Showing posts for tag "scalability"

Couchbase StateManager for XPages, Part 2

Feb 21, 2014 10:17 AM

  1. Couchbase StateManager for XPages, Part 1
  2. Couchbase StateManager for XPages, Part 2

I had the opportunity to dive a little back into the StateManager I wrote the other week to try out a theory. The first thing I noticed was that there was a minor problem: it didn't work at all. Specifically, the code I had didn't actually store the whole proper state of the view, so it ended up being regenerated anew each time; the fact that this didn't cause an error was what led me astry.

Fortunately, I was able to scrounge together enough code to get it to work properly, bringing the tree and viewScope along for the ride:

CouchbaseStateManager.java

The impetus of revisiting this was to test whether this setup would be enough to accomplish a fun goal: by having the view state serialized to a commonly-available location, you should be able to switch servers in between actions (e.g. partial refreshes) and still have it work. And indeed, it does! I set up a round-robin load balancer for two of my Domino servers, which more or less switches between Arcturus and Ceres on each hit. In my test page, you can see a refresh count (stored as an instance member of the page's controller class, which is in viewScope) incrementing when you click the button:

https://roundrobin.frostillic.us/tests/ccluster.nsf

You can also see a value stored in "clusterScope", which is an object pointing to the same Couchbase cluster, and so it is similarly available on both servers.

This is pretty promising! It's not the sort of thing you'd do with any old app (importantly, applicationScope and sessionScope are not shared between the servers), but by pairing this with SSO, you could make an app that is resilient and scalable, with an arbitrary number of app servers behind a rotating load balancer without the need of sticky sessions.

Couchbase StateManager for XPages, Part 1

Jan 29, 2014 3:08 PM

  1. Couchbase StateManager for XPages, Part 1
  2. Couchbase StateManager for XPages, Part 2

The other day, I attended Tony McGuckin's Connect session on XPages scalability (a companion to his earlier Masterclass on performance) and I was inspired to try out a thought I had: could it work to use Couchbase to further push the bounds of XPages scalability?

If you're not familiar with Couchbase, it's a product similar to CouchDB, which is in turn essentially Domino-the-DB-server re-done for modern needs. Last summer, I wrote some data sources to use Couchbase data in an XPages app in much the same way that you use Domino documents and views.

In addition to Couchbase's nature as a document database, it has another layer from its lineage as a continuation of Membase: its basis is a key-value store, suitable for caching or storing data in a very fast and scalable way. This capability is potentially a perfect match for the needs of XPages state holding: when an XPage is stored in between requests, it's really just taking a Java object and storing it by key either in memory or on disk. By taking Couchbase's key-value capability and using it for this, you end up with something that may (pending testing) really crank up the scalability.

So I wrote a class to do it, and so far, so good: it stores and retrieves the XPages properly and even automatically obeys session timeout to clean up unneeded entries. When I get home, I plan to convert it into a plugin, but for now I've uploaded the Java file:

CouchbaseStateManager.java

To use it, install the Couchbase Java Client (I dropped it in jvm/lib/ext, since adding them as Jars in the NSF was trouble), copy that class into your NSF in the "frostillicus" package, and modify your faces-config.xml and xsp.properties files similar to:

faces-config.xml

<faces-config>
  <application>
    <state-manager>frostillicus.CouchbaseStateManager</state-manager>
  </application>
  ...
</faces-config>

xsp.properties

frostillicus.couchbase.statemanager.uris=http://10.211.55.2:8091/pools
frostillicus.couchbase.statemanager.bucket=default
frostillicus.couchbase.statemanager.username=
frostillicus.couchbase.statemanager.password=

Once you have it up and running, you'll start seeing serialized views being stored in your Couchbase bucket (which is basically like an NSF) keyed by replica ID and the unique XSP view ID:

I'm looking forward to trying this out in a real setup, where I have the XPage running on one server and pointed at a cluster of multiple Couchbase servers elsewhere. This should really play to the strengths of both: it would use JSF's capabilities to take a little work off of the plate of the XPage server while letting Couchbase do its job of spreading the data across its cluster, caching in memory, and so forth. Barring unfixable performance pitfalls, this could push XPages performance and scalability even further.