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Monthly Archives: December 2012

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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Application Delivery Controllers (ADCs): The Last Physical Hurdle to the Software Defined Datacenter (SDDC)

Effectively a next generation load balancer, enterprises are deploying Application Delivery Controllers (ADCs) to front-end their mission critical applications. The enterprise ADC market is mature with well established players and solutions. Yet when moving applications to the cloud – it’s a completely different playground. The business need is to support a new application life cycle—one that allows the business to scale across hybrid cloud environment.

In this post I will explore an application life cycle use case across hybrid cloud, and how to properly deploy an ADC in the cloud to support the application life cycle.

Understanding application life cycle in hybrid cloud environment

IT managers move their applications to the cloud in order to reduce costs and improve the business agility. A typical enterprise application life cycle is based on the following stages:

  • Application development and testing—in the public cloud
  • Application production—in the private cloud
  • Application Disaster Recovery (DR) and bursting—in the public cloud Continue reading

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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Journey to PaaS: How Application Director Is Changing How Customers & Partners Deliver Software

Less than a year ago we announced the availability of the first vFabric Application Director release, where we took a bold new approach to provision workloads on Cloud Infrastructure.  It was an inventive solution to a problem most people hadn’t realized was an issue yet. By separating apps and infrastructure in the provisioning process, we could drastically simplify operations and actually make organizations more nimble, more agile.

This week, we announced the next major release of Application Director.  Over the course of the past year, we have seen tremendous responses from our design partners, early adopters and overall in the market to the approach we are delivering. Komal Mangtani, our engineering director who is building Application Director, first outlined this approach in her post ‘Creating Your Self-Curating Application Platform’ back in August.  Essentially, we are using a completely declarative, model-driven method for service provisioning, which means it is agnostic of the underlying configuration script or the infrastructure it is running on.

Automation for any process is expected to speed things up, and reduce errors. By abstracting this into the model-driven approach, we get a few more benefits:

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How We Improved APM’s Monitoring Capacity by 500% with Gemfire, RabbitMQ, vPostgres, and a Few Scalability Design Patterns

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

.NET + RabbitMQ: Scales to 100s of Millions of Passenger Messages at 15below

This week we are excited to have a guest post on vFabric RabbitMQ from Mike Hadlow, enterprise Microsoft.NET developer and architect with 15below.com. Mike covers:

  • Their Architecture Before RabbitMQ
  • Why they went with RabbitMQ
  • Their Infrastructure and Development Environment
  • How RabbitMQ fits in their Software Architecture

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In this post, I want to share our experiences of using RabbitMQ at 15below.

15below is based in Brighton, UK. We provide messaging and integration services for the travel industry. Our clients include Ryan Air, Qantas, JetBlue, Thomas Cook, and around 30 other airline and rail customers. 15below sends hundreds of millions of transactional notifications every year to its customer’s passengers over a wide range of channels including email, SMS, push, and voice.

RabbitMQ has helped us to significantly simplify and stabilise our software. It’s one of those solutions that you install, configure, and then really don’t have to worry about. In over a year of production, we’ve found it to be extremely stable without a single production issue. Continue reading

VMware Releases 3 Major Advances Toward the Software-Defined Datacenter

VMware customers are realizing the potential for the Software Defined Datacenter (SDDC), where infrastructure is delivered as a service through automated data center management. At VMworld Europe earlier this year, we announced that vFabric Application Director was becoming part of the vCloud Suite, VMware’s comprehensive cloud infrastructure solution that integrates VMware’s leading virtualization, cloud infrastructure and management portfolio into a single SKU, placing it easily within reach of virtualization infrastructure architects to deliver private cloud Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS). Today, VMware announces three major releases that further advance customers toward making the SDDC a reality.

  1. A new version of VMware vFabric Application Director 5.0 is available, including as part of the updated VMware vCloud Suite 5.1. The release features new and enhanced capabilities for simplifying and automating provisioning of applications to the cloud and the setup of PaaS environments. For more information on the vCloud Suite release, see the press release.
  2. VMware has released an open marketplace, called the VMware Cloud Applications Marketplace, where partners, developers and VMware can easily publish and download many of the pre-built components application teams need to build their apps.
  3. A new Application Management 5.0 Suite, which combines new releases of vFabric Application Director and vFabric Application Performance Manager together to allow IT to provide self-service provisioning and integrated application management to application owners and developers building scalable applications in the cloud. Continue reading