Terracotta cracks Oracle pricing

An antidote to through-the-roof pricing


A tiny open source company is lining up to become the latest roadblock to database vendors happily charging enterprises fat software licenses.

High-availability specialist Terracotta is today expected to significantly expand the addressable market for its low-priced software appliance with support for IBM's WebSphere, WebSphere Community Edition and Java Development Kit (JDK). Terracotta will support session replication, virtual heaps and shared POJOs.

Also being added is support for Hibernate's object relational mapping for second-level caching and clustering of Hibernate-generated POJOs. Terracotta is also speeding ability to develop with streamlined grouping of read/write locks.

It's IBM's Java application server WebSphere and the Geronimo-based WebSphere Community Edition, purchased with open source start-up Gluecode in 2005, though, that are the big ones, thanks to IBM's number-one market share. Terracotta claims WebSphere, which follows support for BEA's WebLogic, JBoss and Tomcat, will increase its addressable market by up to 30 per cent.

"I can't tell you how many requests we had for this on the IBM JDK," chief executive Amit Pandey - previously a Network Appliance general manager - told The Register. "This lets you build a more scalable, high-availability application without doing the database abuse and custom coding in the application server itself."

That's a potential problem for database vendors like Oracle that advocate a fast database as a means to high availability, using a relational or in-memory system, and charging customers a beefy database license - Oracle Enterprise Edition starts at $40,000 per CPU. Terracotta costs between $4,000 and $10,000 per node per year and claims it can undercut the database approach by up to a fifth.

One customer subscribed to Terracotta for $200,000 rather than pay $1m in combined hardware and Oracle licensing. Four-year-old Terracotta has 20 customers in financial services (naming Goldman Sachs), telecoms and online gaming.

That could explain why Terracotta is adding support for WebSphere.

Terracotta is walking a fine line. On the one hand, it's appealing to application server and application vendors while potentially miffing those whose business relies on selling databases. That's a particular problem in middleware, as often that's one and the same company. Fortunately for Terracotta, IBM's business units - especially Global Services - are particularly adroit are working with software that competes with home-grown products in order to win business and grow IBM's overall revenue.

Formal partnerships with "unnamed" vendors are in the pipeline.

"The WebSphere guys and other application vendors should be pleased because we are enabling them to scale out more easily," Pandey said. "For the database guys - we are improving performance... it will depend on the relationship we strike up with them."

Terracotta's push follows Oracle purchase of in memory database specialist Tangosol. "The issue is Tangosol sits in the application layer and have an API so they end up slowing the performance of the application server layer," Pandey said.

Terracotta follows a growing line up of open source database start-ups that have tried, with varying degrees of success, to also challenge Oracle by undercutting the giant on price. Terracotta therefore promises to not just save customers money on licensing, but to also be faster on performance and simpler for developers to build high availability systems.

Terracotta runs on the JVM and places objects into a Sleepycat-based object relational - not a traditional data store - while Pandey claims the only limit on Terracotta's performance is allocation of memory in the physical server it's using. Terracotta, meanwhile, does not rely on a single vendor's programming API for applications, and instead uses an XML configuration file to allocate objects and data.®


Other stories you might like

  • Suspected phishing email crime boss cuffed in Nigeria
    Interpol, cops swoop with intel from cybersecurity bods

    Interpol and cops in Africa have arrested a Nigerian man suspected of running a multi-continent cybercrime ring that specialized in phishing emails targeting businesses.

    His alleged operation was responsible for so-called business email compromise (BEC), a mix of fraud and social engineering in which staff at targeted companies are hoodwinked into, for example, wiring funds to scammers or sending out sensitive information. This can be done by sending messages that impersonate executives or suppliers, with instructions on where to send payments or data, sometimes by breaking into an employee's work email account to do so.

    The 37-year-old's detention is part of a year-long, counter-BEC initiative code-named Operation Delilah that involved international law enforcement, and started with intelligence from cybersecurity companies Group-IB, Palo Alto Networks Unit 42, and Trend Micro.

    Continue reading
  • Broadcom buying VMware could create an edge infrastructure and IoT empire
    Hypervisor giant too big to be kept ticking over like CA or Symantec. Instead it can wrangle net-connected kit

    Comment Broadcom’s mooted acquisition of VMware looks odd at face value, but if considered as a means to make edge computing and the Internet of Things (IoT) more mature and manageable, and give organizations the tools to drive them, the deal makes rather more sense.

    Edge and IoT are the two coming things in computing and will grow for years, meaning the proposed deal could be very good for VMware’s current customers.

    An Ethernet switch that Broadcom launched this week shows why this is a plausible scenario.

    Continue reading
  • Ex-spymaster and fellow Brexiteers' emails leaked by suspected Russian op
    A 'Very English Coop (sic) d'Etat'

    Emails between leading pro-Brexit figures in the UK have seemingly been stolen and leaked online by what could be a Kremlin cyberespionage team.

