Tuesday, 2 February 2010

IBM WebSphere eXtreme Scale 6 by Anthony Chaves, my closing comments

As per my previous posts here and here,  I completed this book a few days ago, and would summarise my review as follows. This is an excellent book that really digs into the depths of In-Memory Data Grids (IMDGs), with specific focus on the WebSphere product.

The book is broken down into discrete and logical chapters: -

Chapter 1 What is a Data Grid

A good overview of the overall Data Grid approach, with an explanation of the architecture, and its benefits when compared to relational databases and In-Memory Data Bases (IMDBs).

Chapter 2 The ObjectMap API

A deep dive into the core API behind the IMDG concept, with relevant Java code samples

Chapter 3 Entities and Queries

Using the SQL-like Query API to interact with the Data Grid

Chapter 4 Database Integration

Comparing the Data Grid with relational databases, including the costs/benefits e.g. latency of memory access vs. disk access etc.

Chapter 5 Handling Increased Load

How an IMDG can scale up and out

Chapter 6 Keeping Data Available

How availability non-functional requirements can be met with replication

Chapter 7 The DataGrid API

How IMDG breaks the traditional mould of bringing the data to the application, by moving application code back out into the grid, in a manner similar to, but not the same as SQL Stored Procedures

Chapter 8 Data Grid Patterns

How Extreme Transaction Processing (XTP) requirements can be met using the IMDG concept

Chapter 9 Spring Integration

Using the Spring framework to interact with the IMDG, where Javabeans etc. are instantiated by Spring rather than within the Java code itself

Chapter 10 Putting It All Together

Taking a "real world" example application for bookmark storage, management and access, and moving it from a somewhat "kludged" pattern-light model to something a lot more formalised and structured

As per my previous comments, as one might expect, the book is heavy on the Java code, and is likely to be of more use to an enterprise application developer, especially one working with highly-performance transaction/compute-intensive data models, *BUT* the overall architecture, benefits and implementation best practices are clearly established within the book. As an infrastructure architect, I've learnt some important lessons that, although not specifically relevant to the projects on which I'm working right now, are of value now, and almost certainly, in the future.

In conclusion, I'd strongly recommend this book to anyone wishing to explore In-Memory Data Grids, whether they intend to utilise the WebSphere eXtreme Scale platform or not.

Mr Chaves, I thank you :-)

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