VMware customers are realizing the potential for the Software Defined Datacenter (SDDC), where infrastructure is delivered as a service through automated data center management. At VMworld Europe earlier this year, we announced that vFabric Application Director was becoming part of the vCloud Suite, VMware’s comprehensive cloud infrastructure solution that integrates VMware’s leading virtualization, cloud infrastructure and management portfolio into a single SKU, placing it easily within reach of virtualization infrastructure architects to deliver private cloud Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS). Today, VMware announces three major releases that further advance customers toward making the SDDC a reality.
- A new version of VMware vFabric Application Director 5.0 is available, including as part of the updated VMware vCloud Suite 5.1. The release features new and enhanced capabilities for simplifying and automating provisioning of applications to the cloud and the setup of PaaS environments. For more information on the vCloud Suite release, see the press release.
- VMware has released an open marketplace, called the VMware Cloud Applications Marketplace, where partners, developers and VMware can easily publish and download many of the pre-built components application teams need to build their apps.
- A new Application Management 5.0 Suite, which combines new releases of vFabric Application Director and vFabric Application Performance Manager together to allow IT to provide self-service provisioning and integrated application management to application owners and developers building scalable applications in the cloud.
What Does Application Director in the vCloud Suite Means To Virtualization Teams?
The vCloud Suite in itself means that customers have access to a reliable, commercial means to deliver private cloud services that can also burst to use public cloud services. It means essentially, they can create their own IaaS.
The addition of Application Director means they can take it one step further and roll their own Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS). Application Director standardizes a catalog of ready to deploy custom and packaged applications, allowing end users to select, customize and deploy the applications they need, when they need it. Now, developers are able to establish development sandboxes in minutes, and business users to deploy an analytics package to perform research the same day.
Since users quickly recognize that they can now build and manage applications in the cloud more easily on the vCloud Suite with Application Director, these private clouds will have a competitive edge when app teams are considering where to land their apps.
It also places IT square on the path to evolve into a broker of services to the business, and unlock productivity from both IT and the business. Automated application provisioning is a new area for IT, and offers some of the biggest cost savings for CIO’s since the server consolidation movement. Perhaps the most famous example of this so far is actually VMware’s own IT organization who cited a 90% savings in deployment times and a 30% cost savings.
Why the Marketplace Matters
Just to give application owners a better headstart, VMware has created a new VMware Cloud Applications Marketplace where users can find many of the components they use to build cloud applications—including load balancers, firewalls, web servers, application servers, application logic and data services—that are preconfigured, and ready to drop into an application blueprint, or plug into their management tool to instantly start tracking web application performance. These ready-to-use components will help application owners to speed the deployment of both custom and packaged applications.
For customers, this not only allows them to build applications faster, but it also affords them the opportunity to explore new solutions more quickly by being able to deploy completely integrated multi-tier applications from a library of best practice blueprints. For example, a customer scoping out their first initiative that requires a Big Data solution like Hadoop, may not have people in-house who know Hadoop. Their path today would be likely to send someone to training to figure out how it works, how to set it up and optimize it for reliability and scale. Alternatively, they can give a clever engineer a week, a sandbox machine and an unlimited supply of coffee and that engineer can try to puzzle it out using online resources. With a clustered Hadoop blueprint available on the Marketplace to deploy using Application Director, that smart engineer would have an instant headstart and a best practice example of how industry leading vendors recommend to set this Hadoop system up.
The selection of technologies ready for customers to use is growing quickly. Since the beta release of the Marketplace in August, over thirty independent software vendors and system integrators have joined the new VMware ecosystem and published well over a hundred solutions that customers can download today.
|>> Over 20 Partners including Bitnami, Cognizant, Estuate, HCL Technologies, Jaspersoft, Liferay, OpenLogic, Radware, Riverbed, SOASTA, SugarCRM, TechDemocracy, Xebia and Zend commented on today's announcement. See what they said.
While many of the solutions are oriented around application provisioning, the marketplace also hosts several dozen Hyperic and Spring Insight plugins that help users customize and extend monitoring and management capabilities to new technologies.
How Application Management 5.0 Helps Achieve the SDDC
Bundled together for the first time, the new suite delivers the first integrated provisioning and management services that IT can add onto their vCloud deployments. Together, these end user services mean that IT can finally untangle itself from the day-to-day operations of application teams, while application teams are now empowered to build, run and manage their apps on their own. This separation of IT into CloudOps & AppOps is something VMware has been talking about for some time, predicting that this is how IT will come out on top of the cloud.
In short, IT now has a commercially supported means to deliver IaaS and PaaS, providing modern IT services that give the business the edge they need to be successful. As a result, clear lines will form between IT, now more like a public cloud provider, and application owners who consume their services and fully own their applications.
This trend is already on the uptake, as Gartner says that investment in IaaS is growing 45% in 2012 alone to a $6.2 billon market, and will equal the size of the Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) market by 2016.
|>> Service Providers like Savvis, Bluelock, iLand and NTT are also using Application Director to transform their cloud services to PaaS environments. See what they say about it.
Application Management 5.0
The new Application Manager 5.0 Suite is comprised of vFabric Application Director 5.0 for provisioning and vFabric Application Performance Manager 5.0, which also includes the recently released vFabric Hyperic 5.0.
Application Director 5.0 New Capabilities
- Support for updating active deployments including for scale-out and impact analysis
- Support for Release Automation
- Improved Microsoft support including deploying to Windows-based platforms, support for .NET applications, predefined sample applications for Microsoft Sharepoint and Microsoft Exchange
- Ability to deploy application blueprints to Amazon Web Services (AWS)
- One-click deployment of applications to self-service application users
>> For more information, check out the vFabric Application Director 5.0 release notes.
Application Performance Manager (APM) 5.0 New Capabilities
- Integration with Application Director deployments to automatically bring apps under management during the deployment phase
- APM is able trigger application scale-out in Application Director when utilization or performance thresholds are crossed
- New easier-to-assess UI that simplifies understanding application health on the dashboard and shows enhanced data in context with the topology map to better understand mapping of transactions between components
- 5x increase in the scale of components that can be monitored
- Improved database support including database query breakdown and allowing PostgreSQL databases to be network-monitoried
- Code monitoring support for WebLogic, Java 7.
>> For more information check out the [release notes]. Hyperic 5.0, also part of APM, was released two weeks ago. To read more on the Hyperic release, please see New Hyperic 5.0 Release Further Embeds Web Infrastructure Monitoring in VMware’s vFabric or the Hyperic 5.0 release notes.
Thanks to our partners
Application management is an especially tangled space, as monitoring and management needs to be open and work with a variety of products to serve individual customer needs. VMware has outstanding partners including technology providers, ISVs and System Integrators that helped support this release, and build out the marketplace. We would like to thank all of them for their support over this past year.
As for their experience in working with us, well, we gave them all the opportunity to make a statement about their experiences. To read what they had to say, see the ISV and SI partner comments about the VMware Cloud Applications Management Marketplace.
|About the Author: Shahar Erez is an experienced executive with solid R&D and product leadership background backed up by sound results. He has over 12 years in various management positions in a wide range of organizations building stellar teams and leading them to new levels of success in highly competitive markets. He Joined VMware in 2012 to establish and lead the product strategy for Application management in the cloud era.|