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Implementing a Cluster-Aware Cache Using WebLogic

A lazily reconstructable cache system that notifies cluster members of deletes

ClusterNotifier Implementation (Specific)
Now, let's take a look at the ClusterNotifier class (Listing 2). There's one method of interest:

notify(Command command)

This method is a synchronous call and takes in a command object as input that notifies all members of the cluster.

Internally, this class leverages the multicast facilities of WebLogic to send information across the cluster. WebLogic automatically handles partial fragment loss, resends, etc.

All of the classes in this article must be in the system classpath because the underlying WebLogic implementation is in the system classpath and needs to be able to find the ClusterNotifier class and delegate message class.

Summary
When most people think of a clustered-aware cache, they think of a truly synchronized and replicated coherent cache across the cluster. This model can be implemented for clustered caching, but has several issues such as the preservation of data integrity, transactionality, and network thrashing (performance implications).

An invalidation mechanism has several benefits. It only notifies the cluster members of the delta changes to remove an entry from its local store. Since it's reconstructable, it will only load the updated data on demand.

Cluster member notification is necessary for distributed programming, especially in the context of this article when updating information in cache. The concepts of this article can be extended to create custom Command objects such as a clustered "event notification" system (distributed Observer/Observable), asynchronous callbacks, or a replicated data store.)

More Stories By Bahar Limaye

Bahar Limaye is a system architect at The College Board. He has extensive experience building distributed object-oriented systems.

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Most Recent Comments
wesnur 12/10/09 06:07:00 AM EST

Hi Bahar,

I do agree with you that cluster caching is the way to overcome issues like Scalability and Reliability. Data synchronization is no longer a big problem if you have dynamic cluster cache is your app. Along with yours, I have found some other good reads about Cluster Cache as well. One of them is Benefits of using NCache Dynamic Clustering Capabilities . I am sure this read‘ll further clear the doubts of the readers of your article, If they have any.

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