I was very pleased to read an email from Leonardo, who was the winner of the OpenSpaces Developer Challenge (a worldwide programming contest using the Gigaspaces application server which was held last year), saying that he is now a finalist in the Cisco developer contest. Here's a bit about him and the application he submitted:
Leonardo worked for several ISPs in various roles as network administrator and java programmer for IT consulting firms, and finally as software architect in high-performance Java EE based projects. He is passionate about parallel programming, distributed computing and more recently semantic web and its applications on software engineering.
Leonardo was the winner of the OpenSpaces Developer Challenge. He enjoys reading about various technologies in the field of computer science. When he is not developing code, he prefers to spend time with family and friends, walk in the park, or watch a movie.
About the application
Resource Management Platform is a proposal to develop an event based platform that leverages AXP, Services Gateway Initiative (OSGI), Jini and JavaSpaces technologies to enable deployment of IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) applications based on Session Initiation Protocol (SIP); more specifically, the Call Section Control Function (CSCF) components. It will have admission control mechanisms to manage Call processing.
This solution improves infrastructure manageability for large scale IMS applications. Such a platform will potentially be useful to enable deployment of high-performance, network-based SaaS (Software as a Service) or Cloud Computing solutions at the network edge by leveraging AXP.
You can find the full details about his project here.
Leonardo's project is interesting, because it shows how you can use Space Based Architecture (SBA) for implementing a scalable Telco application and offer it as SaaS application on the cloud.
Interestingly enough, I got another email the week before from Amin Abbaspour, who presented another case study illustrating how you can build a scalable SMS service using SBA, as shown in this diagram:
What the two projects have in common, from an architecture perspective, is that they both represent a highly scalable Event Driven design. The unique thing about Event Driven applications is that they require a combination of messaging, data and service interaction that needs to be tightly orchestrated to meet high performance/low-latency requirements without compromising on consistency, ordering (FIFO) and reliability. This combination of requirements represent one of the hardest challenges in building scalable architectures. Trying to meet this type of challenge in the traditional way by integrating messaging system for event delivery , database or simple caching (like Memcached or TC) for data and a traditional application server for business logic is going to lead to fairly complex architecture. Trying to reach linear scalability and keeping the latency low with so many moving parts is close to impossible. This is what makes SBA such a good fit. The main difference about SBA is that it recognizes there is strong dependency between messaging, data and business logic. The key is to have one shared clustering, high availability and scalability for all three components of the architecture. This makes it possible to reduce the number of moving parts and network hops associated with each business transaction, thereby increasing reliability.
On a personal level, I was very pleased to see that the software we are developing is helping people like Leonardo and Amin to build their own carrier and put themselves in a unique spot in highly competitive market.
Good luck Leonardo and Amin!