to address issues of limited RAM. It also optimizes data in a way that allows the amount of data to exceed the amount of available memory and makes it possible for frequently accessed data resides in memory while also being stored on disk.

An IMDG allows application data to be shared across computer clusters to simplify and help speed up application design and development. The easy scalability of the platform provides the flexibility to add and subtract nodes as needed without compromising on performance. This is a major benefit when compared to disk-based systems that usually require vertical scaling, which can be very expensive and almost impossible to manage and sustain in the long term. With an IMDG, storage capacity throughput and load are automatically scaled to provide consistent and fast access times. This makes scaling systems relatively simple; all you have to do is add a new node to the cluster. Once the nodes are no longer needed, they can just as easily be removed, with all stored data compacted automatically into remaining storage.

Bridging the Gap

When migrating applications to the cloud, an IMDG can benefit both application developers and IT managers by reducing the complexity of the process. By integrating multiple data grids at different sites into a single, logical in-memory data grid, it effectively creates a bridge between on-premise and cloud applications and systems. This virtual bridge automatically migrates data between the two platforms as needed, ensuring constant data integrity. Without this integration, you’d need to re-stage grid data manually into a separate cloud-based store for every application you migrate into the cloud. This means that data is automatically updated at all sites whenever there are changes in the application. Consequently, you will have access to all data regardless of geographical location.

An IMDG is especially useful when you need to scale a web farm into the cloud due to his demand. To avoid overload, web requests are distributed across both on-premise and cloud-based servers. The IMDG provides a single virtual environment where all web servers can share session data coherently. Session data migration is automatically managed even as it streams into and out of the cloud without the need for grid data re-staging. eCommerce websites and small businesses would benefit from this feature because they wouldn’t need to worry about the IT workload during high-demand seasons. Other benefits for small businesses include location-based marketing, dynamic pricing, and intelligent supply chain features.

Complementary Platforms

Although organizations face the choice of going for an IMDG or a cloud-based platform, it was never an all-or-nothing choice. You can choose one or the other, but it’s not impossible to choose both and use them for your business as you see fit. IMDG and the cloud are complementary platforms that work together to bring elasticity to systems in this ever-changing business landscape. Ultimately, the combination of both can lead to optimized business results and better performance.

Ellen Hollington

Ellen Hollington is a freelance writer who offers to ghostwrite, copywriting, and blogging services. She works closely with B2C and B2B businesses providing digital marketing content that gains social media attention and increases their search engine visibility.