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About Al Sargent

Al Sargent leads vFabric Suite product marketing at VMware. A VMware employee since 2010, Al has helped make the vFabric Cloud Application Platform become one of the fastest-growing application infrastructure suites in the industry. Prior to joining VMware, Al was co-founder of cloud computing startup Sauce Labs, a software testing platform as a service (PaaS). Previously, Al held product roles at Oracle, Mercury Interactive (acquired by HP) and Wily Technology (acquired by CA), and holds one patent (#7730193). He holds a B.S. Symbolic Systems from Stanford University, and an MBA from UCLA Anderson.

Announcing the Availability of vFabric Data Director 2.5, GemFire 7, EM4J 1.2, and More

Application developers and data management teams continue to look for ways to modernize legacy apps, manage costs more effectively, build new apps on robust application platforms, and solve big data problems. These are some of the key reasons why vFabric is on the CIO (or CTO) agenda. With several new product releases in the vFabric Suite, VMware continues to provide a best-in-class application platform and help customers solve their top application development and data management problems.

vFabric Data Director 2.5

Database as a Service (DBaaS) helps companies virtualize data engines and automate management while getting a handle on the costs and compliance issues related to data sprawl. In the newest version of Data Director, several new data engines are supported (in addition to Oracle and Postgres) along with other new capabilities:

  • Support for Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 and SQL Server 2012
  • Support for Hadoop deployment, management, and monitoring across all major distributions through Project Serengeti
  • Enhanced automation of Oracle and SQL Server template creation
  • Broad support for Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) and Oracle Linux
  • Enhanced Oracle database ingestion, including ingestion to a point-in-time and more
  • Support for static IP database virtual machines (DBVMs)
  • Express set-up for development or experimentation

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Why is vFabric on the CIO Agenda? Trends and Economics

So, why is vFabric on the CIO Agenda? In short, technology trends and basic economics.

In this article, we outline, provide key highlights, share the slides, and link to an on-demand, CIO.com webinar titled, “Your business is now a software business. Now what?” In the recording, Tom Schmidt, Managing Editor at CIO.com, targets several questions to Al Sargent, Group Manager, VMware Cloud and Application Services, about how vFabric fits into the CIO agenda.

The webinar covers the following four topics, and a short summary is below:

  1. Why every business is a software business
  2. The clear trends with VMware vFabric customers and prospects
  3. Cloud Scale and Economics
  4. Pricing Comparisons of vFabric to Competitors Continue reading

NanoTrader: Now The SpringTrader Reference Architecture

What is SpringTrader?

Back in August, we provided a sneak peak at NanoTrader, VMware’s vFabric Reference Architecture.  It was referenced in several posts and then featured in a session at SpringOne recently.  The application has now been named SpringTrader, and we wanted to a) share more information about the SpringTrader app including some updated architecture graphics, b) provide a new tool (a version you can log into online), and c) share the location of the Spring Trader bits for download.

If you haven’t heard, the SpringTrader reference architecture is used to help Java-based application architects, developers, infrastructure, and operations teams advance their application roadmaps and provide reusable patterns.  Some might also consider how vFabric Application Director can be used with the SpringTrader app to enable continuous deployment or automatically provision and scale the app in a completely virtual data center (i.e. a software defined data center). As well, vFabric Application Performance Manager can be used to monitor the entire stack and trigger automated scaling events like adding a new JVM and tc Server to the SpringTrader app’s production environment.
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Field Report VMworld Europe Day 3

Over 37,000 VMs have been started in Hands on Labs. Hands on Labs run in Hall 6 through Thursday. vFabric labs include Application Director, Data Director, CloudFoundry, SQLFire and scaling with vFabric.

As noted in the Field Report from Day 2, we greatly appreciate the opportunity to listen and learn from our VMworld Europe customers, prospects, and partners! VMworld this year has not dissapointed. We’ve met with hundreds of partners, thousands of customers and spun up tens of thousands of virtual machines in our hands on labs. Over 37,000 in fact at the start of Wednesday, with two more full days to go! An impressive event all around.

Not surprisingly after the keynote yesterday, customer discussions have continued on Application Director, with many stating explicitly that they are going to use this as the cornerstone opportunity to build out a self-service infrastructure, just like VMware’s own IT did.

