I find GigaSpaces one of the more interesting middleware plays out there, with a unique "in memory" scaling model, and support for a wide variety of standard Java implementations. Today (on a Saturday?...really?...) GigaSpaces announces availability of their core product, Gigaspaces Application Server, on EC2.
Why is this interesting? Because you can also get Gigaspaces for your own data center--private cloud or not. And, according to Dekel's post linked above, they are actively pursuing similar stories for a variety of other vendors:
"This framework is designed specifically for cloud portability. EC2 is only the exciting beginning and expect CohesiveFT, Flexiscale, GoGrid, Joyent, RightScale and more to follow soon."So, while there is (I would assume) some risk of coupling yourself to Gigaspaces when you write and deploy an application on the platform, in terms of infrastructure, on the other hand you can (or soon can) port away.
I haven't used GigaSpaces yet, but I would love to see many more application servers take this route, as well as introduce related development tool images that can be easily replicated to private servers. This makes the Google AppEngine story a little less unique, as anyone can get a development platform that scales (if it done right), without betting the farm on one company's compute capacity. I would especially like to see the open source vendors (ahem) concentrate on this for the coming year.
I'd love to hear from any of the private beta folks that have something interesting to say. Are you porting an existing GigaSpaces app to EC2? Are you porting an existing Java application to GigaSpaces and EC2? What are the perceived benefits of using EC2 instead of your own infrastructure at this point? How are you managing the deployment and monitoring of your applications in EC2?
I wish all the best to Geva Perry, Dekel and the rest of the GigaSpaces team.