Book Review: 'The Apache Ignite Book'
Looking for a resource to help you learn Apache Ignite? Read on for a review of an interesting book by some leading experts.
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Last year, as I was working with Apache Ignite, and I was desperately in search of a book that I could rely upon to answer my questions and help me learn the product in a holistic manner. And as my search was on, I bumped into the book by Shamim Ahmed Bhuiyan, Michael Zheludkov, and Timur Isachenko. I was super impressed with it as I scanned through the book. I also put up a review of that version of the book here.
The product Apache ignite has been evolving at a rapid speed. It introduced many new features, different architectural revamps, etc., as the new versions were released. But as the new features got added with the newly released versions, there came a need for a new version of the book covering these new features. I found out Shamim Ahmed Bhuiyan and Michael Zheludkov
Firstly, a few words about the product. We all agree that the volume of data (in an enterprise) is growing like never before. With this trend, it’s a huge headache for the enterprises as to how they can store/process this data efficiently, reliably, in a consistent/persistent was, and doing so in the minimum possible time. At the same time, the concern is also to NOT make the technology landscape heavily complex with many different products to solve each of these problems. We need simplicity in addressing a solution to a complex problem. Apache Ignite seems to have addressed exactly these issues by providing a product that, under the hood, solves many problems if used appropriately. This is one product that can be:
- Used as a complete in-memory database.
- Viewed as multi-model, transaction database.
- An efficient solution for in-memory data fabric (well, almost gone are the days of talking about in-memory data grids).
- An ideal solution for caching as a service requirement.
- Used in real-time analytics and it also supports high volume ACID transaction processing.
- It can also work as your DB caching layer.
With the newer versions, the product has evolved and been given tons of new features to explore and work on.
As I have already gone through the first version of the book, I thought of turning to new one again to update myself and gather an all-around knowledge about the new features, new architecture, etc., instead of relying only on Ignite's official documentation (which is a great knowledge center as well, no doubt!). This new book is excellent and it pleasantly caters to both developers and solution/technical architects.
In this new version of the book, there are 10 chapters. In the very first chapter/Introduction, the authors introduced the product, its evolution, and give a comparison with other products.
In the second chapter, "Getting started with Apache Ignite," we learn how to start a single node/multi-node Ignite instance and how we can use Docker to run Ignite instances. It also takes us through setting up a SQL IDE where we can run SQL queries against the cache. It touches on Apache Ignite's SQLLINE CLI. This chapter introduces us to the H2 database, which is ignite’s SQL engine. It also teaches us how to use the H2 web console. We can use this web console to administer H2 databases, run SQL queries, etc. It also takes us through a sample Java program to read/write from/to Ignite caches. It touches on Apache Ignite's thin client and REST API for manipulating cache.
In the third chapter, "Apache Ignite Use Cases," the book introduces different possible use cases for Ignite and various design decisions. This is a very helpful guide for solution designers.
After covering these basics, the authors then jump to the fourth chapter, "Architectural Deep Dive." It's a long and massive chapter covering cluster topology, partitioning, replication strategy, different caching strategies, etc. It covers Ignite’s positioning in the CAP triangle. It also covers durable memory architecture, paging, persistence features, and many other very useful features of the Ignite product. All-in-all, this chapter covers your need as an architect or solution designer.
In the next chapter (fifth) called "Intelligent caching," the book details Ignite's caching capabilities and how to use this product for accelerating application performance. It covers many interesting topics like web session clustering and recommendations on preparing caching layers. It also presents many interesting examples.
In the sixth chapter called "Database," the book details Ignite's database features. This is also a long chapter covering Ignite's native persistence, tables, indexes, joins, and a plethora of other related concepts. As a solution designer, this is definitely one chapter that you will spend time on, in case you plan to use Ignite’s persistence feature, i.e using Ignite as a database.
In chapter seven, the book covers "Distributed computing" and touches on how Ignite can be useful in modern day architectures like microservices. It covers map-reduce, fork-join, and the collocation of computations and data. Another very useful chapter.
In the eighth chapter, the book covers another big topic, "Streaming and Complex Event Processing." Here, the authors detail Ignite's streaming and CEP capability and some use cases where it can come in handy.
In chapter nine, the book focuses on Ignite's use in "Accelerating Big Data Computing" with some good examples.
In the final chapter, the book covers an essential topic, "Management and monitoring." It talks about Ignite’s built-in capabilities and also third-party tools that can be used to manage and monitor the Ignite cluster.
As in the previous version, one striking aspect of the book is its easy to comprehend language. I also loved the way the authors explained various terminologies and jargon that are used in this book. As I read through the book, I had several design-related questions and got the answers from the book itself. The book is self-contained and I didn’t have to browse through the internet to understand different topics/concepts introduced by the authors. Real life examples and code fragments help explain different concepts and topics very easily. The code is also available in GitHub for reference. You code as you read and that’s very cool! The balance of theory, coding, and examples make reading the book very fun-filled and enlightening. You don’t get bored!
To conclude, this book has been very handy for me and the reading experience is fantastic. I definitely recommend this book to Ignite users; it doesn’t matter if you are a developer, support team member, architect, or solution designer. Everyone has got something or other to learn from this book. All I can say is happy reading!! and comment below in case you have some questions on the book or just to share how your experience has been.
The book is currently available on Leanpub. You can check it out here.
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