It’s hard to argue that cloud computing has the CIO’s attention across all industries, and a whole new breed of technology companies wouldn’t exist without cloud computing. In this article, we share a summary of six VMware vFabric partner interviews. These perspectives identify 5 themes for how VMware’s vFabric cloud application development platform can improve developer productivity, cut customer technology costs, solve key engineering problems, and more.
What does VMware vFabric have to do with Cloud Application Development?
As the provider of the most popular virtualization and cloud software in the world, VMware understands the cloud journey is not just infrastructure; it’s very much about the applications that run on them. With VMware’s vFabric Cloud Application Platform, VMware is leading the charge to help development teams build, run, manage, and scale cloud-ready applications. vFabric is a group of frameworks, tools, and products that integrate development, infrastructure, and operations. The vFabric cloud application platform incorporates the best of open source stacks (e.g. Apache, Spring, Java, Tomcat, Linux) and provides built-in capabilities for virtualized deployment, scaling, monitoring, dealing with big data, and more.
What kinds of things did partners actually say about vFabric Cloud Application Development?
“We found vFabric to be superior to other middleware products for a couple of different reasons. Number one is the performance. The integration with vSphere. And then especially cost. It is a lot lower cost than a lot of the competing products out there. And what that means for us as a partner is that we are able to combine services plus software to deliver a cost-effective solution to our customer.”
- David Griffin, Director of Services, Insight Integrated Systems
“The companies that utilize vFabric, and the benefits inherent to that platform as a service, will be able to deliver services, applications, and products to their clients and to their customers faster and better than their competitors.”
- Eric Kilfeather, Portfolio Lead VMware Cloud Practice, Consilium1
“Do you know what initially attracted me to vFabric? Well, I love this quote from Wayne Gretzky, ‘you don’t skate to where the puck was, you skate to where it is going to be.’ And, if I were a CIO of a major enterprise today, I would take a look at the entire stack of VMW from virtualization to vFabric and deploy that in my infrastructure. Everyone is doing virtualization, but not everyone is doing vFabric. If you put those two together, that is where the puck is going to be.”
- Jeff Reed, Application Development Executive, Logicalis
“One of our customers asked about getting their applications ready for the cloud and vFabric allows us to provide that capability easily.”
- Kiran Somalwar, VP of Enterprise Transformation Services Group, HCL
“Our team saw vFabric becoming the underpinnings to a much more agile software delivery lifecycle.”
- Mikel VanDelLaan, Advisor Architect, EMC
“We turn to VMware to help as we modernize those solutions and applications to bring ‘speed to value’ to those clients, to bring those applications to a new cloud environment more quickly, and secondly to lower the total cost of ownership in those applications versus some of the legacy technologies.”
- Mike Sciortino, VP Business Development of Global Applications, CSC
5 Key Themes on vFabric Cloud Application Development
As the six partners responded separately, 5 common themes emerged with regards to cloud application development on vFabric, and what it can do for companies and careers.
1. Lowering Costs
vFabric can help lower IT costs in multiple ways:
- Software: Competitive software products cost more. One partner believed vFabric products could be 10% of the cost of competitive vendors. These cost savings exist without losing performance or quality.
- Hardware: Given the fact that vFabric was built with virtualization in mind, hardware costs can also be reduced.
- Productivity: The tools help make developers and infrastructure teams more productive by streamlining the time it takes to develop applications, deploy servers, install applications or databases, as well as monitor and remediate systems. Saving time is saving money. There is also a savings from the reduction in the number of human errors created.
One partner believed that there was enough opportunity for cost savings to help the CIO contribute significantly to earnings and address the CEO agenda.
2. Reinventing the Data Layer
Traditional databases often have issues scaling out because it can be incredibly expensive and time-consuming. In this regard, VMware vFabric SQLFire is a game-changer. With vFabric SQLFire, a massive number of commodity-level physical machine nodes appear as one logical system, and this system can expand and contract dynamically. This creates virtualized, “cloud-style clusters” and opens up a number of possibilities, including:
- Highly scalable SQL databases that scale horizontally
- Globally distributed, low latency data stores
- Built in redundancy and high availability
- Massive performance improvements with existing SQL codebases
- The ability to offload work from back-end databases
- Added longevity to existing systems
- Extended application capabilities
- Solutions to big data problems
- Real-time data access without performance issues
3. Modernizing Legacy Systems
vFabric can help modernize Mainframe and AS400 systems. One partner found that vFabric GEMFire, tc Server, and Spring Batch could be used to create an outstanding ROI for mainframe modernization, and, in this case, the business case was for $75 million saved annually. vFabric can help migrate legacy code, integrate systems, overcome performance issues, improve TCO, and do it with shortened timeframes.
4. Providing a Path to the Cloud
IT organizations are interested moving towards cloud computing. Among other things, this means:
- Infrastructure resources are available on demand
- Elastic scale – scaling in fully automated way
- Portability across cloud infrastructures to truly share computing resources
- Enhanced visibility into performance and service levels
The VMware vFabric vision is compelling for both partners and customers. Among other things, the product family includes:
- An application development platform designed for cloud computing:
- A high-performance, apache-based web server that deploys quickly.
- An app server optimized for Java and Spring in a virtualized, cloud environment and components that help java scale.
- Data store and queuing solutions that address high-performance requirements in distributed environments.
- Cloud-ready management tools:
- Tools to automate installs, configuration, and provisioning of web, app, and data tier infrastructure in virtualized, cloud environments.
- Monitoring for operations across all application tiers in real-time, down to the code level, and while virtual machines start, stop, or move.
5. Improving IT Productivity
When the comments add up, vFabric improves performance by 1) getting infrastructure deployed faster, 2) streamlining development efforts, 3) improving run-time performance, and 4) improving visibility to identify and remediate problems more quickly.
Links to the Video Interviews
- Consilium 1
- Insight Integrated Systems
- Logicalis (Part 1)
- Logicalis (Part 2)
- HCL (Part 1)
- HCL (Part 2)