So you think you can just take that MySQL or Oracle database with all of that data that you have been using for 4 years or more and transfer it up to the cloud? Cloud don't work like that. But Terracotta does. Terracotta provides scale using open source.
In fact most public cloud infrastructure doesn't give you the ability to customize much in the way of database configurations. The databases available are rather rudimentary. On the other hand, keeping your database at your own data center is never going to give you the scalability and redundancy the cloud can offer you.
The answer at least according to Terracotta is caching. Over the past few years they have become the standard for elastic caching, hibernate and distributed caching. This allows your application and data instant scalability, outgrowing your database and even your own hardware limits.
I had a chance to speak with Mike Allen, head of product at Terracotta about this. Terracotta was not originally an open source project or business when they launched in 2004. Recognizing that open source was a better distribution method, they open sourced their product in 2006 and that is when things started to take off for the company. This is a bit unusual, as most companies start open source and then go to sort of a dual license model.
Terracotta did another out of the ordinary move, when in 2009 they "bought" an open source project/product called Ehcache. Ehcache was the brainchild of Greg Luck who besides selling the IP to Terracotta, now works there. Ehcache was a de facto standard in Java enterprise environments. Its API was also the standard for hibernate which allows for elastic and distributed caching.
Allen says that complex databases are not going to be able to move up to public cloud providers anytime soon. The money put into their development to date and what it would cost to replace them with "no SQL" solutions like Cassandra are prohibitive. Therefore using Terracotta's solutions are the only viable alternative for the foreseeable future.
Terracotta already has 100,000 deployments with over 250 paying customers. As the swing to the cloud accelerates, they anticipate that to rise dramatically. This is one open source company poised to capitalize on the cloud.