GigaSpaces is the place; distributed, shared memory on tap
- By Jack Vaughan
[FEBRUARY 25, 2003/ADT'S PROGRAMMERS REPORT] -Intel's massive booth on the Intel Developer Forum conference exhibition
floor featured several Centrino-based notebooks. An Intel spokesperson at the
booth told Programmers Report that the new notebooks would not hit the market
with the typically high, first-release prices of machines with the very latest
Intel processors, but will likely sell for around $1,500.
Israel-based GigaSpaces has begun to carve out an interesting niche in recent
years as perhaps the prime commercializer of tuple space distributed computing
solutions. Last fall, the company partnered with Codemesh to provide a C++
toolkit to help C++ clients read and write to the globally distributed memory
space designed by GigaSpaces.
With a whole slew of Web services, cell phone services and orchestrated
wireless applications under development worldwide, ''there has to be something
different both in our approach to memory and manner of communications,'' said
Nethanel Shalom, CTO, GigaSpaces, speaking from the company's New York
The tuple approach -- first outlined in David Gelernter's 1982 Linda
programming language -- allows you to create many active programs distributed
over physically dispersed machines, unaware of each other's existence but still
able to communicate. They do this by communicating to each other by releasing
data (a tuple) into tuple space.
Sun, in its Jini and JavaSpaces programs, and IBM, with its prototype TSpace
software demo, have also begun to mine the nascent field. In fact, GigaSpaces is
a commercial implementation of Sun's JavaSpaces.
Now the company is going about adding useful traits to what still may be seen
by some as a fairly raw technology. GigaSpaces recently added authentication,
authorization and SSL encryption to Version 2.1 of the platform.
Rami Rinot, COO at GigaSpaces, told Programmers Report that the company's
work grew out of an initial effort to build a reverse-bidding system for the
Israeli Yellow Pages using Sun's JavaSpaces. During the course of building a
proof-of-concept system, GigaSpaces came upon a useful means of implementing the
distributed memory approach.
''Tuple space is a useful, simplified way to describe data structure or
network structure. Data can move from one place to another without requiring
net-specific implementations,'' said GigaSpaces' Shalom. The company's motto is
''The Space is the Network.''
Related stories and Links:
''Software innovator David Gelernter says the
desktop is obsolete'' by Jack Vaughan, http://www.adtmag.com/article.asp?id=7187
''Analysis: From blue suits to space suits'' By Jack Vaughan [within the story
''Is openness enough for IBM?''], http://www.adtmag.com/article.asp?id=5028
GigaSpaces Web site: http://www.gigaspaces.com
For other Programmers Report articles, please go to http://www.adtmag.com/article.asp?id=6265
Jack Vaughan is former Editor-at-Large at Application Development Trends magazine.