Tuesday, September 15, 2009

GigaSpaces XAP 7.0.1 Is Out!

I’m happy to announce that today we’ve released our latest version, XAP 7.0.1. I would like to share with you a few details about it. Version 7.0.1 is a service pack release on top of version 7.0.0 and as such is backwards compatible with it. In addition to a number of bug fixes on top of 7.0.0, It includes some very interesting features and improvements around 3 main areas: Enterprise grade security, improved usability and APIs and better troubleshooting and monitoring capabilities. In addition to that, we’ve also worked on further optimizing the performance of our data grid implementation. Here’s a short description of the release highlights:

  • Security: 7.0.1 introduces a revamped security implementation for the best possible data grid security. This implementation was specifically designed to support enterprise and cloud data grid scenarios in which the data grid is accessed by multiple applications and serves as a central data repository. In terms of relevance to the cloud, it brings a new level of data security which enables you to safely store data in cloud environments without having to worry about security hazard related to storing your data off premises. In addition to transport level security for all data grid related communication (based on SSL), it includes support for users and roles, with a comprehensive permissions system to enforce authorization for every operation, starting from the management of the GigaSpaces infrastructure, processing units and space (data grid) instances and ending with content based authorization to access the data grid contents and operate on it. The new security implementation is fully supported by the various management interfaces (GUI, CLI and administration API) and also provides open APIs for integration with 3rd party user registries. For more details please refer to this page. We will also dedicate a separate blog post to this important aspect of the XAP 7.0.1.

  • API and Usability:
    • All new space based remoting implementation for XAP.NET. Space based remoting has been around since version 6.0 in XAP for Java and extends the Spring remoting stack to provide a wealth of benefits in comparison to traditional remoting implementations, such as: high availability of exposed services, transparent client side failover, location transparency, load balancing across services in the cluster, map/reduce support and asynchronous invocation (please refer to “The Service Virtualization Framework” white paper in our whitepapers section if you’d like to further learn about the benefits of space based remoting). As of version 7.0.1, it is also available for our XAP.NET users with all the goodies which are part of the Java implementation. The documentation of this feature can be found here.
    • XAP.NET built processing unit container. In order to further ease and simplify the processing unit development and deployment experience in XAP.NET, we've implemented the Basic Processing Unit Container, which is a smart built in implementation of the processing unit container interface. This container automatically starts and manages GigaSpaces related components for you (such as space instances, event containers and remote service endpoints), relieving you from the need to explicitly manage the life cycle of those components and allowing you to focus on your application’s business logic.
    • Easier cache eviction policy configuration. This is a nice little configuration improvement that makes our users’ life easier when configuring the cache eviction policy. In previous releases, the recommended way to control the eviction policy was by using space properties. In 7.0.1, this has been made much more elegant with native XML namespace and Java code configuration support. Here’s an example of how you would have configured LRU eviction in your pu.xml and in code in 7.0.0 and 7.0.1:
    • Extended Indexing at the property level: Extended indexing allows you to index properties of objects written to the space with a BTree index, thus allowing for range queries (based on the property type’s natural ordering). Prior to 7.0.1, extended indexing was only available at the class level, which means you had to either use the extended index for all the properties of a certain class or for none at all (and make do with basic indexing). In 7.0.1, we’ve enabled extended indexing at the property level, so you can now choose the right indexing scheme for each property. For example, the identifier property of a certain class would typically be indexed with a basic index, which does not have a sense of order between indexed values and is therefore more lightweight and faster than extended indexing. For another date/time or number property, you would use the extended indexing since if you would like to perform range queries (e.g. all the objects with date property before 1/1/2009). This can be configured via annotations, e.g. @SpaceProperty(index=IndexType.Extended) or via XML, e.g.
      <property name="lastName" index="EXTENDED"/>.

  • Performance improvements for embedded operations. As with every release, we have dedicated quite a lot of time to further optimize areas which we knew could be improved. In this release we have focused on performance of embedded space operations and by optimizing the concurrency of internal thread and object pools we have been able to present improvements of up to 200% for embedded space operations. The following graphs show across-the-board improvements in comparison to 7.0.1 (these were measured with 8 threads concurrently accessing the space). It is important to mention that these improvements were achieved without any sacrifice to the consistency and correctness of the space operations:

  • Better troubleshooting and monitoring:
    • More information in log files: We are continuing to improve the quality and amount of information exposed via our log files. 7.0.0 introduced some major logging improvements (per-pu log messages, improved file naming scheme, time-based rollover policies and more). In 7.0.1 we’ve added some more helpful information to help you tune and troubleshoot the system. The first one is GC awareness. You can define a GC pause upper threshold (10 seconds by default). In case the garbage collection process takes longer, the system will log this for future reference. In addition, we’ve added logging for the recovery process (which occurs when starting a backup space instance and recovering the data from the primary) so you can now tell exactly what happened during the process and how long it took
    • Replication statistics in administration API. This is an important addition to the administration API which enables you to monitor the rate at which objects are replicated and whether or not there’s an issue with the replication mechanism. For more details refer to the org.openspaces.admin.space.SpaceInstanceStatistics interface(specifically, the getReplicationStatistics() method).

As always, we would be happy to hear your feedback on the new release (you can send it directly to feedback7.0 at gigaspaces dot com). For the complete release content please consult to the official 7.0.x release notes (refer to the notes relevant for 7.0.1).