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More ScaleArc Magic – Speeding up Apps with Wrapped Transactions

Blog image A lot of applications are coded in a way that inhibits performance when you pair them with modern, scaled out databases. What’s the problem? It’s called wrapped transactions. And ScaleArc just solved this problem for apps on SQL Server.

The term “wrapped transactions” means every database query looks like a write. What apps use wrapped transaction? eCommerce apps like Hybris, apps written in frameworks such as Hibernate or Spring, and even new cloud-native development platforms like Pivotal Cloud Foundry. In other words, lots of business-critical apps use wrapped transactions.

The root of the problem is that if every query is a write, all the traffic from that application has to go to the primary server in a database cluster. So when you invest in that modern database, with readable secondary servers, you get nothing back from your investment because no traffic will go to any of the servers except the primary. You wasted a bunch of money, and your app’s going to run slowly.

The ScaleArc innovation lies in our ability to “see inside” transactions, distinguish reads and writes, and load balance the traffic. So if a series of reads come through in a wrapped transaction, ScaleArc will perform automatic read/write split and send reads to the readable secondaries. The ScaleArc software will also load balance those reads, sending traffic to the fastest performing server so your application delivers the highest possible performance.

Sometimes in wrapped transactions, writes are immediately followed by reads. To ensure data integrity, as soon as the ScaleArc software sees a write, it sends that query and all subsequent queries for the rest of the transaction to the primary server. That way, if the read needs to pull from the data just added or changed with the write, the read will be accurate.

This ScaleArc magic is translating into 2x to 8x increases in application performance for our customers. And this feature will also help customers move more applications into the cloud. In the cloud, every app has to talk to multiple database servers, and ScaleArc’s read/write split makes your apps automatically cloud ready.

We shared these results with David Klee, founder of Heraflux and a Microsoft Data Platform MVP. His company spends a lot of time helping customers optimize app performance. And he’s seen plenty of examples where they get stuck – they can’t touch the code because it’s off-the-shelf software, or wrapped transactions mean modern databases can’t help.

He shared his formal views on our new capabilities in our press release announcing the feature. His more candid take: “Wow – that’s really cool. And that’s going to help a LOT of companies.”

We think he’s right, and we’re excited to bring our ScaleArc magic to an even broader set of applications!

Read the full press release.

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