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Terracotta Acquires Quartz Job Scheduler

Java clustering infrastructure provider Terracotta has acquired the popular Quartz open-source job-scheduling software, filling a gap in its ability to support scaleout in virtualized environments.

Quartz is one of the IT industry's most widely deployed, open-source job-scheduling services. Designed to work within or alongside just about any Java EE or Java SE application, it has been deployed in thousands of enterprise production environments (Cisco Systems and Adobe, for example), and companies from Red Hat to SpringSource have built it into their products.

"Essentially, Quartz lets you define jobs that your application needs to have running at certain time or intervals," said James House, who founded the Quartz project nearly 10 years ago. "It can be used to create simple or complex schedules for executing tens, hundreds or even tens-of-thousands of jobs. And it is embeddable within any Java application."

"Quartz is in everything," said Steve Harris, Terracotta's director of engineering. "There's really only one job-scheduler in Java, and Quartz is it."

The San Francisco based company is acquiring Quartz, Harris said, because it's an ideal technology for creating both simple and complex schedules that trigger application tasks. The idea is to use the scheduler to enable users of the Terracotta platform to easily scale applications in large virtualized environments and private clouds, and to distribute what the company describes as "the massive workloads characteristic of these environments."

Terracotta's CEO, Amit Pandey, said in a statement that the acquisition will position his company to deal with the accelerating trend toward scaleout in virtualized environments. The acquisition, he said, "perfectly positions us to solve this problem for our users."

Terracotta plans to extend Quartz' APIs to include node-aware scheduling features aimed at making the scaling-out process much simpler in virtualized environments.

"We've seen a tremendous amount of uptake in the last three years in virtualization use," said Dana Gardner, principal analyst at Interarbor Solutions. "But now we're at the point where that virtualization needs to scale, and organizations need to manage virtualization efforts in which they've engaged in order to get that higher level of efficiency. Because some organizations can actually reach a point where the virtualization will work against them. The complexity and inability to manage it at an architectural level, rather than at a server-stack level can backfire and reduce their return on investment."

Gardner sees Quartz and Terracotta as complementary technologies. "Virtualized clusters are no different from physical clusters," he said. "You have to manage them. You want them to be something you can spin up quickly and increase your general utilization as a result. So clustering is really a stepping stone toward virtualization. They are quite complementary. For Terracotta to want to run the actual jobs at a higher level -- the tasks, the workloads -- that makes a great deal of sense."

House insists that the acquisition will have no immediate impact on the open source Quartz community. Terracotta is, itself, an open source organization, and it plans to maintain Quartz as an open source product under the Apache 2 license.

"In the short term, very little changes," House said. "The source code repository, the build system, and user forum are moving to Terracotta servers, but the source code remains open and everyone is still free to contribute."

"In the long term," he adds, "I expect to see a lot more investment in Quartz, as well as improved features related to clustering that will come to Quartz through Terracotta."

About the Author

John K. Waters is a freelance author and journalist based in Silicon Valley. His latest book is The Everything Guide to Social Media. Follow John on Twitter, read his blog on ADTmag.com, check out his author page on Amazon, or e-mail him at john@watersworks.com.


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