Digipede Network 2.0 Targets Multi-Threaded Apps

Digipede Network 2.0 includes new debugger, focuses on multi-threading.

Digipede Technologies LLC has released the 2.0 version of its Digipede Network application grid, with key features including finer-grained control for coding multi-threaded applications and a new debugger that plugs into Visual Studio 2005.

Digipede Network 2.0 works as follows: Users install Digipede Agents on network machines, which pull together information about the hardware and determine how best to apportion work to it. The administrative component is called Digipede Control and is used to monitor the system's resources and ongoing jobs, as well as to configure user information and agents. There's also a toolset named Digipede Workbench, which employs a wizard-based interface for handling distribution jobs.

The key tool for developers is the Digipede Framework SDK, which plugs into Visual Studio and can be used to either grid-enable existing apps or to develop parallel programs.

Digipede Network 2.0 can be used with other platforms, but .NET developers get some advantages, according to company CEO John Powers. "You can stay in .NET and serialize your .NET objects all around the grid and get the results back without changing your plumbing," he explains.

451 Group analyst William Fellows pinpointed this close alignment with .NET in a report issued Sept. 20: "The technology driver for Digipede and key to its success is the use of Visual Studio by its target audiences: it can distribute .NET and COM codes and enable single-threaded applications to run on multicore systems," he wrote.

Still Easy to Use
Powers says the Digipede SDK has gained capabilities but remains easy to use. "What we've tried to do is preserve the same development experience and just give some more control over how you handle multicore chips," he says.

Version 2.0 "wrings some more performance out of each compute node and allows some folks who are good at developing single-thread apps, but who don't know much about multicore, to take advantage without re-engineering their applications," he adds.

The 2.0 release also features performance improvements resulting in lower latency, according to the company.

Different Targets
Powers says Digipede, a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner, differs from its competitors in the grid space, such as Appistry Inc., in terms of their relative targets. "We stress compute-intensive applications, where they stress more of a data-grid type of application," he says.

One component not present in Digipede is data caching around the network, an approach used by GigaSpaces Technologies Inc. Powers says Digipede partners with companies like ScaleOut Software Inc., which offers a distributed-caching application.

Digipede Network Professional Edition starts at $4,000 per year, which includes the Digipede Server and five agent licenses.

About the Author

Chris Kanaracus is the news editor for Redmond Developer News.

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