What's new in Apache Ignite.NET 2.9

Apache Ignite 2.9 has been released a few days ago. Let’s have a look at .NET-specific features and improvements.

Platform Cache: It’s All About Performance

caching diagram

|               Method |        Mean | Ratio | Allocated |
|--------------------- |------------:|------:|----------:|
|             CacheGet | 3,015.56 ns | 69.98 |    4176 B |
| CacheGetWithPlatform |    43.09 ns |  1.00 |      32 B |

70 times faster, not bad? The code is on GitHub: PlatformCacheBenchmark.cs.

Now onto the details: Ignite keeps cache data in serialized form in memory regions or on disk (see Memory Architecture). Therefore, even local read operations involve a JNI call, a copy from the memory region to the .NET memory, and a deserialization call.

Platform Cache is an additional layer of caching in the .NET memory which stores cache entries in deserialized form, and avoids any overhead mentioned above. It is as fast as ConcurrentDictionary. Additionally, allocations are greatly reduced (note Allocated column in all benchmark results on this page), so the GC has less work to do, increasing the performance further.

Naturally, there are tradeoffs: memory usage is increased, and cache write performance is affected. This feature is best suited for read-only or rarely changing data. Platform Cache can be used on client and server nodes, see documentation for more details.

Scan Queries

Scan Queries with filter also benefit from Platform Cache on server nodes: only keys are passed to the .NET filter, reducing deserialization overhead. The effect is more noticeable with large values (~3KB per value in this case):

|                     Method |     Mean | Ratio | Allocated |
|--------------------------- |---------:|------:|----------:|
|             CacheQueryScan | 39.97 ms |  2.37 | 151.78 MB |
| CacheQueryScanWithPlatform | 16.85 ms |  1.00 |   2.52 MB |

Map-Reduce With AffinityCall and ScanQuery

Let’s say we want to iterate over the entire data set and perform some computations and aggregations. In many cases SQL is the best way to do this, but not everything can be expressed in SQL.

A combination of Platform Cache, Scan Query and Colocated Computations enables an efficient approach to this task: when both Local and Partition properties are set on the ScanQuery, the results are served directly from Platform Cache, avoiding any network or JNI calls.

  1. For every partition number, perform ICompute.AffinityCall - this ensures that partitions stay in place while we iterate over them
  2. Inside the IComputeFunc use new ScanQuery<K, V> { Local = true, Partition = p }
  3. Iterate over the IQueryCursor, filter the data and perform computations as needed

This way every node iterates over local deserialized data, memory allocation and serialization costs are minimized. See the benchmark code for a complete example.

|                 Method |     Mean | Ratio | Allocated |
|----------------------- |---------:|------:|----------:|
|             ComputeSum | 63.79 ms |  6.01 |   74.9 MB |
| ComputeSumWithPlatform | 10.59 ms |  1.00 |   6.15 MB |

Call .NET Services From Java: Full Circle of Services

.NET services are now first-class citizens and can be called from anywhere: servers, thick and thin clients, Java or .NET. And, in future, from other thin clients, like Python or Javascript - the client protocol supports that.

Java thin client is the first thin client to support Service API (.NET thin services are coming in 2.10), so this will be the best demo!

Start .NET server node and deploy the service

class Program
    static void Main()
        var ignite = Ignition.Start();
        ignite.GetServices().DeployClusterSingleton("MyService", new MyService());
        Thread.Sleep(-1); // Wait forever

class MyService : IService
    // Empty Init/Execute/Cancel implementations omitted
    public string GetGreeting(string name) => 
        $"Hello {name} from {RuntimeInformation.FrameworkDescription}!";

Start Java thin client and invoke the service

public class Main {
    public static void main(String[] args) {
        ClientConfiguration cfg = new ClientConfiguration().setAddresses("");
        IgniteClient client = Ignition.startClient(cfg);
        MyService service = client.services().serviceProxy("MyService", MyService.class);
        System.out.println(service.greeting("Java " + System.getProperty("java.version")));

    public interface MyService {
        String greeting(String name);

I think this is as simple as it gets. The output is something like Hello Java 1.8.0_265 from .NET Core 3.1.9!, depending on your setup.

Note how we use @PlatformServiceMethod to avoid Java naming guidelines violation: without this annotation, we would have to change the method name to match C# code exactly.

Thin Client Automatic Server Discovery with Partition Awareness

Previously, we had to provide every server node address in IgniteClientConfiguration.Endpoints so that Partition Awareness works properly and routes cache requests to a correct server node.

This is no longer required: when IgniteClientConfiguration.EnablePartitionAwareness is true, Ignite.NET thin client will discover all server nodes automatically - providing a single starting address is enough.

The following code demonstrates the process:

var cfg = new IgniteClientConfiguration
    Endpoints = new[] {""},
    EnablePartitionAwareness = true

var client = Ignition.StartClient(cfg);

// Perform any operation and sleep to let the client discover
// server nodes asynchronously.

foreach (IClientConnection connection in client.GetConnections())

If we start 3 server nodes locally, the output will be the following:

Furthermore, thin client will receive topology updates in the background and connect to new cluster nodes automatically as the cluster grows. See documentation for more details.

Thin Client Compute and Cluster APIs

Basic Compute functionality has been added: thin clients can execute an already deployed Java task by class name, on the entire cluster or using a subset of nodes:

IIgniteClient client = Ignition.StartClient(cfg);

// Compute on the entire cluster 
IComputeClient compute = client.GetCompute();

// Compute on nodes with a specific attribute
compute = client.GetCluster()
    .ForAttribute("some-attr", "foo")

compute.ExecuteJavaTask<string>("org.foo.bar.MyComputeTask", "arg");

Other Improvements

  • SqlFieldsQuery can be used as initialQuery in ICache.QueryContinuous
  • IFieldsQueryCursor.Fields property added to provide field types along with names
  • IIgnite.GetOrCreateLock() added as a future replacement for ICache.Lock()


Please see release notes for a full list of new features, fixes, and improvements.

We have new documentation: ignite.apache.org/docs!

Check this awesome video from Denis Magda: Why Would You Upgrade to Apache Ignite 2.9: Top-3 Changes

More .NET thin client features are coming in Ignite 2.10: Services, Transactions, Continuous Queries. Stay tuned!

Written on October 26, 2020