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 This debt is made up of outdated processes, legacy applications, and stale technologies.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:
Development is slow.
Costs continue to rise, not fall.
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.
We are very fortunate to post an interview with Shay Banon, the founder of elasticsearch. Elasticsearch is technology that is very popular among some of the coolest companies on the web today, including SoundCloud, StumbleUpon, Mozilla and Klout. These companies use elasticsearch to help them deploy powerful search capabilities in their applications that are easy to set up, scalable and built for the cloud. In this interview, we get to learn all kinds of cool things:
How Shay got into search
How he came up with the idea for elasticsearch
Why elastic search is different than other OSS search projects
Running elasticsearch on virtualized infrastructure
Without further ado, here is the interview.
Q1. So, how did you end up getting into search?
About 10 years ago, I moved from Israel to London because my wife was going to study to be a chef at the Cordon Bleu. I had no job. I was in a new country. I was unemployed. So, I started to get into the latest, cool, new technologies. Continue reading →
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.
In this article (and demonstration further below), we will show you six steps that give you an idea of how easy it is to provision using VAS. We will show you how to install VAS and use it to provision vFabric tc Server across three nodes along with a WAR file. The explanation below refers to examples from RubyGems.org and GitHub/vFabric/VAS-Ruby-API along with the latest VAS documentation.
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 →
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:
If you follow this blog, you know we keep hearing people talk about simplicity when discussing app servers and architectures. We certainly heard this at JavaOne and also at VMworld, but it’s been popular for a while.
The fact is that traditional Java EE (JEE) app servers bring complexity to the mix. In addition, they are costly and consume a lot of resources. Forrester wrote Continue reading →
For those sysadmins who manage 24/7/365, mission-critical systems, or global operations, a “follow-the-sun” model is part of the job. But when you are NOT on duty, you would prefer not to receive any notifications. So, an important function of alerts is the ability to alert different people depending on the schedule of who is on duty. Schedule-based alerts are useful even in during a single shift as you can plan coverage for lunches, regular meetings or temporarily disable alerts to allow focused time to work on special projects.
With vFabric Hyperic, you can set-up “follow-the-sun” notifications in a few steps.
The High-Level Steps:
Essentially, to enable follow the sun alerting we simply need to set up roles and schedules for our sysadmins. However, those schedules are only useful when put in context of setting up an alert. So we will take you through the full process of setting up a globally enabled alert. Those steps include:
1. Decide on your Alert
2. Set Up the Condition and Action for the Alert
3. Set Up Roles with Alert Calendars (this specifies who gets noticed around the clock)
4. Set Up the Escalation Scheme
With multiple Tomcat instances, each runs in its own JVM, with its own configuration, and can be started or stopped independently, while still running against the same core binary. There are a variety of reasons to do this in practice. For example:
Simplify updates by separating instance specific data like web applications from the core Tomcat software.
Maintain central control (and restricted permissions) on core Tomcat software, while allowing Tomcat instances to run as individual users without root permissions.
Isolate web applications to a particular Tomcat instance for protection from faults in other applications.
Permit application-specific performance monitoring (and usage billing) by having each application in its own Tomcat instance.
Configure the Java Virtual Machine specifically for the needs of the application(s) running on that Tomcat instance.
Configuring Tomcat such that a single binary runtime directory supports multiple independent instances is a simple matter of creating the correct directory hierarchies and setting a couple of environment variables. vFabric tc Server automates these tasks, but uses the same underlying mechanism as Tomcat. Given these basic facts, it’s easy to adopt a tc Server best practice for use with Tomcat. Continue reading →
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 →