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Sonic’s JMS pack goes for continuous availability

When the founders of Sonic Software Corp. got their hands on the Java Message Service (JMS) specification in 1999, they saw an opportunity to steal a march on new application server vendors that would sooner or later find a need for standard messaging middleware.

The company is still in the lead, contends Sonic CTO Gordon Van Huizen, even as IBM, BEA and Oracle continue to build up their JMS offerings.

He points to this week’s release of SonicMQ 6.0 as a significant jump for JMS apps. The new software supports continuous availability, said Van Huizen, which is increasingly needed by builders of mission-critical and real-time systems.

This high-availability software solution may mark the beginning of a new architectural era for Java messaging systems. Failover, mirroring and the like have been used in enterprises, but Sonic is claiming hot failover with stateful replication in 7 seconds to 15 seconds, without the need for unique hardware.

“The classic approach is to use some combination of software and HA [high-availability] frameworks, with OS-level clustering and redundant disk arrays,” said Van Huizen.

This is best described as “warm standby,” he said. “A delay can be 15 minutes or more as a secondary broker is recovering from a shared log,” he said. In the Sonic scenario, real-time replication of data is provided between primary and secondary brokers over dedicated networks.

Sonic will press to exploit any lead in high-availability messaging. It must, as other vendors make moves in this arena. For example, just this week, Java app server leader BEA Systems Inc. paired with Veritas Software Corp. to offer a utility computing platform that combines the BEA WebLogic and Tuxedo servers with Veritas J2EE app performance management software, provisioning software and a cluster server solution for high availability.

About the Author

Jack Vaughan is former Editor-at-Large at Application Development Trends magazine.

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