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Category Archives: Spring Insight

10 Lessons from Spring Applied to Java Virtualization with vFabric

The Spring Framework became the de-facto standard for developing enterprise Java applications, and its radical simplicity was fundamental to its success. Why the “radical” simplicity? Because at the time, it was hard to imagine how creating such applications could be made simple.

By tackling issues such as portability, understanding the importance of cross-cutting concerns, and making it trivial to develop automated tests, Spring allowed developers to focus on what matters: what makes their application unique.

As I was pulling together my presentation for SpringOne2GX 2012, I reflected on the parallels between Spring’s success and the direction we were going with EM4J. Why did Spring succeed? Why did simplification win? Where are we replicating these patterns within VMware, vFabric, and Java?

In short, complexity is expensive, and simplification has many economic benefits. By giving people better, simpler, and easier to use tools to help build, run, and manage applications, we create economic advantages.

In a nutshell, there are some core reasons why Spring succeeded, “Spring values” if you will: Reducing complexity, increasing productivity, provisioning flexibility, tooling and monitoring, extensibility, automation, flexible integration and ease of testing. Continue reading

Why Lean Application Servers Are Faster, Cheaper, and Better For Business

The application server has been the centerpiece of modern architectures for web-based applications for over a decade. However, there are trends in technology that make us rethink how we use application servers and how we can get the most value out of them.

Over the years enterprises have built up considerable technical debt. This debt is made up of outdated processes, legacy applications, and stale technologies. We are all familiar with the types of headaches caused by older apps:

  1. Development is slow.
  2. Costs continue to rise, not fall.
  3. Business needs are increasing in speed and complexity.

The good news are there are solutions today that solve all of these challenges. This post and accompanying video are aimed straight at helping you understand what will help you evolve your applications to a modern approach that will benefit your company and your customers alike. Using VMware and open source technologies such as Spring, Apache Tomcat, vSphere, Spring Insight and Hyperic we will explain to you how these tools and methodologies come together with tc Server to evolve your development organization and applications to tap into the full potential of lean development and cloud computing.

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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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New Pay for Dev Bounty Program for Hyperic & Cloud Applications Marketplace

With the launch of the VMware Cloud Applications Marketplace just two weeks ago, VMware is adding some extra incentives for developers to join our program. Several bounties ranging in reward values from $500 to $1500 are available for both Spring Insight and Hyperic.

Earlier this summer, VMware announced a bounty program for Spring Insight. Today, a similar Bounty Program for Hyperic is also available. The Spring Insight Bounty program has had 2 plugins currently committed, with one in the final acceptance quality assurance stage.

The Bounty Program is designed to complement the VMware Cloud Applications Marketplace, where completed and approved solutions are listed and ready-to-use. The Bounty Program, on the other hand, is a place where companies, including VMware itself, can request and reward community members for creating any original work, including plug-ins, patches, tools, specifications, documentation, or sample code. Customers and Open Source users of both Hyperic and Spring Insight are encouraged to list their own plugins in the forum. To list a bounty, you only need to be a member of the forums, which is free. 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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3 Steps on Using Spring Insight Developer to Analyze Code

If you don’t know about Spring Insight Developer, this post may save you tons of time and potentially headache.

Imagine that you need to update some code behind a button, but you didn’t write the code. What if you could press the to-be-coded button and then see what code was invoked (including methods and arguments), the SQL invoked, and the time it took to execute?

This is what Spring Insight Developer allows you to do, and more.

It’s also free, and it uses AspectJ and AOP to load-time weave your application, you do not have to make any changes to your application code to use it.

Let’s take a look at a simple example of tracing your app, viewing the details, and seeing the code in action.

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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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Understanding the Difference between Spring Insight Developer & Insight Operations

Every developer knows Byte Code Instrumentation (BCI) is useful. It automates how you instrument your code, and let’s you see exactly how data is being transferred and manipulated within your application. The level of detail is essential to writing and debugging good code.

The Spring Framework has its own BCI tool, called Spring Insight. It comes in two flavors: Spring Insight Developer Edition (Insight) and Spring Insight Operations (Insight Operations). It is also bundled with AppInsight as part of the vFabric Application Performance Suite, and currently only works on Java/Spring code, a fact that is open to change with the upcoming Split-Agent Architecture.

So what is the difference?

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