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Category Archives: APM

VMware vFabric tc Server to Continue Support of Java 6

Oracle has announced the formal end of life (EOL) of Java 6 coming up in February of 2013. Given that a significant portion of VMware vFabric Suite customers are still running applications that use Java 6, VMware has chosen to continue  support for vFabric Suite running Java 6 applications.  This includes a la carte support only contracts for Apache Tomcat and Apache HTTPD. Current versions will not expire their support for Java 6 with the EOL in February, 2013.

Additionally, VMware will continue testing and validating future versions of the vFabric Suite on Java 6 until further notice.

What this means for customers

vFabric customers that chose not to update their applications to Java 7 will still enjoy the same level of support from VMware for their vFabric middleware stack that powers their Java 6 applications, even past its end of life. It also means that Java 6 will continue to be a testing requirement for future versions of vFabric Suite. Customers not interested in updating their applications to Java 7, can continue to trust their vFabric upgrades from VMware.

For customers purchasing a la carte VMware support only for Apache Tomcat or combined support only for Apache Tomcat and HTTPD, they will not violate their support contract by continuing to run applications using Java 6.

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Building a Multi-Tenant Development Mindset in the Travel Software Industry

The travel industry has been a technology innovator for decades.

But how do these tech innovators use a cloud application platform like vFabric?

In this article, we get a real-world, inside perspective from a cloud architect who designs and leads development teams for airline check-in and baggage software and cloud-based services. We will dive into his requirements and approaches to cloud-centric devops tools that keep systems running in high performance environments.

Travel companies use technology everywhere they can. For example, their technology lets us buy tickets over the web, check in via self-serve kiosks, and use iPhones or Androids as boarding passes. It wasn’t long ago that these capabilities didn’t exist, but innovative companies like American Airlines use technology everywhere to differentiate their company and connect with customers. For example:

  • AA.com gets 1.6 million visits per day.
  • Their mobile app has over 3 million downloads:
    • It’s available on iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Android, Blackberry, Nook, Windows Phone 7, and Amazon Kindle Fire.
    • Mobile boarding passes are available in 77 cities.
    • The apps include wifi flight search, flight status notification, and more.
  • Over 800 kiosks allow customers to check in while people can also check in from the website. The kiosks provide passport, credit card, and barcode scanning.
  • The list continues with on-board purchases, advanced loyalty programs, RFID, and more. Continue reading

The Software-Defined Datacenter Will Auto-Scale Gracefully

VMware has been leading the charge to enable the vision of the Software-Defined Datacenter (SDDC) to become a reality. Today, we will explore an important part of the SDDC—auto-scaling.

To start, we are going to paint a picture using our handy reference architecture, NanoTrader (now known as SpringTrader). As the name implies, this app is based on the Spring framework (actually vFabric in general) and does trading with real links to stock market data feeds.

In our scenario, NanoTrader is working well at normal trading volumes, but what happens on the days when a social media jaggernaut has a highly publicized IPO? In our example, a made up entity we shall call “Bookspace” is doing just that–and while stock volumes are soaring, so is the load to the NanoTrader app. Fortunately, NanoTrader was deployed using integration between vFabric Application Director 5.0 and vFabric Application Performance Manager 5.0 (APM).  This integration enables a “closed-loop” application scale-out, that is automatic and does not depend on any human interaction. Continue reading

The Best VMware vFabric Stories of 2012 & What’s In Store for 2013

As this year comes to a close, it’s time to be reflective of what happened in the past and start planning for a new year. The vFabric team has had some major achievements this year, introducing several new products to the market including the innovative vFabric Application Director, the widely anticipated Project Serengeti to enable rapid cloud deployments for Hadoop, and a new tool to the vFabric Suite users called vFabric Administration Server (VAS).  We announced a new VMware Cloud Applications Marketplace to help further accelerate application development with a professionally moderated library of enterprise grade, ready-to-use application components that can be run on any cloud.

Next year is going to be even bigger with the Pivotal Initiative where several of the products covered on this blog will be following the new venture. This is still in the planning stages, so we will be expecting to share with you the plans for our products alongside the formal communications from each of the companies involved. (Sorry — no extra information is available right now)

One thing that we are going to be doing in early 2013 is to move the conversation of how you manage applications to be with the conversations of how you manage virtual infrastructure. To that end, we will be moving all topics of Application Performance Manager, AppInsight, Application Director, Hyperic, and Spring Insight to the VMware Management Blog as of January 1st. To make sure you keep up with the management topics, please be sure to follow us @vmwareappmgmt and @vmwaremgmt.

In the meantime, we’d like to reshare with you the top 20 stories we had for 2012, and invite you to comment here on what stories you would like to see us cover on either blog for 2013.

