Software AG buys in-memory specialist Terracotta

Greater demand for scalability made the German software company open its wallet

Software AG has entered into an agreement to acquire Terracotta, which will allow the software vendor to develop more advanced cloud services and increase the performance and scalability of its business software management tools using Terracotta's in-memory technology for Java, it said.

Software AG is acquiring all software rights for "a middle two-digit euro million amount" in cash, the company said. Terracotta is a privately owned company that employs 55 people in San Francisco and New Delhi. The deal is scheduled to close in June 2011.

In-memory computing holds data in RAM instead of reading it from disks, providing a performance boost and better scalability. Terracotta's technology can store up to a terabyte of data, according to Software AG. The first priority is to integrate Terracotta's technology with Software AG's webMethods and the Aris business process management software, said Software AG CTO Wolfram Jost, during a conference call to present the deal. Software AG's goal is to ship a version of Terracotta's in-memory tool in the fourth quarter that can be applied to existing Software AG installations with no additional configuration.

One of the underlying trends that brought about the acquisition is that Software AG's installations are getting bigger. That, in turn, increases scalability and performance demands on its software, which the integration of Terracotta's technology will help meet, according to Jost.

Terracotta's in-memory processing will also play a key role as Software AG rolls out cloud versions of its products. In February, the company said it will release cloud-enabled versions of webMethods and Aris in the third quarter. It plans to let users choose whether to run their Software AG applications in a public cloud or a private one.

Terracotta's cloud tools allow standard enterprise Java applications to be rolled out in cloud environments. The tools manage all the aspects of server creation and software provisioning, according to Terracotta's website. The integration of Terracotta's technology and Software AG's cloud platform will bear fruit next year, Software AG said.

Software AG will also continue to back the open source versions of Terracotta's products, including Ehcache, which is used to improve the performance and scalability of enterprise Java applications. Terracotta's open-source projects will continue as planned or faster, Terracotta's founder and CTO Ari Zilka wrote in a blog post on Sunday.

This is a great time for Java, according to Zilka. Together, Software AG and Terracotta intend to take "your app from local-only simple caching, to distributed in-memory solutions, and all the way to datacenter-wide or cloud-scale deployments," he wrote.

Going forward, Terracotta's commercial products will still also be sold separately, according to Software AG.

Software AG isn't the only company that is pushing in-memory computing. Last week, SAP launched a cloud-based platform forits HANA (High-Performance Analytic Appliance) in-memory computing technology.

Tags business issuesWeb services developmentapplication developmentopen sourceMergers / acquisitionsmiddlewareEnterprise application integrationsoftwaresoftware AGApplication serversDevelopment toolsTerracotta

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Mikael Ricknäs

IDG News Service

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