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VMware Partner Q&A: 10 Things About vFabric Worth Hearing

This interview is with Jeff Reed, Application Development Executive with Logicalis.

Q1: How have you partnered with VMware?

Answer: Logicalis is a Global Systems Integrator and premier partner of VMware.  Virtualization and Cloud Computing are major world-wide practices for us, with proven experience not only in VMware’s virtualization suite of products, but also in VMware vFabric application development, deployment, and management suite of products. We provide public cloud solutions to our customers utilizing the VMware products, as well as help our customers deploy their own private clouds.  VMware is the market leader in virtualization and a leader in the transition to cloud computing. We’re collaborating on solutions and opportunities to address the needs of today’s Enterprises as well as tomorrow’s.


Jeff Reed, Logicalis on working with VMware vFabric

Q2) What’s your firm’s background with Java, Spring, and Applications Development and Deployment?

Answer: Our background with Java/Spring Application development and deployment goes all the way back to before VMware’s acquisition of SpringSource. We were doing custom application development and integration for our customers on top of VMware vSphere with SpringSource as a development framework before VMware even bought SpringSource. To us, the acquisition was totally logical.  We understand that IaaS (infrastructure as a service), which is underpinned by virtualization, is evolving in to PaaS (platform as a service). The two are related. And, we provide expertise in both areas.

We have several practices in Applications Development:

1. Custom development with Java/Spring,

2. Architecture/design/implementation services around VMware vFabric software products such as VMware vFabric tc Server and VMware vFabric SQLFire,

3. Architecture/design/implementation services around VMware application management products such as VMware vFabric Application Performance Manager, VMware vFabric Application Director, and VMware vFabric Data Director,

4. Architecture/design/implementation services of CloudFoundry (in collaboration with our partner Uhuru who brings .NET and SQL Server support to CloudFoundry), either in our cloud or our customer’s private cloud.

Q3) What initially attracted you to VMware vFabric?

Answer: I love the quote from Wayne Gretzy: “I don’t skate to where the puck was, I skate to where it will be.” If I were doing another startup today, like I’ve done in the past, or I was the CIO of an enterprise, I would standardize on something like CloudFoundry to totally automate my IT…end to end…with built in high-availability and horizontal scaling. That’s where the puck is going to be…and VMware is leading the way. You truly have created the Cloud OS.

Q4) Where have you used VMware vFabric on projects and engagements?

Answer: When we explain private clouds to our customers we emphasize that they have to break down the wall between IT Operations and IT Applications. We’re typically talking with the CIO, VP of Apps, and VP of Operations/Infrastruture – all together. Companies who can do that will have an advantage over their competitors.  Companies that don’t break down the wall between Ops and Apps divisions will lose.

We are regularly doing POC’s at our customers, primarily helping with:

Q5) What other VMware solutions have you used besides VMware vFabric? Why is VMware vFabric superior?

Answer: One reason I think vFabric is superior to other competitive product suites is that VMware truly has a culture of “openness” when it comes to development frameworks. They understand that new frameworks are always on the horizon…that the puck is always moving…and so we are seeing them do things not only like make products open source so that they can be extended (yet, with the world-class support and backing of VMware), but that they are building in support for Windows development frameworks like .NET and SQL Server. A simple example is VMware vFabric SQLFire’s support for JDBC and ADO.NET connectivity to back-end databases. As you look further outside the vFabric brand related cloud products, it is clear that VMware believes that the cloud should support multiple platforms and services…e.g. CloudFoundry. VMware encourages developers who can improve their products through the open source community.

Q6) What business challenges have you been able to solve using VMware vFabric? What benefits have you seen from using VMware vFabric in your projects?

Answer: I see two primary business challenges that vFabric is solving for our customers:

1. VMware vFabric today gives our customers a “Path to future Cloud” …a cloud that will be truly autonomic and scaleable

2. VMware vFabric frees up customer budget to build compelling revenue-generating or cost-cutting applications for their businesses: 1) vFabric costs our clients a fraction of legacy middleware 2) Cloud and virtualization friendly licensing frees up even more money.

Q7) What growth prospects do you see in Cloud Applications Platform space in general and specifically for your firm together with VMware?

Answer: Let me give one simple example of how VMware vFabric is helping us generate revenues as a Systems Integrator. It’s amazingly simple. If a customer can free up licensing budget by lowering its application server costs, which is a much bigger market than the OS market (and even much bigger than the hardware market), then they can spend money on using us to help them build their applications.

Q8) What are your thoughts about our new VMware vFabric SQLFire in-memory database which is being bundled with vFabric Advanced?

Answer: One vFabric product I’ve been spending a lot of time with lately is VMware vFabric SQLFire. This product is a game changer. There are a lot of NoSQL and NewSQL solutions out there…which reveals that there is a real need to solve the scaleability issue of traditional RDBMS in the cloud. Some of these companies will win…many will die out. I’m betting big on VMware vFabric SQLFire by staffing up in services accordingly.

Q9) How will VMware vFabric SQLFire help you grow your business for Cloud Applications?

Answer: A lot of our customers spend time trying to build a disaster recovery strategy. It costs a lot of money just doing the planning…and then a lot of money buying hardware and software licenses that sit idle until the disaster. If they modernize their applications using things like VMware vFabric SQLFire to handle the complexities of partition and replication of data across redundant nodes and across WANs, they can eliminate many if not all of the costs of traditional disaster recovery approaches.

Q10) How will VMware vFabric SQLFire's in-memory database help you address real time big data problems for your customers?

Answer: If you use VMware vFabric SQLFire to persist to disk-based systems such as vPostgres or data warehouses, you can solve big data problems. Like I said, it’s a game changer product for application development.


About the Author: Jeff Reed is currently an executive with Logicalis. Jeff was CTO at Logicalis USA and started their IBM business. He has been a software and infrastructure architect as well as a manager of multiple P&L including software development services, managed services, infrastructure services, and more. In his career, he has overseen partnerships with HP, IBM, Cisco, Sun, Microsoft, Sybase, and EMC. Logicalis is a UK-based, international IT solutions and managed services provider covering knowledge and expertise in communications and collaboration; data centre and cloud services; and managed services. Logicalis employs nearly 2500 people worldwide, has $1B+ of revenue, and over 6,000 customers.

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