- Continuuity toured in 2012 and touted its “app server for Hadoop” technology.
- Continuuity recently changed its name to Cask and went open source.
- Cask’s product is now called CDAP (Cask Data Application Platform). It’s still basically an app server for Hadoop and other “big data” — ouch do I hate that phrase — data stores.
- Cask and Cloudera partnered.
- I got a more technical Cask briefing this week.
- App servers are a notoriously amorphous technology. The focus of how they’re used can change greatly every couple of years.
- Partly for that reason, I was unimpressed by Continuuity’s original hype-filled positioning.
So far as I can tell:
- Cask’s current focus is to orchestrate job flows, with lots of data mappings.
- This is supposed to provide lots of developer benefits, for fairly obvious reasons. Those are pitched in terms of an integration story, more in a “free you from the mess of a many-part stack” sense than strictly in terms of data integration.
- CDAP already has a GUI to monitor what’s going on. A GUI to specify workflows is coming very soon.
- CDAP doesn’t consume a lot of cycles itself, and hence isn’t a real risk for unpleasant overhead, if “overhead” is narrowly defined. Rather, performance drags could come from …
- … sub-optimal choices in data mapping, database design or workflow composition.
I chatted with Todd Papaioannou about his new company Continuuity. Todd is as handy at combining buzzwords as he is at concatenating vowels, and so Continuuity — with two “U”s — is making a big data fabric platform as a service with REST APIs that runs over Hadoop and HBase in the private or public clouds. I found the whole thing confusing, in that:
- I recoil against buzzwords. In particular …
- … I pay as little attention to distinctions among PaaS/IaaS/WaaS — Platform/Infrastructure/Whatever as a Service — as I can.
- The Continuuity story sounds Heroku-like, but Todd doesn’t want Continuuity compared to Heroku.
- Todd does want Continuuity discussed in terms of the application server category, but:
- It is hard to discuss app servers without segueing quickly amongst development, deployment, and data connectivity, and Continuuity is no exception to that rule.
- There is doubt as to whether using app servers makes any sense.
But all confusion aside, there are some interesting aspects to Continuuity. Read more
|Categories: Application servers, Cloud computing, Hadoop, HBase, MapReduce, Parallelization, Predictive modeling and advanced analytics, Software as a Service (SaaS)||7 Comments|
In August 2010, I wrote about Workday’s interesting technical architecture, highlights of which included:
- Lots of small Java objects in memory.
- A very simple MySQL backing store (append-only, <10 tables).
- Some modernistic approaches to application navigation.
- A faceted approach to BI.
I caught up with Workday recently, and things have naturally evolved. Most of what we talked about (by my choice) dealt with data management, business intelligence, and the overlap between the two.
It is now reasonable to say that Workday’s servers fall into at least seven tiers, although we talked mainly about five that work together as a kind of giant app/database server amalgamation. The three that do noteworthy data management can be described as:
- In-memory objects and transactions. This is similar to what Workday had before.
- Persistent MySQL. Part of this is similar to what Workday had before. In addition, Workday is now storing certain data in tables in the ordinary relational way.
- In-memory caching and indexing. This has three aspects:
- Indexes for the ordinary relational tables, organized in interesting ways.
- Indexes for Workday’s search-box navigation (as per my original Workday technical post, you can search across objects, task-names, etc.).
- Compressed copies of the Java objects, used to instantiate other servers as needed. The most obvious uses of this are:
- Recovery for the object/transaction tier.
- Launch for the elastic compute tier. (Described below.)
Two other Workday server tiers may be described as: Read more
The news in the latter is that BEA has admitted it.
Note: Of course, the original joke is so old as to be variously attributed to all of George Bernard Shaw (most credibly), Winston Churchill, and Oscar Wilde.
After the long Oracle/Peoplesoft drama, I don’t see any likely way the Oracle bid for BEA will end with anything other than a rather rapid acquisition of BEA, probably by Oracle.
But for now it’s not a done deal, as BEA is quite reasonably still haggling about price.
Jeff Nolan has a great post on the Oracle/BEA deal. Yeah, he still has some of his old SAP good/Oracle evil reflexes, but he can be forgiven those and the tinfoilhattishness associated with them. His analysis of sellers’ and buyers’ deal habits is revealing and sound. Ditto the start of his remarks on Oracle product delays and internal politics, and SAP/Oracle competition. Even better, nothing in his analysis seems to disagree with mine.
What Oracle now needs to do is make Oracle Application Server be a seamless “upgrade” from Weblogic. Then they can integrate in whatever kitchen-sink stuff they want from Oracle data caching (already there), app and/or dev tool run times, TimesTen, Tangosol, and so on, creating an app server stack that’s a worthy counterpart to the Oracle database in how it meets high-end OLTP needs. Meanwhile, Weblogic should remain as a not-bloated app-server-for-the-rest-of-us. Read more
Back in December, 2002, I wrote up the rationale for an Oracle acquisition of BEA. The deal finally seems like it may be happening. Oddly, when I proposed it then, I was accused by Oracle’s analyst relations department of being “unprofessional” for having the temerity to suggest it. And while the specific individual who threw that tantrum is long gone, I haven’t talked all that much with Oracle’s core server groups since … but I digress.
Actually, the logic of an Oracle/BEA deal now isn’t much different from what it was way back then. One exception is that in the intervening half-decade Oracle has acquired a formidable amount of experience in integrating large and/or technically overlapping acquisitions. Technically, however, the story remains pretty much the same. Oracle’s app server and BEA Weblogic do pretty similar things, more or less compliant to standards, only with different add-on functionality. And BEA’s most important add-ons are in an area — integration with outside applications — where Oracle has long needed to improve.