IT Firm Enhances Application Performance, Offers Scalability, Low Latency, and Compatibility to Customers with CogCache

Cognosys Technologies

“We have built a solution that is not industry specific; it is available across platforms and targets a larger customer base. We are serving customers across 15+ industries so far, with support for all popular language stacks.”

Usha Patil, Vice President, Cognosys Technologies

Cognosys Technologies wanted to address performance issues for web-based and distributed applications. The company created CogCache, a high-performance distributed caching library on Windows Azure. This substantially reduces response time and improves performance several hundred times over. Customers across industries and on any platform can also leverage CogCache to reduce application latency.

Business Needs
Cognosys Technologies is an integrated service provider with a strong focus on cloud computing, financial services, and enterprise distributed applications. Its services include custom software development, implementation and integration of private and public clouds with legacy applications, complex event processing, mobile and web applications, and creative, embedded deployments.

Over time, all companies realize that every database-centric web application is plagued with performance issues. Unnecessary roundtrips between the application and data layer slow down the applications. This also negatively affects the number of concurrent users supported on a particular hardware. “We were facing these problems with our internal applications,” says Usha Patil, VP, Cognosys Technologies. “Predicting traffic and managing traffic spurts was difficult. At the same time, it was expensive and time consuming to plan for and configure IT resources needed to handle such sudden peaks.”

Cognosys quickly realized that customers also face similar issues such as increasing costs, degrading performance, and diminishing user experience. Expense on hardware and the amount of time it takes for a web request to be addressed is exponentially higher compared to the data being locally available. Cognosys felt the need for a product that could optimize any web application, irrespective of business logic or domain. Usha says, “Web applications tend to hold persistent information while the page is transferred. This creates a problem in virtual machines in a cloud framework.”

Cognosys created a highly scalable and cost-effective application – CogCache. Built on Windows Azure, it offers a distributed object oriented cache library that can be embedded in any desktop or web-based application. It comes with a rich set of APIs to support applications written in different languages, with a target to eliminate web services which make a round trip to the database server for every request for new data.

The Windows Azure-centric middleware targets customers who want to migrate to the cloud and enhance application performance. CogCache operates a distributed caching layer, where any kind of object can be stored and retrieved without a single point of failure or loss of cache. This layer speeds up the applications by reducing the unnecessary database load. It thus lowers the total cost of ownership for the enterprise application at hand.

With a centralized cache system for the entire application, despite each application layer being deployed on different web servers, the amount of logically usable cache memory is much more as compared to the individual cache allotted per server. CogCache leverages load-balanced servers in Microsoft managed data centers, which provides tremendous performance enhancement.

Currently, the company has integrated CogCache with multiple applications of its own, including healthcare, media services, media asset management, storage, and financial services. Plus, over hundreds of its customers are also using the product.

Usha says, “Overall, CogCache is suitable for nearly every business. Integration is very simple as it can be incorporated with any application. Clients can use it as a SaaS application or as a product line within their own infrastructure.”

By selecting Windows Azure to build CogCache, Cognosys has benefitted enormously. The solution supports a wide and open range of tools apart from offering scalability and flexibility to accommodate growth. Maintenance-free deployments and elasticity of a distributed cloud offering are added advantages.

Increases Speed Several Hundred Times
With cloud-based resources, Cognosys dramatically increases performance. “Our CRM application was handling 2000 queries per second on the database layer, which was restricting the performance,” says Usha. “It was also limiting the number of users accessing the information. With CogCache, not only were we able to handle a much larger number of users ─ 1,10,000 queries per second ─ but we could also see drastic improvement in performance.”

Offers Compatibility across Platforms
CogCache is generic in nature; it can be easily plugged into any database-centered architecture. “We have built a solution that is not industry specific; it is available across platforms and targets a larger customer base,” says Usha. “We are serving customers across 15+ industries so far, with support for all popular language stacks. We have built multiple components in our application so that clients can use it effectively.”

The solution incorporates a complex low latency architecture leveraging Windows Azure compute and storage. “This helps us to support different kinds of applications that interact with CogCache,” adds Usha. “CogCache allows APIs to automatically serialize data objects, which allows clients to push managed objects without bothering about conversion in any particular data format.”

Provides Competitive Advantage
CogCache wins hands down over other cache solutions which recycle whenever the web server recycles, and hence have to re-query the database to refill the cache. This consumes precious time.

By using Windows Azure, Cognosys can deploy CogCache for any customer speedily and cost effectively by providing automatic provisioning. Customers increase their productivity by gaining faster access to information they need. “For example, accessing information from the healthcare application was extremely time-consuming for one of our customers,” says Usha. “But with CogCache, the company can easily extract information such as patient reports, schedules of doctors and nurses, contact information, patient information including their medical history, and payment details almost instantly.”

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