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The Future of Terracotta after Its Acquisition by Software AG

by Jeevak Kasarkod on Jun 03, 2011 |

On May 23, Software AG acquired Terracotta for an undisclosed amount. Early in the day on May 23, Ari Zilka, CEO of Terracotta sent a note to all Terracotta community members outlining the future for users and Java in general. InfoQ had the privilege to speak to Ari Zilka in greater detail regarding these changes and what the developer community can expect in the near future.

InfoQ: Software AG is not the first acquirer that would come to mind when thinking about Terracotta, why this marriage in particular?

When Software AG and Terracotta first started talking, marriage was not the goal. Software AG was talking to us about a next-generation cache and clustering solution for WebMethods that they could use in other products as well. In talking to each other, it quickly became clear we are on the same mission: to deliver a next-generation elastic platform which becomes the de facto place for enterprise apps to run. We are not talking public or private cloud. We are not talking caching or message-oriented architecture. We are not talking service orientation or NoSQL. We are talking about it all; the whole ball of wax.
Software AG saw in Terracotta huge potential to build a cloud-enabled platform. Software AG also saw the value of open source--a community of users greater in number and emotional commitment than most enterprise software companies enjoy. To have a conversation with this large an audience is invaluable in helping us get where we need to go as a joint team.  We saw the unique opportunity to join forces with a company large enough to deliver the dream platform to market that simultaneously valued our role in that platform. It’s ideal for both companies’ customers and us.


InfoQ: What is your new role and set of responsibilities at Software AG?

I am now CTO, Terracotta at Software AG.  My responsibilities are:
1.    Continue building Terracotta’s existing line of business as well as invest more into open source Ehcache and Quartz
2.    Support integration of Ehcache, Quartz, BigMemory and Terracotta Server Arrays into Software AG’s existing product line
3.    Participate as a member of a larger group designing and implementing the next generation in cloud platform


InfoQ: One of the concerns on various blogs has been Software AG's engagement with the developer community. Can we expect changes?

Yes, you can expect changes—positive changes. You can expect more engagement than you have seen to date from Terracotta. While we pride ourselves on how seriously we take our commitment to open source and how much value we provide in the open source projects, I think we now have a larger charter. We need to spend more time with the community, talking about this new cloud platform and where to take Java through standards such as JSR107. Greg Luck has been very busy laying out a roadmap for data management in the Java platform alongside other vendors helping to drive a vendor-neutral agenda. I think you can think of us as doubling down on open source, no question about it.
Our goal is to deliver petabyte-scale solutions to our customers. And our goal is to shepherd the community through defining some new, more modern standards in data management.


InfoQ: Any thoughts to share around potential open PaaS offerings in the near future? 

We are working on our integrated technology roadmap and will be sharing more information in a few weeks at ProcessWorld Orlando, June 27-29. Stay tuned!


InfoQ: What are potential integrations with the existing Webmethods BPMS and SOA stack in particular and other products such as ARIS, Natural and Adabas that the community can expect?

In the short-term, the idea is to integrate Terracotta as quickly as possible into Software AG’s existing platform.
We will be able to promise specifics very shortly. For now, I am very happy to see a huge amount of data kept in-memory in Software AG’s existing products. Software AG has been using Ehcache for years. We therefore see lots of promise for BigMemory and Terracotta Server Arrays to be snapped in to WebMethods Integration Server, to Centrasite, ARIS and more as soon as is feasible. These products, like any other product written in Java, will enjoy tuning-free deployment and the ability to cache entire databases in-memory at microsecond latency.


InfoQ: Over the last year SAP has been promoting their in-memory computing platform HANA and last week they announced the HANA AppCloud. Any comparisons that you want to make and share with the InfoQ readers?

The fact that SAP is also investing in the in-memory cloud space validates the huge potential and customer demand for this type of solution.

 

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