October 30, 2012, 4:44 PM — Seeking to firm its position in the budding application data management space, VMware today released the latest upgrade to its vFabric GemFire product that enhances administrative controls, provides a new interface and aims to make it easier for applications to handle larger amounts of data faster than previous versions.
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VMware is perhaps best known for its virtualization products, including vSphere and its ESX hypervisor. Dave McJannet, a director at VMware, says the company's cloud application services group is another big focus for VMware. Today's update to vFabric GemFire 7.0 fits in with the company's other application management initiatives, such as Project Serengeti, which focuses on optimizing Hadoop clusters to run on virtualized environments, and around it's vFabric SQLFire product, which is an accompanying tool to vFabric GemFire. "It really underpins the investments VMware is making in data management, which we see as a significant to our business group's focus," McJannet says.
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VMware acquired the GemFire product line from Gemstone Systems in 2010. It's classified as an in-memory data grid (IMDG), which is basically an all software distributed in-memory, NoSQL database management tool. SQLFire is similar but for structured data. The key part about IMDGs is that data is stored in the main memory of one or multiple computers on a network. "This is all about how to get data in and out of apps quickly," McJannet says. "It's very good at processing data quickly."
Getting lots of data quickly is exactly what big data analytics apps need, as well as apps that store large amounts of transient data that may be latency-sensitive. Credit card processing apps use IMDGs, as do e-commerce apps to store users' "shopping cart" information. It's also used in online gaming, trading, banking, fraud detection and "other applications with demanding performance and scalability requirements," says Gartner VP Massimo Pezzini. It could grow from a $260 million market to reach $1 billion by 2016/2017, he predicts.