Every now and again you can look over the horizon and see two trends that will one day intersect to transform the way we think about IT. Two of those trends that are coming into sharp relief are complex events processing (CEP) and in-memory computing.
Generally speaking, CEP has been the province of real-time computing applications. But it's also becoming apparent that interest in these types of applications is increasingly heading into mainstream enterprise applications. The challenge is that setting up the IT infrastructure to support these types of applications is expensive. But in recent months, we're also starting to see the cost of in-memory computing drop as well, which should ultimately mean that the cost of the infrastructure needed to support real-time applications should start to fall.
Of course, CEP is still relatively complex. But as the CEP platforms continue to evolve, they are starting to become more accessible. Case in point is version 5.0 of the Sybase Event Stream Processor platform that Sybase just released, which consolidates the Sybase and Aleri programming languages while also making it easier to deploy the Sybase Aleri CEP engine on top of virtual servers in a cloud computing environment as part of a cluster. Sybase acquired Aleri last year, which was later followed by Sybase being acquired by SAP.
According to Neil McGovern, Sybase director of marketing, Sybase sees a day coming when CEP engines will become a mainstream part of application development in the enterprise, especially once platforms such as the SAP High Performance Analytics Appliance (HANA) become more widely available.
There will obviously be multiple approaches to CEP and in-memory computing, but it's also interesting to see how SAP's acquisition of Sybase sets the stage for the development of a new generation of real-time applications that one day might overshadow all the more-talked-about implications of that deal.
In the meantime, IT organizations should be thinking about the implications of in-memory computing because it will soon become a much bigger part of the IT enterprise landscape than most people realize today.