When you say populating, are you referring to loading the cache from a JDBC cache loader on cache startup?
Or are you referring to oruy own application which reads from a DB and puts stuff into the cache using Cache.put() commands?
Also, which version of JBC are you referring to?
And finally, how have you organised your data? I.e., how wide/deep is your tree,a nd how many key/value pairs do you store in each node?