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GemStone in Media

GemStone in Media


A major provider of news stories and media is looking to improve their end-user experience for both clients and field editorial staff by adding GemFire distributed caching to their core architecture.

Editorial staff are spread out all over the world. Some are in very remote locations with low bandwidth connectivity or even “occasional” connectivity. They do not have a simple streamlined mechanism for collaborating on a story. This problem is further exacerbated by the global nature of news today. Editors in Africa, Asia and America may need to collaborate on the same story, so a global data management solution is called for. Web-based delivery of multi-media news is the most popular form of dissemination. Millions of users around the world now rely on the (((provider)))’s web based access to news articles, photos and videos. With the number of hits growing at a rapid pace, and new markets coming online all the time, this is an area that has requirements for linear, horizontal scalability and global edge-caching of content and metadata.

GemFire is being examined as a core part of their architecture for many parts of this solution.

In the Editorial process: when editors are working on their stories, the drafts of the stories will be stored locally in the GemFire cache, and pushed to one of the three central editorial offices as soon as connectivity and bandwidth permits, to ensure that even in the event of a localized connectivity problem the most complete version of the story is available at the central editorial office. All active editorial data will be propagated to the central editorial site’s disaster-recover data center via GemFire’s fault-tolerant, shared-nothing, asynchronous, store-and-forward gateways. Stories that are to be collaborated on will be made available for collaboration in a special section of the GemFire cache cluster accessible to all editors involved in the collaboration. If those collaborating editors are spread across multiple geographical editorial centers, the story will automatically be propagated between GemFire cache clusters in those sites via the GemFire WAN gateways. Entitlements data associated with the stories will also be propagated between the centers using the GemFire clusters. Meta-data about the stories will be maintained in the GemFire cluster as well, to facilitate finding the correct stories, latest versions, and related information. User preferences will be made available in the GemFire clusters globally so that editors on the move will have a consistent end-user experience wherever they happen to log in from. All session-state will be managed in the GemFire clusters to improve performance and enable better load-balancing at the application-tier

In the Distribution process: Recently accessed stories and metadata will be cached in the GemFire cluster nearest the requestor. This edge caching will reduce wide-area bandwidth requirements, and will reduce the load on the back-end data stores and the networks in the central editorial offices. Certain fast-moving data that is published in an on-going fashion will utilize a hierarchy of GemFire cache clusters to reduce the number of “home-runs” from the central editorial sites, thereby off-loading the burden broader distribution to far-flung regional offices. GemFire will be tightly integrated with an Internet Push technology to enable publication of changing data directly to end-users’ browsers in near-real time. All end-user preferences data will be cached on-demand within the GemFire cluster to improve performance and ensure consistent end-user experience wherever the end-user logs in from. With the combined push and GemFire technologies, end-users will be able to subscribe for updates to individual stories or other topics of interest, and will receive near-real-time updates into their browsers. All session-state will be managed in the GemFire clusters to improve performance and enable better load balancing at the web-tier. High Availability for all of this data will be provided by the GemFire Clusters in the various sites. Business Continuity for Disaster Recovery will be provided by the GemFire Clusters in the primary and DR data centers.

The combination of GemFire and push technologies will greatly improve overall performance and end-user experience for both producers and consumers of the news product. And in the process, this technology pairing simplify the architecture for the entire processing stream for this huge multi-media news organization