Ever found yourself describing a design that you think is so ‘obvious’ that everyone must already understand it, only to find that almost no one understands it… and then find that there is a product that uses it?

That has happened to me more than once.  It is frustrating.

So, I’m at the local meeting of the IASA listening to a presentation on ‘grid’ computing, which is a distributed computing architecture that ranges from SETI-style multi-processing to wide ranging smart-cache technologies.  Interesting stuff.

Then it occurs to me that the simple model I’ve been describing for event driven cache management, for well over two years, is really a simple form of the same data replication that is enabled by these tools.  I didn’t think of it originally… I had heard an ESB vendor describe this design many years ago, but he didn’t give it a name.  The design stuck in my head but I didn’t have any good category for it.

Well, at least I now know what to call it.  Gigaspaces calls this the ‘Data Grid.’  Other vendors have products that compete, from what I’m told.  I’ll have to dig.

Liking it.  Now, I need to find it on the MS stack…

By Nick Malik

Former CIO and present Strategic Architect, Nick Malik is a Seattle based business and technology advisor with over 30 years of professional experience in management, systems, and technology. He is the co-author of the influential paper "Perspectives on Enterprise Architecture" with Dr. Brian Cameron that effectively defined modern Enterprise Architecture practices, and he is frequent speaker at public gatherings on Enterprise Architecture and related topics. He coauthored a book on Visual Storytelling with Martin Sykes and Mark West titled "Stories That Move Mountains".

2 thoughts on “The blurry line between event driven data management and grid architecture”
  1. Hi Avinash,

    Data Grids are all about "live" data, and being "live" and "real time" requires event flow to be a cornerstone of the data management capabilities in the data grid. More and more of these applications that we are seeing are entirely event-driven, and facilitating that (and ensuring the various "-ilities" such as reliability and availability and scalability) is a huge part of what we do. These technologies are in the process of redefining the accepted best practices for the architecture of entire classes of applications.

    And as far as it being "the best work on the planet," you’ve obviously never visited Tangosol 😉



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