Overview of common application problems
 
 
Flexible Middleware
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VNi’s Products Work as well in WANs and MANs as in LANs
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VNI Precision Product Suite - A Summary

Ventura Network's Precision Suite of Products includes: the FTm communication middleware product, the Echo replication product and the Shadow Simulation testing product. These products have been designed to be extremely flexible with regards to the embedded environment they may be used in. They require very little memory to operate. Their APIs are very simple so that it is very easy to integrate them into existing products and provides an ideal environment to develop from making it perfect as a base architecture from which to develop a distributed application. Finally, Ventura’s products have been developed from the ground up so that features may be easily added or modified to meet the needs of particular applications.

Ventura’s primary focus has always been on providing distributed system's technologies that are very robust. Because of the extreme complexity of these protocols, FTm and Echo were designed from the ground up to be testable. These products were written with a full range of unit and sub-system testing, as well as embedded diagnosis and invariant checking software. In addition, Ventura’s protocols support use of its Shadow Simulated testing harness, which allows them to be tested thoroughly under billions of simulated failure scenarios and for the behavior of the protocols to be cross-checked for correctness. Ventura constantly has clusters of machines running tests against its software; as you read this paragraph these machines have tested thousands of additional failures.

 

Flexible Middleware

FTm was developed to be very robust, yet flexible, middleware able to run in virtually any environment. It interacts with the operating system in a very controlled fashion so that it may be easily ported to new operating systems and networking environments. FTm includes a powerful protocol engine, called Pulse, and numerous micro-protocols that cooperate to provide its distributed messaging and failure management services. Its protocols are suited for most environments. However, in certain cases, applications may require modified versions of the protocols (for example, to change how heartbeating is accomplished) or additional protocols (to provide, for instance, an additional service). VNi will work with such customers to support these adaptations when and as they are needed. Nevertheless, application developers will typically never require this flexibility as most configurations are supported out of the box.

 

VNi’s Products Operate Correctly in WANs and MANs

VNi’s products make no assumptions or requirements about network behavior. The correctness of the protocols and the integrity of data is guaranteed in all cases. In MAN and WAN configurations where the likelihood of network partitioning and of variability in network latency increases dramatically, VNi’s FTm product coordinates message delivery with system configuration monitoring. FTm will tell the application machines what the other machines in the system are doing, and will only deliver messages from machines in the applicable configuration. In addition, Echo supports multi-site replication, including over MANs and WANs. This allows configurations with multiple sites to be supported as simply as ones with a single site.