With the announcement at VMworld that vFabric Application Director is now part of VMware’s vCloud Suite, the popularity of the product and usage among VMware users has grown significantly. In order to best support a group of diverse users creating cloud applications that can run on any cloud, VMware has created a new community for Application Director users.
But why? Why is application provisioning becoming so popular?
Well, here is how the story is unfolding.
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Why IT Departments are Prioritizing Application Director
If you look at it through an extremely pragmatic, financially conscious lens, it’s not terribly difficult to imagine how things evolve as IT looks to prioritize improvements. Here is an example of how we have seen our customers thought processes unfold in discussions:
- Virtualization has probably had the largest, most recent impact on capex and opex costs in the IT department. Generally, we want to continue on this path. Most every operations and application team has made virtualization a priority in the past 5 years.
- The agile development trend and automation has focused development teams on how to speed development times and consequently, releases to market. The areas that have the opportunity to benefit from automation, aside from automating the writing of code itself, are few and far between.
- What about provisioning? Continuous integration is part of agile development, however the process is very linear and usually breaks when crossing target environments (dev, test, prod) and definitely breaks if you change target cloud environments.
As people begin to compare the potential outcomes of automated provisioning with other types of improvement programs, the reasons start to gain momentum:
- Would automated, repeatable provisioning of all our applications improve compliance, risk, and reduce human errors? It should be the case.
- Can we use this capability to provide a self-service model with workflows and approvals? Yes.
- Would we be able to automate provisioning across public and private clouds? Yes.
- Will this help improve SLAs and better support the business? Yes.
- Are there examples in the world where this type of approach has shown proven benefits? Yes.
- Will this help to keep apps running on internal private clouds rather than leaking to external, more expensive clouds? It should.
Now, you can begin to see why we’ve gotten thousands of downloads for vFabric Application Director.
So, who is this community for?
This community is for both DevOps and IT users including any hands-on virtualization administration staff, application owners or developers using vCloud Suite and vFabric Application Director to build and automate applications on private clouds. You can visit it here and begin dialogues with peers starting today.
VMware has also developed and opened the VMware Cloud Application Management MarketplaceBETA – where developers, ISVs, Sis, and consumers can share Application Director blueprints (logical definition of an application topology) to provide automation for a variety of solutions like clustering Hadoop, Spring Integration, Riverbed, and Zend Server. The new community is also a place where people can discuss these solutions.