Home > Blogs > VMware vFabric Blog > Monthly Archives: December 2012

Monthly Archives: December 2012

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 Software-Defined Datacenter Will Auto-Scale Gracefully

VMware has been leading the charge to enable the vision of the Software-Defined Datacenter (SDDC) to become a reality. Today, we will explore an important part of the SDDC—auto-scaling.

To start, we are going to paint a picture using our handy reference architecture, NanoTrader (now known as SpringTrader). As the name implies, this app is based on the Spring framework (actually vFabric in general) and does trading with real links to stock market data feeds.

In our scenario, NanoTrader is working well at normal trading volumes, but what happens on the days when a social media jaggernaut has a highly publicized IPO? In our example, a made up entity we shall call “Bookspace” is doing just that–and while stock volumes are soaring, so is the load to the NanoTrader app. Fortunately, NanoTrader was deployed using integration between vFabric Application Director 5.0 and vFabric Application Performance Manager 5.0 (APM).  This integration enables a “closed-loop” application scale-out, that is automatic and does not depend on any human interaction. 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.

Continue reading

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

How to Prepare for a Hyperic 5.0 Upgrade

Recently, we announced a new version of our popular web infrastructure management tool, Hyperic 5.0.  We also explained how, in this new version, the backend data store is moving to support PostgreSQL. In this article, we are providing existing Hyperic users the information they need to plan their upgrade to Hyperic 5.0. This article is for anyone already running Hyperic HQ (open source), vFabric Hyperic, vFabric Application Performance Manager, or vCenter Operations Manager.

This post is meant to augment the knowledge base article, KB 2033940, published back in August.

Planning the Upgrade

We know platform changes can make an upgrade more difficult and certainly raise eyebrows. So, we’ve taken measures to help make the migration as seamless and simple as possible. So far, the cases we’ve seen take about an hour. As with any data migration, the greater the volume of database records, the longer it can take. Continue reading

How Building Websites Is Changing Right Before Your Eyes

For several decades, the world of computing was one of custom operating systems, languages and applications. With the advent of Unix, things improved quite a bit, and it became possible for end-users to write applications that would be portable across different computers. This started the quest for developers and adminstrators to be able to reuse existing code and libraries that has been the goal of many computing trends.

Not so long ago, creating websites was similar to creating applications for the early computers–you had to start from scratch. Over time, reusable libraries and frameworks started to emerge and entire ecosystems were created around popular open source Content Management Systems (CMS) such as Drupal, Joomla! and even WordPress, a blogging engine increasingly used to build and manage entire web sites. As a result, today, most websites are not started from scratch, with just a text editor and a blank PHP file. Instead, developers take an existing CMS application as a starting point and extend it to meet their needs.

From there, developers can pick and choose from thousands of modules (20,000 modules in Drupal’s case for example) or write their own. Modules range from e-commerce add-ons to administrative tools to analytics and reporting extensions. Many modules tend to be used together, and a number of niche-specific distributions have emerged. They provide collections of modules and configuration that make it easy to get started with content publishing for a wide range of verticals such as education, news sites, HR portals or photography portfolios. Continue reading

Part 1: The Value, Architecture, & Code for Building Geography-Based Apps

Will machine-generated data be larger than mobile and tablet-generated data?

No matter where you might place your chips on that bet, they both rely on geographic data for quite a number of business applications. These geographic data applications stand to release a tremendous amount of business value, and, in this two-part series, we will explain:

  1. How geographic data can release business value through applications.
  2. Where technology overcomes big data barriers to release the business value
  3. The concepts behind vFabric GemFire’s data fabric as well as an object model and data architecture for software services connecting to geographic data fabrics
  4. How to use an open source quadtree index and the related Java code for interacting with geographic data in vFabric GemFire

How Geographic Data Releases Business Value

Many early versions of geography, location, or proximity-based applications can be found in the market. Recently, we published a few examples of these types of applications in articles about ocean sensor data and mobile applications, but there are more: Continue reading

Solving the Learning Curve: How VMware Accelerates IT Service Delivery Yet Again

Have you ever been asked to get a new application environment up and ready for a new initiative and been told, “this really should have been done yesterday”? Usually when this happens, the application they are looking for requires some technology you know nothing about, like an Oracle WebLogic Server. Of course, just to stress matters more, you do not have any WebLogic subject matter experts in-house to help you out. So, you are stuck with cryptic installation docs and maybe a useful YouTube video or two. Wouldn’t it be great if you could leverage a website that was similar to Apple’s App Store? A marketplace where you can download and deploy that environment at the click of a button, and avoid the whole learning curve of setting it up? As a bonus, you can trust that the WebLogic server you are deploying was set up by subject matter expert whose optimized the setup already to run in the cloud? If that existed, your job in IT would be a lot easier, right?

As of this month, your job can be that easy. On December 3rd, VMware announced the VMware Cloud Application Marketplace as part of the VMware Solution Exchange. The Cloud Application Marketplace provides easy access to best practice application components, services, and even complete blueprints for cloud-ready solutions that can be deployed to any cloud using vFabric Application Director.

With over 30 software vendors, system integrators, and cloud providers like Oracle, Microsoft, Riverbed, and Accenture already on board, your IT department has access to over 100 real world applications you can rapidly deploy, monitor and scale in public, private and hybrid cloud infrastructures. Continue reading

6 Simple Steps: Installing vFabric Administration Server (VAS) and Provisioning tc Server across 3 Nodes

As a suite of products, vFabric offers a single SKU model that includes the entire suite. Besides offering an economically beneficial licensing model that is flexible, based on average use, and hardware independent, the vFabric team has developed the vFabric Administration Server (VAS) to help make installation, configuration, and operations easier.

If you missed a previous article explaining how VAS work and what it can do for you, VAS is based on a single system image design (SSI) and allows you to define a group of nodes where each operation on the group is applied to each node who is a member of the group. This approach provides time savings and reduces errors by keeping systems more consistent, allowing easier ways to scale, and simplifying administration. VAS also provides a robust set of REST APIs for virtually all of its functionality. In addition to vFabric tc Server, VAS can manage vFabric RabbitMQ, vFabric GemFire, vFabric SQLFire, and vFabric Web Server. VAS 1.1.1 was recently released with new features and many bug fixes.

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.

Continue reading

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

Continue reading