FAQ

Is Heimdall Data an APM (Application Performance Monitoring) product?
Although Heimdall Data supports application performance monitoring, our customer value is even greater to application and database owners. We are focused on “Application Resiliency”. The Heimdall Data solution is application-aware and hence, insures increased performance, application uptime during a database failover, and granular performance visibility. Heimdall leverage performance monitoring to identify bottlenecks and resolves them for increased performance up to 20x.
How is Heimdall Data used as a transparent cache?

The operational elegance of the Heimdall Data solution is that it does not require any application code changes. This is ideal for those deploying 3rd party applications (e.g. HR, manufacturing, finance) requiring performance optimization and high availability. Installation is takes 5 minutes.
For application developers, cache policies are typically coded into their application code. This creates inefficiencies: 1) Trial and error of what to cache, and 2) Longer development cycles.  The Heimdall Data cache solution provides custom recommendations on exactly what to cache, taking out the guesswork for application owners.. With Heimdall’s “One-click optimization”, caching policies are immediately enabled without any programming, and can be disabled just as fast.

But we already cache at the business object and web level. Does Heimdall Data still add benefit?

Absolutely. Working alongside the application caches and web caches, the Heimdall cache provides additional for performance benefits, particularly for dynamic content. Application level caches may have constrained parameters (e.g. per session) limiting the caching required for optimal performance. Because Heimdall caches at the data access layer, it sees the unrestricted flow traffic going to the database and optimizes performance that other cache systems will not be able to detect.

Web level caching is static content. And, one can only start streaming static content once the dynamic pieces have been generated. It is that dynamic content from the database that Heimdall optimizes.

Can Heimdall Data be deployed in the Amazon Web Services?

Heimdall Data is ideal for cloud deployments as it offloads database traffic, improving performance & reliability while saving cloud usage costs. Amazon RDS provides ease of database management, reliability, and scalability from a backend perspective. However, it is not application aware.

Heimdall Data ensures that upon a database failure, the application remains online. With our additional performance optimization and security features, Heimdall Data provides “Application Resiliency” for Amazon RDS deployments.

What makes the Heimdall Data High Availability failover unique compared to Oracle and existing load balancing solutions?
  1. The Heimdall Data HA failover solution is database vendor neutral. For customers who deploy multiple data sources, Heimdall can be used as a common platform for automated database failover. Heimdall Data supports databases such as MySQL, PostgreSQL and Oracle. Additionally, customers do not have to purchase piecemeal solutions as Heimdall is a platform for supporting 1) SQL optimization, 2) Automated failover and 3) SQL security.
  1. Solutions in the market today (e.g. TCP load balancer) are not application aware. The TCP load balance may successfully failover to a redundant database, but if the application time out and be forced to reconnect. The Heimdall Data Resiliency Platform is application aware insuring that upon a database failover, the application connection will be maintained and is at top performance.
  1. Heimdall Data can automate the failover on the master node for disaster recovery.  We do not support database replication or slave promotion.
How is Heimdall Data different from middleware (IBM, Oracle, Microsoft, , Tibco)?
Middleware products provide flexibility of data interfaces for integration and management. Also, users of middleware require users to program to a customer API.From its inception, Heimdall Data’s value proposition is to be transparent, requiring ZERO application code level changes so that there is no integration work by the customer. Additionally, Heimdall Data is focused on improving application performance and scale, not on supporting multiple access methods (e.g. SOAP, REST, ODBC) like middleware vendors. Therefore, Heimdall Data complements and works well with middleware products.
How is Heimdall Data different from Hibernate ORM (Object-Relational Mapping) framework?

Heimdall is a SQL optimization platform that supports caching, security, and high availability. Heimdall Data can work together with Hibernate and make your environment more scalable and higher performing.

In a SQL context, Hibernate requires the user to program to its APIs. Hibernate can interface with grid caches and manipulate SQL queries. Heimdall Data can do the same but is deployed transparently, requiring zero application code level changes. Heimdall is much easier to manage and deploy. Moreover, the performance of Hibernate is no comparison to that of Heimdall Data. Heimdall was architected to increase application performance and offer a platform of services (i.e. SQL optimization, HA, and security)

How much CPU and RAM load does Heimdall take up on the application server?
Although application dependent, we have found that enabling Heimdall caching or Heimdall HA failover consumes minimal server load. On the average, initial estimates show single digit percentage load of CPU and RAM when Heimdall is enabled.
Is Heimdall Data suitable for deployments in the cloud?
Absolutely. As cloud deployments cause networks to be geographically dispersed, particularly the application and database, Heimdall is a must for cloud deployments; as it will offloads database processing.
What is the pricing model for Heimdall Data?
A customer can purchase Heimdall Data as a one-time perpetual license or pay ongoing on a per usage basis. Both scenarios are supported.
Our Web Application Firewall is used protect against SQL attacks.

SQL injection attacks trick the application into performing adversely. Because this form of attack is dependent the application behavior, there are cases where the WAF or application does not see such an attack. Hence, the Heimdall solution will act as a last line of defense for SQL data leakage.

Does the use of Heimdall invalidate the support contracts for databases?
While vendors have their own policies, the answer should be no. As we are operating above the vendor JDBC level, Heimdall is comparable from a support point of view to being part of the application itself, not part of the database access layer, at least as far as the database is concerned. Another way to put it is if you change your own code, will this invalidate a database’s support license? This is in contrast with devices and systems that operate at the protocol level, which may need to be certified to access the database to maintain support.
How does Heimdall Data benefit Big Data?
Big data generally refers to how data is processed on multiple computing systems, and how a client can access the data from such systems (e.g. sharding). As Heimdall operates above the actual access layer for the data, it offers benefits much like any other database, as long as the underlying access driver is JDBC compliant, including visibility of what queries are taking the most time to process, which in a big data environment may be significant.