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Category Archives: AppInsight

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 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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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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vFabric Suite 5.2 Released

vFabric Suite 5.2 has been released and is now available for VMware customers to download and deploy. Considered a minor release, this update fulfills VMware’s desire to update the 13 different application components that comprise the suite every six months.  The improvements across the products for this version focus on improving standardization and consistency across products, an important maintenance effort as several of the products are relatively new to the vFabric product portfolio. Customers will universally benefit from standardization across products on five fronts:

  1. Platform Support
  2. Accessibility certification
  3. Globalization
  4. Packaging/RPMs
  5. Security Audits

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vFabric @ SpringOne Next Week

The vFabric team is headed to SpringOne 2GX 2012 next week – from October 15-18 in Washington, DC. This is set to be a great event to learn the latest on Spring with over 100 sessions covering a wide variety of topics. For those of you looking to learn more about how vFabric is the best place to run Spring applications, here are the highlights you won’t want to miss:

1. Sessions:  There are a number of speakers from SpringSource, CloudFoundry, and the VMware vFabric team on the schedule, including:

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3 Insightful vFabric Implementations to Learn From

At VMworld in San Francisco, several partners shared success stories at the vFabric partner panel.  As moderator for this session, I worked extensively with the three vFabric Partners prior to the event and uncovered a common theme – these experts are top notch at what they do and enjoy doing it.  Each Partner had a unique vFabric story about successful implementations.  Partners on the panel included Nancy Turbe with EMC consulting, Jeff Reed with Logicalis and Juan Garcia from Williams and Garcia.  Their stories covered:

 

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  1. A low-cost, high performance financial trading platform for the cloud based on vFabric Nanotrader,
  2. A fast, scalable software architecture deployed in the cloud for a loyalty card program, and
  3. An elastic data management solution for reloadable payment cards.

Products and services represented across the three stories ran the entire length of the vFabric stack including tc Server, EM4J, SQLFire, GemFire, Data Director, Application Director, RabbitMQ, Application Performance Manager, and more. Below, I’ve included a short overview and some compelling insights from each panelist at the session. Continue reading

How IT Will Come Out On Top of The Cloud

Virtualization is about to change the game again in the datacenter. As the modern computing world has become comfortable with cloud computing, their appetite is accelerating for it, and doing so rapidly. In fact, Gartner recently reported that spending on public cloud services will be $109 billion this year, up from $91 billion from last year’s spend. And it will nearly double to $207 billion by 2016. That’s a consistent increase of over 20% each year, and the fastest growing area of spend according to their predictions

And guess what? Some of them are in your business, and you probably don’t even know it. Analysts are calling this trend “shadow IT” where end users decide to implement their own CRM solution with a simple credit card swipe. Or where a business unit decides to build and test an app on Amazon instead of internally on your infrastructure. PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) has data that shows large enterprises (averaging $500MM in revenue a year) “leak” as much as 30% of their IT budget outside of IT’s purview and ledger. Not only do these costs surprise the CIO, but they also fall outside of IT’s ability to govern, secure and maintain compliance. And of course, when things go wrong, IT is drawn into help troubleshoot a solution they have little knowledge of, exhausting resources very quickly. Continue reading

Making Sense of Spaghetti Transactions

Today’s modern applications are built from an ever growing number of moving parts (e.g. queues, caches, services connecting different application tiers, and outgoing calls to external services). These parts are also dynamic—layers grow or shrink to scale, are load balanced, and since they are virtual or in the cloud, they can also physically move quickly. Transactions can literally pass through hundreds of different paths in your average application. These are spaghetti transactions.

Every piece of spaghetti has a start and an end, but how each one passes is difficult to see when it’s in a pile. Understanding spaghetti transactions, and how they flow between all the parts of the application’s topology has become more time consuming than ever.

Efficient management of these applications requires a new approach – moving from individually managing the health of each server, operating system, and the workload it runs, to managing applications and multi-tier transactions. Continue reading

Doing Agile? 10 Features of an Agile App Platform (Part 2)

header-agile-business-guy-jumpingIn Part 1 of this blog post, we outlined 2 Key Agile Themes (delivery efficiency and adaptable designs), Then, we used the themes as a guidepost to identify 10 features of an application platform. In Part 2, we provide examples of how the vFabric Application Platform delivers against these 10 features:

1. An application framework that minimizes coupling
2. An application framework with great support for Unit and Integration Testing
3. A messaging technology that can run anywhere
4. An application platform that supports performance testing in the development cycle
5. An application server that streamlines application deployment Continue reading