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How to Prepare for a Hyperic 5.0 Upgrade

Recently, we announced a new version of our popular web infrastructure management tool, Hyperic 5.0.  We also explained how, in this new version, the backend data store is moving to support PostgreSQL. In this article, we are providing existing Hyperic users the information they need to plan their upgrade to Hyperic 5.0. This article is for anyone already running Hyperic HQ (open source), vFabric Hyperic, vFabric Application Performance Manager, or vCenter Operations Manager.

This post is meant to augment the knowledge base article, KB 2033940, published back in August.

Planning the Upgrade

We know platform changes can make an upgrade more difficult and certainly raise eyebrows. So, we’ve taken measures to help make the migration as seamless and simple as possible. So far, the cases we’ve seen take about an hour. As with any data migration, the greater the volume of database records, the longer it can take. Continue reading

A Tale of Modernization: Stopping Bank Robbers as a Service (20 Billion Times to Date)

Pirates. Pick pockets. Bank Robbers.

What do these have to do with applications modernization?

Well, bank robbers have turned digital, and this article is about modernizing one of the most successful systems used to stop them.

Stealing credit card numbers, emptying online bank accounts and stealing identities is now big business for thieves and consequently a big area for software companies and banks to collaborate and stop them. Cybercrime and malware have become such an issue that, according to Gartner, the web fraud detection market (where RSA competes) grew 35% in 2010 and 25% in 2011.

RSA is in the business of stopping banks and their customers from being robbed (among other things). Their technology has protected people, businesses, and financial institutions from online fraud for almost 20 years. Their Adaptive Authentication solution is deployed at over 8000 companies, used by over 200 million people, and has protected over 20 billion transactions to date. To jump on the “everything as a service” bandwagon, Adaptive Authentication is literally embarking on a project to “Stop Bank Robbers as a Service.”

We had the opportunity to catch up with the RSA engineering team that is developing this next-generation service using a wide range of VMware capabilities, including VMware vCloud Suite and vFabric. We learned that VMware virtualization infrastructure management, application performance management, automated provisioning, and application servers are already providing benefits along with improved runtimes, and got a peek into how they plan to do the financial side of IT business management using VMware tools.

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Journey to PaaS: How Application Director Is Changing How Customers & Partners Deliver Software

Less than a year ago we announced the availability of the first vFabric Application Director release, where we took a bold new approach to provision workloads on Cloud Infrastructure.  It was an inventive solution to a problem most people hadn’t realized was an issue yet. By separating apps and infrastructure in the provisioning process, we could drastically simplify operations and actually make organizations more nimble, more agile.

This week, we announced the next major release of Application Director.  Over the course of the past year, we have seen tremendous responses from our design partners, early adopters and overall in the market to the approach we are delivering. Komal Mangtani, our engineering director who is building Application Director, first outlined this approach in her post ‘Creating Your Self-Curating Application Platform’ back in August.  Essentially, we are using a completely declarative, model-driven method for service provisioning, which means it is agnostic of the underlying configuration script or the infrastructure it is running on.

Automation for any process is expected to speed things up, and reduce errors. By abstracting this into the model-driven approach, we get a few more benefits:

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How We Improved APM’s Monitoring Capacity by 500% with Gemfire, RabbitMQ, vPostgres, and a Few Scalability Design Patterns

Earlier this week, we announced the general availability of a major upgrade to vFabric Application Performance Manager (APM). This release started one year ago, after we released the first version of the product to market. When we started work on this release, we knew we would need to invest heavily in scalability. APM is designed to help simplify monitoring and management for highly dynamic, large web applications living in the cloud. To succeed, we needed to make sure our product could scale gracefully with our customers. So, we set out with a challenging goal to increase the capacity of APM by a factor of 5.

Transforming a complex product such as APM into a more scalable architecture is not an easy task, let alone doing so in a single release. For this reason we’ve started by modifying the architecture in steps, starting with local improvements inside our virtual appliance, (available in the APM 5.0 release) and moving towards a horizontal scale solution in future releases. Continue reading

VMware Releases 3 Major Advances Toward the Software-Defined Datacenter

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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. Continue reading

Join us at Gartner AADI in Las Vegas – Nov 27-29

Gartner’s Application Architecture, Development, and Integration Summit is right around the corner on November 27-29 in Las Vegas, NV. Below, we outline all the cool stuff happening at this conference, and we cover how you can find vFabric experts and information while there.

This conference is intended for CIO/CTOs, application leaders, architects, portfolio managers, and those implementing cloud applications. You get access to seminars, analysts, peer roundtables, case studies, and workshops. The tracks are as follows:

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