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Introducing VMware vFabric Suite 5.1: Automated Deployment, New Components, and Open Source Support

Today, VMware announced the release of VMware vFabric Suite 5.1, an integrated family of components that streamline how companies build, run and manage Java Spring applications whether on-premise or in the cloud. At VMware, we understand that smart, agile and cost-effective cloud infrastructure services are important. But ultimately, it’s about the applications that run atop that cloud infrastructure. 

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This latest release of vFabric Suite puts the largest set of modern cloud services within easy reach for companies that need to build cloud-ready Java applications that are deployed easily, scale quickly, and use popular open source application infrastructure technologies.

Seven New Components

vFabric Suite 5.1 now includes support for seven new products that are critical to supporting the full lifecycle of applications development, deployment and management. These are:

  • Application Director. vFabric Application Director automates the deployment of applications through easy-to-use blueprints with standardized templates, component libraries and workflows. With Application Director, you can elastically scale out all components of vFabric Suite to accommodate changing workloads.
  • Application Performance Manager (APM). vFabric Application Performance Manager provides comprehensive monitoring of end-user transactions, Java code, middleware servers, and vSphere hosts, enabling customers to proactively manage application performance, find and fix problems quickly, and meet SLAs. APM includes two components: vFabric AppInsight and vFabric Hyperic. AppInsight provides transaction- and code-level monitoring, and incorporates metrics from vFabric to provide high-level summaries of overall application performance. vFabric Hyperic monitors middleware servers and vSphere hosts, providing 50,000 metrics for over 75 popular web technologies
  • vPostgres. vFabric Postgres is a VMware-optimized relational SQL database that comes in as a virtual appliance and has virtualization optimizations such as elastic database memory to share database memory pools and smart configuration to reduce tuning time after resizing virtual machines. vFabric Postgres is fully compatible with open source PostgreSQL, enabling customers to leverage existing standard PostgreSQL tools
  • vFabric Administration Server (VAS) provides a REST Management API that provides a uniform way to administer groups of vFabric Servers. Initially supported in vFabric RabbitMQ, tc Server, and GemFire, VAS lets you perform typical CRUD operations (Create, Read, Update, and Delete) on the following entities:
    • Groups – collections of servers
    • Installations – binary install of a product
    • Instances – template based runtimes
    • Configurations – config files
    • Deployments – application archives and code
    • Start/stop of instances and applications
    • Status of runtimes and applications

Keep an eye on VAS, since there are a number of interesting things that we hope to do with it.

  • Enterprise support for Apache Tomcat, Apache HTTP Server and RabbitMQ. vFabric Suite now includes support for the open source runtime components most frequently used in production deployments of Spring applications, including Apache Tomcat, Apache HTTP Server and RabbitMQ messaging. This simplifies the adoption path of vFabric technologies for organizations using these open source components today.

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Enhancements for Every Component

Beyond the product additions above, every product in vFabric Suite has been updated. Here are some of the highlights:

  • vFabric tc Server 2.7 has been updated to the latest stable Apache Tomcat release, and supports websockets and JDK7. We’ve improved the getting started experience and usability of tc Server as well. With vFabric Administration Server, tc Server has a REST Administration API to administer clusters of tc Server instances and the applications that run on them.
  • vFabric Elastic Memory for Java (EM4J) 1.1 adds support for Apache Tomcat (in addition to tc Server) and JDK7. It has console UI improvements such as historical data persistence and right sizing, and improved support for large heaps. 
  • vFabric Web Server 5.1 has been update to latest stable Apache httpd release (Apache 2.2.22), and now uses OpenSSL 1.0.1, adding support for TLS 1.1 and TLS 1.2. It provides automation-compatible server statistics available through a new module, mod_bmx, which provides JMX-like manageability to the web server tier, dramatically improving the visibility and mean-time-to-resolution for debugging java applications running on it. It also has commercial mod_fcgid support to deploy isolated, managed pools of accelerated CGI processes, and commercial mod_ftp support for alternate ftp retrieval of content and resources. 
  • vFabric RabbitMQ 2.8.1 features active-active HA queues improve reliability, new message flow control to improve performance under load, dead letter queues for handling undelivered or expired messages, and compatibility with Erlang R15B for native operation on 64-bit Windows. With vFabric Administration Server, vFabric RabbitMQ has a new REST Administration API to administer clusters of RabbitMQ servers.
  • vFabric GemFire Application Cache Node 6.6.2 adds HTTP Session Management support for tc Server 2.5, 2.6, and 2.7, Apache Tomcat 6.0 & 7.0 and generic module for other application servers (such as Oracle WebLogic), querying enhancements, portable data eXchange (PDX) serialization updates, updated network partition detection, support for resuming and suspending transactions, and 64-bit support for GemFire GFMon and Data Browser tools. Note that some enhancements are available only when used in conjunction with GemFire Data Management Node, sold separately from vFabric Suite. With vFabric Administration Server, GemFire has a new REST Administration API to administer clusters of servers.
  • vFabric SQLFire Professional Edition 1.0.2 has undergone some packaging changes. It supports unlimited node connections, and no longer has the two-node connection limit that came in vFabric 5.0. This allows SQLFire Professional to scale horizontally like the other components in vFabric Suite. Also, SQLFire has a new JMX agent that provides administrative and operational monitoring for all members of a distributed system, new sqlf DdlUtils command options to enable importing tables with identity values, and new sqlf commands to help install classes from a local JAR file or from a URL to all members of a SQLFire distributed system.

This vast set of enhancements are the result of a large group of talented, dedicated engineers on the vFabric team who have been working on this release for the better part of a year. We hope you find their work helpful in bringing applications into production faster and with less effort.

For more information on vFabric, please visit www.vmware.com/vfabric.

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