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Terracotta Updates Database Caching Software

Terracotta today announced the availability of Terracotta for Caching, a high-performance cache for databases that can offload the continuous requests between client and server, thus easing the load on the database.

This new version incorporates Terracotta's recently acquired Ehcache, a widely used open source distributed cache geared for general purpose caching, Java EE and lightweight containers.

The combination of Ehcache and Terracotta's data management infrastructure creates a fully scalable database cache capable of handling almost any load. Clustering support can be activated by changing one line in the XML settings without any code changes required.

Terracotta for Caching sits between the database and end users, helping to keep the data fresh on client-facing apps while reducing the load on the database. A shopping cart app on an e-commerce site, for example, has to keep making hits on a database as a customer moves around, regardless of whether the customer is actually adding or removing items from the cart.

This way, the Web server hits the cache rather than the database, only making database requests for new data or to write updates, like a purchase. This greatly reduces the load on databases, which often can't scale to keep up with demand.

"As people build bigger environment, you start to find that instead of tackling the problem with one big database application on the server, you're running lots of apps on lots of servers or commodity boxes. That's where the Achilles heel of the database is." Terracotta CEO Amit Pandey told InternetNews.com.

"One of our virtualization partners put it neatly: we've figured out how to scale things up and down in virtualized environments, but we haven't figured out how to do it for the database layer. They don't scale up," he added.

Terracotta for Caching takes all transactional data, or data an app needs to go through transactions, and holds it between the database until the transaction is done and settled, minimizing traffic between the server and middleware. It's a coherent system, meaning it keeps data in sync between distributed nodes. It knows, for example, to remove an item that has been sold from inventory and not sell it again.

The Terracotta for Caching line consists of three different products: Ehcache DX, Ehcache EX and Ehcache FX. The DX product is a single-instance version of Ehcache as it was sold before Terracotta bought it. It works on a single server for a single application.

EX and FX are higher-performance caches for multiple machines, with high throughput and scalability. FX is the higher-end product with greater scalability.

All three products are available from Terracotta now.