Software AG, the German software vendor with focus on business users, today announced the acquisition of Terracotta, the company behind distributed Java cache called Ehcache, signaling their intention for a serious cloud play. The details of the deal are unknown but it is a smart move by Software AG because Terrecotta has great expertise in greatly enhancing Java apps in the cloud and helping scale the data to match the scalability offered by the cloud. This not only gives some serious footing for Software AG in the cloud market but also puts them at the center of the emerging platform services market segment.
Huh, Is Software AG doing cloud?
The name Software AG is not a household name among the clouderati and they are focussed on business analysts offering visibility into business processes. Their core expertise lies in Business Process Analysis, Business Process Management and Enterprise Integration. However, in March of this year, they announced their comprehensive cloud solution called Software AG Cloud Ready, which includes process design, modeling, management, SOA and cloud integrations. In short, they brought their key offerings like webMethods and ARIS to run on the cloud. This announcement brought IT and business together resulting in a more agile and collaborative environment. Cutting through all the marketing speak, we can see that this Software AG strategy brought webMethods and ARIS to Amazon and VMware cloud, offered support for hybrid deployments and, also, offered a platform for governance and integration between On-Premise and SaaS offerings.
Terracotta? Is it some ancient Indian temple?
The term Terracotta sounds similar to ancient Indian artifacts but they are one of the hot players offering in-memory technology for high performance applications and cloud scaling. They own lot of open source assets including the distributed caching for enterprise Java, Ehcache, which is used by more than 1 Million developers. Along with Ehcache, they also have BigMemory, a solution for garbage collection in Java applications and Quartz Scheduler that can be used with enterprise Java apps for reliable job execution.
How does it fit into Software AG’s cloud plans?
The CTO of Terracotta, Ari Zilka, wrote a blog post explaining where they go from here. He has highlighted how Terracotta’s products can integrate with Software AG’s solutions. However, I am interested in this news because it fits neatly into one of my pet themes, PaaS is the future of Cloud Services. Even though everyone was convinced that PaaS part of the stack is where the action is going to be in the future, many were reluctant to jump in due to lock-in concerns associated with the pure play PaaS like Google App Engine, Heroku, etc.. This lead to the emergence of new breed of PaaS players like Cumulogic, Cloud Foundry, CloudBees, etc. offering PaaS solutions on top of federated clouds and Amazon Elastic Beanstack, Openshift, etc. who offer a neat way to package applications for cloud scale.
Software AG could put this acquisition towards a more open PaaS play and this was evident in the blog post of Mr. Zilka.
Call it a stack, a platform, a service, or whatever you like. But rest assured, the enterprise application development community – whether you work in Java, .Net, or C++ – will soon have a powerful and exciting new option for building applications in the cloud. This new option will include the most scalable, widely used in-memory data store on the market today, Ehcache with BigMemory coupled to Terracotta Server Arrays. And it will be standards-based and open, to work with most application servers, development frameworks, and data stores. In fact, we plan to make it the most open platform on the market, with interoperability as a core value proposition.
Early in the game, developers were attracted towards Heroku kind of PaaS solutions which put developers at ease by abstracting the complexity underneath. However, the lock-in concerns drove enterprise developers to Open PaaS with companies like VMware, RedHat and many other startups. I would say this acquisition puts Software AG also in a serious enterprise PaaS play. The company has announced that their PaaS offering will roll out in 2012 and it will be interesting to see how they enter the market.
- Software AG Buys Terracotta To Boost In-Memory, Cloud Offerings (techcrunchit.com)
- Software AG chomps Terracotta (go.theregister.com)
- “Big Memory” Company Terracotta Snapped Up by Europe’s Fourth Largest Software Company (readwriteweb.com)
- Software AG buys in-memory specialist Terracotta (infoworld.com)
- Software AG Buys Terracotta to Build New Cloud Platform (gigaom.com)
- Software AG Buys In-memory Specialist Terracotta (pcworld.com)
- BREAKING NEWS: Software AG acquires Terracotta in Java cloud move (ecmplus.wordpress.com)