Distributed Java Application Development – Part 4

In this article we will explore the distributed caching capability which is required to build Application-Level Server-cluster-aware applications.

Clustered Server

Fig A. Clustered Application

Our sample clustered application  above [Fig. A] likely to encounter major scalability issues as we try to scale and put more load on application. Scalability bottlenecks mostly occurs in database which are used as data store. Normally databases do not scale very well.

Caching is a well-known concept used software worlds to eliminate the database scalability
bottlenecks. Traditionally, caching was a stand-alone mechanism, but that has been evolved
to distributed caching for scalabilty and availability reasons. Distributed caching is a form of caching that allows the cache to span multiple servers so that it can grow in size. Distributed caching comes in various flavors like Replicated Caching , Cache Grid etc.. [Fig. B, C]

Cache Evolution

Fig  B. Cache Evolution (Source: planet.jboss)

Distributed Caching (Source: planet.jboss)

Fig. C Distributed Caching (Source: planet.jboss)


More details about Distributed Caching can be found at

Fig. D shows our sample clustered application with distributed cache. This caching can be used for variety of application specific caches like data, state, configuration caches etc.. These caches are available to all the servers available in the application cluster.  A good  distributed caching solution will help us to build  a Application-Level Server-cluster-aware application.

Application Clustering with  Caching

Fig D. Application Clustering with  Distributed Cache

Some of the available caching tools are


Ehcache is one of the leading java based open-source cache solution.
Ehcache supports basic replication caching.

Terracotta provides leading in-memory data management and Big Data solutions for the enterprise, including BigMemory, Universal Messaging, and more.Terracotta offers commercial distributed cache solutions under the brand name of BigMemoryGO and BigMemoryMax.

Infinipan/JBOSS Data Grid:

Infinispan is an extremely scalable, highly available key/value data store
and data grid platform. It is 100% open source, and written in Java.
It is often used as a distributed cache, but also as a NoSQL key/value store or object database. JBOSS Data Grid is a licenced version with suppoert from Redhat.

Hazelcast is an in-memory Open Source data grid based on Java.

NoSQL Databases:

Many NoSQL database technologies have excellent integrated caching capabilities,
keeping frequently-used data in system memory as much as possible and removing the need for a separate caching layer that must be maintained.

Grid Gain

Next article we will explore  the remaining capabilities/supports required to build Application-Level Server-cluster-aware applications.

This entry was posted in Application Clustering, Distributed Systems, java and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s