Beyond that, a few other key themes have emerged:

Significant vFabric Interest from VMware Partners
Monday was a partner day, and there is a lot of interest in vFabric from partners.  They are looking to VMware to learn and improve how they are building apps for their customers in cloud environments. For one of our presentations on Monday, we had a packed house with over 100 people in the audience.
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5 Trends Driving Change in App Architectures

From mainframe to client-server to web-based to cloud-oriented, application architectures have evolved.  Now, the cloud services market will be over $100B in 2012 (source Gartner) and IaaS is set to grow 45.4% – extremely fast in a tough world economy. This growth means companies are prioritizing cloud services and evolving application architectures very quickly. From the viewpoint of our customers, we see five key themes driving change in IT application architectures:

1. Systems of Engagement
2. Pervasive Frameworks
3. Expanding Application Usage Types
4. Data Explosion
5. Cloud Economics
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JavaOne Architect Viewpoint: The Inexorable March toward Simplicity

Here is a quick field report from JavaOne!

We’ve talked to dozens of people, and the theme we keep hearing is simplicity, simplicity, simplicity.

Many amazingly bright application architects have stopped by to understand and learn more about the vFabric application architecture, and these folks hail from a number of industries – giant telecom manufacturers, government ministries of defense, and multi-industry service companies to name a few.

 

These conversations with architects have tended to fall into one of the falling categories: Continue reading

vFabric: 3 Points from the VMworld Opening Keynotes

On Monday morning, I had the opportunity to sit back and enjoy the opening keynotes with Paul Maritz, Pat Gelsinger, and Steven Herrod at VMworld 2012.  Since my efforts focus on the vFabric product line, I was quite excited to see how our executive leadership team announced the company’s vision and hit on where vFabric fits in. For those that missed the keynote, it is available here. First, I’d like to say how amazing it was to hear Paul Maritz talk about how much virtualization has been adopted during his short tenure since 2008.

Now, there were three points made in the keynotes which explain how vFabric is a key part of the software-defined data center story, and I thought they were worth passing along to anyone that missed them. Before I mention these points, it makes sense to summarize the relationship between vFabric and the software-defined data center at a very high level.  To do so, I will quote Steve Herrod in this software-defined datacenter overview:

“So, in the end, it is the applications that matter. It’s the applications that help a business make new revenue or be more efficient in how they are doing so. And Continue reading

vFabric Usage and vFabric License Server

One change in vFabric Suite 5.1 is that the EULA now requires people to check their usage every 90 days. This is listed www.vfabric.co/eula - further below, there is an explanation on the simple way to get a report on this information:

At least once every ninety (90) days during the License Term (the ” Reporting Period”), You shall calculate, using all tools reasonably available to you, the average number of Virtual Machines in which You have run the Software during such Reporting Period (” Average Use”). If during any Reporting Period Your Average Use exceeds the number of licenses for which You have paid the applicable license fees, You shall: (i) report the excess use to VMware, within thirty (30) days of making the calculation, by providing written notice to vfabric@vmware.com; and (ii) pay to VMware, within thirty (30) days of the date of VMware’s invoice, the license fees due for such additional licenses. The day following an Average Use calculation shall begin a new Reporting Period.

The vFabric License Server makes it easy to get a quick view of license and product usage over time. The simplest way to find overall usage is to visit the web report interface. Simply enter the URL in a browser: https://host:8443/vfabric-license-server/report/create where host is the address of the computer in which you installed the vFabric License Server. You’ll see this page in your browser:

VMware-License-Server-Reporting-Entry

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VMware vFabric Suite 5.1 Standard and Advanced Editions Now Available for Download

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Last week, VMware introduced the new VMware vFabric Suite 5.1, which is now available for customers to download and try. 

Resources:

Download Free 60 Day Evaluation:

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Introducing VMware vFabric Suite 5.1: Automated Deployment, New Components, and Open Source Support

Today, VMware announced the release of VMware vFabric Suite 5.1, an integrated family of components that streamline how companies build, run and manage Java Spring applications whether on-premise or in the cloud. At VMware, we understand that smart, agile and cost-effective cloud infrastructure services are important. But ultimately, it’s about the applications that run atop that cloud infrastructure. 

Spring-vfabric-vsphere-stack_320x

This latest release of vFabric Suite puts the largest set of modern cloud services within easy reach for companies that need to build cloud-ready Java applications that are deployed easily, scale quickly, and use popular open source application infrastructure technologies.

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