Feeds

xkoto powers up DB2

GRIDIRON enters the game

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

Comment xkoto is a relatively new company - it only came to market late last year — however, it has some neat technology. The company's product, called GRIDIRON, provides dynamic load balancing for DB2 in transaction processing environments.

In particular, what GRIDIRON allows you to do is to build out clustered DB2 environments horizontally, across low-cost Linux (Red Hat and SUSE) boxes, as opposed to having to scale upwards in a more vertical fashion. In other words, it provides high availability, scalability and performance capabilities for DB2 environments that are not dissimilar to Real Application Clusters (RAC) for Oracle.

Now, xkoto is not the first vendor into this market. There are also products from Avokia, Continuent and Resonate. However, there are a number of ways in which these differ from GRIDIRON. For example, Continuent is focused on open source database environments, Avokia has a master-slave architecture while xkoto is peer-to-peer, and other vendors may have consistency issues under certain circumstances whereas xkoto guarantees 100 per cent consistency.

The way that GRIDIRON works is that when a create, update or delete request comes into the system then it is despatched to all of the nodes in the cluster and each starts processing that transaction. The first one that finishes returns the results to the requesting application (so that you get the fastest possible response) while the other nodes conclude in their own time to ensure consistency. In other words, this is an asynchronous load balancing capability. If one node fails to commit, then that node is evicted from the cluster and a queue is established of transactions that need to be processed by the failed node once it comes back online. However, the queue will have a user-defined capacity and, if that is exceeded, then restoring the failed node will require conventional back-up procedures. For this reason, xkoto always recommends at least three nodes in a cluster: then if one fails and needs to be restored and synchronised one of the working nodes can be designated for that task.

Read requests are treated differently: GRIDIRON maintains knowledge of the table states on each node and, when a query comes in it is despatched to the node that can best execute that read. Note that clusters do not have to be co-located and disaster recovery (DR) systems can even be included within a cluster, though if the network connection is relatively slow, the DR system can be excluded from read requests.

GRIDIRON physically resides between the application server and the database and it parses all incoming transactions before (in the case of reads) routing them to the relevant node. This, as you may imagine, imposes an overhead, typically of around 15 per cent. In other words, in a three node system performance should be approximately 2.7 (less .15 for each node after the first) times the performance of a single node implementation.

This technology has some significant advantages when compared to both native DB2 and Oracle RAC. For example, it not only provides load balancing but also replication (which would require a separate product in the case of IBM) and native capabilities for both high availability and disaster recovery.

Finally, it is important to note that xkoto is highly competitive in commercial terms: it charges at a flat rate per cluster, which should compare favourably with the CPU-based pricing model adopted by most other vendors.

Put this all together and GRIDIRON is a tool worth investigating. It should help existing DB2 installations. It should also help IBM to compete with Oracle RAC.

Copyright © 2006, IT-Analysis.com

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
UNIX greybeards threaten Debian fork over systemd plan
'Veteran Unix Admins' fear desktop emphasis is betraying open source
Netscape Navigator - the browser that started it all - turns 20
It was 20 years ago today, Marc Andreeesen taught the band to play
Redmond top man Satya Nadella: 'Microsoft LOVES Linux'
Open-source 'love' fairly runneth over at cloud event
Return of the Jedi – Apache reclaims web server crown
.london, .hamburg and .公司 - that's .com in Chinese - storm the web server charts
Chrome 38's new HTML tag support makes fatties FIT and SKINNIER
First browser to protect networks' bandwith using official spec
Admins! Never mind POODLE, there're NEW OpenSSL bugs to splat
Four new patches for open-source crypto libraries
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.