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Monthly Archives: August 2012

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

VMware IT Case Study: Refresh Oracle EBS in Hours not Days

In the past, several teams would work to provision an Oracle ERP environment, and it took weeks.

Now, it takes hours.

Whether a new environment is being created or an existing one is refreshed, it literally takes one person a few mouse clicks to initiate an entire environment, and it takes about 10 hours for the complex installation, configuration, and data-restore to run by itself.

Like many companies, one of the most important systems inside VMware is our Oracle ERP system.  It has 7 terabytes of data in the transactional database and records all transactions related to order management, service contracts, install base, customers, accounts receivable, accounts payable, general ledger, and more.  When our IT team set out to start using vFabric Application Director, we decided that this ERP application would be one of the critical places to automate deployments. At the end of the day, our main goal was to have a repeatable, fully automated process for provisioning and configuring an EBS instance.  For those who are interested, we are running: 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

4 Key Architecture Considerations for Big Data Analytics

Everyone seems to be talking about “Big Data” these days. We’re bombarded with information in online and print media about the explosion of machine generated data, the petabytes of data that companies like Facebook and Twitter generate, and the billions of dollars of opportunities awaiting all businesses through the use of big data. We also hear about what seems an alphabet soup of new technologies to process and analyze big data: Hadoop for distributed data processing, R for analytics, Lucene for text indexing and search, Mahout for machine learning…the list goes on and on.

If you’re a business user, you’re thinking that big data could give you an edge over your competition. If you’re a developer, you’re excited about the many new technologies you can learn about. If you’re an architect, you’re trying to figure out how all these big data technologies fit within your existing and future infrastructure.

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VMware Cloud Application Management Marketplace now in BETA

This is an exciting time for us at VMware! Among several key and strategic initiatives at VMware this year, we are thrilled to share the much-awaited release of VMware Cloud Application Management Marketplace BETA .

The Application Management Marketplace brings together an ecosystem of developers, independent software vendors, system integrator partners, and end consumers to collaborate and share solutions so IT teams can get instant access to ready-to-use cloud application management solutions. These solutions are meant to accelerate deployment and simplify management of real-world enterprise applications on private, public, and hybrid clouds, using VMware’s Application Management products – namely VMware vFabric Application Director for provisioning cloud applications and VMware vFabric Application Performance Manager for monitoring and scaling applications.

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VMware Expert Q&A: Big Data Analytics

One of the most popular topics at this year’s VMworld is Big Data Analytics.  We had an opportunity to catch up with VMware’s Senior Director of Big Data Analytics, Karthik Kannan to ask a few questions about this topic.

1. Why is big data analytics different than traditional analytics?
For one, dimensions are much larger.  For example, when you look at data from multiple sources, there are additional ways to both combine the data and filter it.  This isn’t just volume.  Data comes from a wider set of sources like devices.  Data is created at faster speeds like a terabyte per day.  Data can change rapidly like in financial markets or on social networks.  Traditional analytics are more about regular-interval reports on data that doesn’t change much.  For example, “Weekly Accounts Receivable” is much more static in terms of the structure, schema, sources, and the data itself.

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The Power of Updating vFabric Catalog Items in Application Director

To put it simply, vFabric Application Director (AppD) automates deployments. That might sound trivial at first, but it can automate an entire deployment for all the tiers of complex application, in the right order, with the right configurations, across multiple cloud and/or virtual infrastructures, and without ANY human intervention.  If you are just hearing about AppD, you can learn about it quickly here:

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Why DBaaS? 5 Trends Pushing Database as a Service

What if you could provision a highly available, compliant database in one click? For many, this sounds impossible…particularly behind the firewall. Yet, it is possible today because database management has changed.

The change has been driven by years, perhaps decades, of unmet needs. For example, we’ve all heard these types of comments made inside our respective companies:

  1. “Could we have a temporary copy of the database to use for a few days?”
  2. “We can finish faster doing it ourselves with a PC under someone’s desk.”
  3. “Didn’t we just buy a bunch of new database licenses?”
  4. “I have to test this with production data.”
  5. “It would be crazy to put two databases on the same server.

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Hadoop and More: VMware “Uber” Data Booth at VMworld 2012

Our “Uber” Data booth at VMworld this year will demonstrate how VMware continues to address enterprise data management challenges related to scalability, data proliferation, traditional database performance bottlenecks, analytics, and the ever changing data usage patterns of today’s on-line applications.

At our booth, you can see and learn more about:

SQLFire
Data Director
Hadoop/Serengeti
Cetas

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Java and vFabric: Radical Simplification

Ten years ago, the Spring Framework delivered radical simplicity to the complex world of enterprise Java. Today, VMware is delivering integrated middleware components in vFabric and driving the exact same simplification agenda.

Our customers have been successfully virtualizing Java workloads on vSphere for years, and VMware has built up a wealth of experience which we’ve been sharing with exponentially increasing numbers of attendees every year at VMworld. This year is no exception! (For example, check out “The Benefits of Virtualization for Middleware” on Thursday, Aug 30, 10:30 AM – 11:30 AM.) As we’ve grown in supporting Java on vSphere, we’ve also continued to embrace more Java and open source products within our vFabric product portfolio. Continue reading