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In-memory and with cloud in mind in the Software AG acquisition of Terracotta

Software AG bought Terracotta, a company with as many as 500,000 deployments of its open source technology, including an in-memory technology for high performance applications and cloud services.

In the view of Wolfram Jost, CTO at SoftwareAG, the mid-term strategy for his 6000-person global company is to become a platform as a service (PaaS) provider. “We believe in the cloud business model, whether public, private, or hybrid,” he says. Part of that vision includes the announcement of the company’s acquisition of Terracotta, a company with 55 employees in San Francisco and New Delhi. Despite its modest size, the company claims more than 500,000 deployments of its open source technology, including an in-memory technology for high performance applications and cloud services and what it calls the de facto caching standard for enterprise Java.

“Technology in the cloud needs to be able to scale up and down with low TCO, we totally believe the architecture of the future is in-memory, not a database architecture,” says Jost. As a consequence, he explains, the Terracotta technology can form the basis for a PaaS technology. “It isn’t only the integration, we believe a lot of companies have legacy or custom apps they want to move to the cloud and they need better elastic cache,” he says.

Software AG is also eyeing the OEM and open source business model. Terracotta currently provides an open source product as well as an enhanced set of products. “We have identified multiple uses for this in CEP, BPMS, analytics, and integration, so in these key areas it makes sense,” he says.

Terracotta CEO Amit Pandey says the company, which will maintain its independent management, focuses on application scale and performance in both the traditional data center and the cloud. “You can deploy our technology in the three-tier data center and move to the cloud with no disruptions,” he says.

The company’s big memory products “enable people to load large amounts of data in memory without the penalty you get from Java – you get flat, high performance response,” he adds.

“Most of the chatter about Intel’s Nehalem architecture has focused on the number of cores, but just as interesting from a systems point of view is the amount of memory supported,” notes James Governor, analyst at Redmonk. He says commodity hardware is now catching up with the kind of in-memory architectures used by major companies: that is – Big Memory is going mainstream. “It looks like Software AG plans to ride that wave,” he adds.

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