    The messages feature conversations between former spymaster Richard Dearlove, who led Britain's foreign intelligence service MI6 from 1999 to 2004; Baroness Gisela Stuart, a member of the House of Lords; and Robert Tombs, an expert of French history at the University of Cambridge, as well as other Brexit supporters. The emails were uploaded to a .co.uk website titled "Very English Coop d'Etat," Reuters first reported this week.

    Dearlove confirmed his ProtonMail account was compromised. "I am well aware of a Russian operation against a Proton account which contained emails to and from me," he said. The Register has asked Baroness Stuart and Tombs as well as ProtonMail for comment. Tombs declined to comment.

    Continue reading
  • As Microsoft's $70b takeover of Activision nears, workers step up their organizing
    This week: Subsidiary's QA staff officially unionize, $18m settlement disputed, and more

    Current and former Activision Blizzard staff are stepping up their organizing and pressure campaigns on execs as the video-game giant tries to close its $68.7bn acquisition by Microsoft.

    Firstly, QA workers at Raven Software – a studio based in Wisconsin that develops the popular first-person shooter series Call of Duty – successfully voted to officially unionize against parent biz Activision. Secondly, a former employee appealed Activision's proposed $18 million settlement with America's Equal Employment Opportunity Commission regarding claims of "sex-based discrimination" and "harassment" of female staff at the corporation. 

    Finally, a group of current and ex-Activision employees have formed a Worker Committee Against Sex and Gender Discrimination to try and improve the company's internal sexual harassment policies. All three events occurred this week, and show how Activision is still grappling with internal revolt as it pushes ahead for Microsoft's takeover. 

    Continue reading
  • Nvidia shares tumble as China lockdown, Russia blamed for dent in outlook
    Sure, stonking server and gaming sales, but hiring and expenses to slow down, too

    Nvidia exceeded market expectations and on Wednesday reported record first-quarter fiscal 2023 revenue of $8.29 billion, an increase of 46 percent from a year ago and eight percent from the previous quarter.

    Nonetheless the GPU goliath's stock slipped by more than nine percent in after-hours trading amid remarks by CFO Colette Kress regarding the business's financial outlook, and plans to slow hiring and limit expenses. Nvidia stock subsequently recovered a little, and was trading down about seven percent at time of publication.

    Kress said non-GAAP operating expenses in the three months to May 1 increased 35 percent from a year ago to $1.6 billion, and were "driven by employee growth, compensation-related costs and engineering development costs."

    Continue reading
  • Millions of people's info stolen from MGM Resorts dumped on Telegram for free
    Meanwhile, Twitter coughs up $150m after using account security contact details for advertising

    Miscreants have dumped on Telegram more than 142 million customer records stolen from MGM Resorts, exposing names, postal and email addresses, phone numbers, and dates of birth for any would-be identity thief.

    The vpnMentor research team stumbled upon the files, which totaled 8.7 GB of data, on the messaging platform earlier this week, and noted that they "assume at least 30 million people had some of their data leaked." MGM Resorts, a hotel and casino chain, did not respond to The Register's request for comment.

    The researchers reckon this information is linked to the theft of millions of guest records, which included the details of Twitter's Jack Dorsey and pop star Justin Bieber, from MGM Resorts in 2019 that was subsequently distributed via underground forums.

    Continue reading
  • DuckDuckGo tries to explain why its browsers won't block some Microsoft web trackers
    Meanwhile, Tails 5.0 users told to stop what they're doing over Firefox flaw

    DuckDuckGo promises privacy to users of its Android, iOS browsers, and macOS browsers – yet it allows certain data to flow from third-party websites to Microsoft-owned services.

    Security researcher Zach Edwards recently conducted an audit of DuckDuckGo's mobile browsers and found that, contrary to expectations, they do not block Meta's Workplace domain, for example, from sending information to Microsoft's Bing and LinkedIn domains.

    Specifically, DuckDuckGo's software didn't stop Microsoft's trackers on the Workplace page from blabbing information about the user to Bing and LinkedIn for tailored advertising purposes. Other trackers, such as Google's, are blocked.

    Continue reading
  • Despite 'key' partnership with AWS, Meta taps up Microsoft Azure for AI work
    Someone got Zuck'd

    Meta’s AI business unit set up shop in Microsoft Azure this week and announced a strategic partnership it says will advance PyTorch development on the public cloud.

    The deal [PDF] will see Mark Zuckerberg’s umbrella company deploy machine-learning workloads on thousands of Nvidia GPUs running in Azure. While a win for Microsoft, the partnership calls in to question just how strong Meta’s commitment to Amazon Web Services (AWS) really is.

    Back in those long-gone days of December, Meta named AWS as its “key long-term strategic cloud provider." As part of that, Meta promised that if it bought any companies that used AWS, it would continue to support their use of Amazon's cloud, rather than force them off into its own private datacenters. The pact also included a vow to expand Meta’s consumption of Amazon’s cloud-based compute, storage, database, and security services.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022