Topology Types

The vFabric GemFire topology options allow you to scale horizontally and vertically.

VMware® vFabric™ GemFire® provides a variety of cache topologies to meet your different enterprise needs.

Peer-to-Peer Configuration

The peer-to-peer distributed system is the building block for all GemFire installations. Peer-to-peer alone is the most simple topology. Each cache instance, or member, directly communicates with each every other member in the distributed system. This cache configuration is primarily designed for applications that want to embed a cache within the application process space and participate in a cluster. A typical application example would be an application server cluster where the application and the cache are co-located and share the same heap.

Client/Server Configuration

The client/server topology is the model for vertical scaling, where clients typically host a small subset of the data in the application process space and delegate to the server system for the rest. Compared to peer-to-peer by itself, the client/server architecture provides better data isolation, high fetch performance, and more scalability. If you expect data distribution to put a very heavy load on the network, a client/server architecture usually gives better performance. In any client/server installation, the server system is itself a peer-to-peer system, with data distributed between servers. Client systems have a connection pool, which it uses to communicate with servers and other GemFire members. A client may also contain a local cache.

Multi-site Configuration

For horizontal scaling, you can use a loosely coupled multi-site topology. With multi-site, multiple peer-to-peer systems are loosely coupled, generally across geographical distances with slower connections, such as with a WAN. This topology provides better performance than the tight coupling of peer-to-peer, and greater independence between locations, so that each site can function on its own should the connection or remote site become unavailable. In a multi-site installation, each individual site is a peer-to-peer system.