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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.

Happy Holidays and Merry New Year!

– The vFabric Blog Team

1. Why Hyperic is Going to Support PostgreSQL Only As a Backend Database
The next release of Hyperic is coming up soon and the biggest change is to the backend. In the next release, we will only support one database, namely PostgreSQL. Those of you who have been with Hyperic for a while may be surprised considering our history with PostgreSQL, but, as you read though this blog, it will start to make sense.  >>Read More

2. Spring and RabbitMQ — Behind India’s 1.2 Billion Person Biometric Database
Aadhaar was conceived as a way to provide a unique, online, portable identity so that every single resident of India can access and benefit from government and private services. The Aadhaar project has received coverage from all possible media — television, press, articles, debates, and the Internet. It is seen as audacious use of technology, albeit for a social cause. UIDAI, the authority responsible for issuing Aadhaar numbers, has published white-papers, data, and newsletters on progress of the initiative.A common question to the UIDAI technology team in conferences, events and over coffee is — what technologies power this important nation-wide initiative? In this blog post, we wanted to give a sense of several significant technologies and approaches.  >>Read More

3. RabbitMQ 3.0 Released
We are pleased to announce version 3.0 of RabbitMQ! This release introduces dynamic, policy-based control of mirroring and federation, improves the user friendliness of clustering, adds support for per-message TTL, introduces plugins for web-STOMP and MQTT, and adds many smaller new features and bug fixes.  >>Read More

4. Sneak Peak at VMware’s Nanotrader Reference Architecture
(Note: See a newer article on the renamed SpringTrader.) vFabric’s Reference Application, Nanotrader, provides customers with an end-to-end solution for developing, provisioning, and managing a distributed application in a cloud environment. The reference application and architecture provide customers and partners with a blueprint for development, infrastructure, and operations teams.  >>Read More

5. Load 8 Million Rows in 88 Seconds – NewSQL Speed
At some point, any data modernization project is going to require a load of legacy data. With an in-memory, distributed data store like SQLFire, customers often ask (like in this case) about load times because they can be sitting on 50-100 GB of data and don’t want to wait days. For those unfamiliar with NewSQL databases, this post should give you a good sense of how we loaded 8 million rows in 88 seconds. The test shows how we should be able to load roughly 40GB of data in about 1 hour. For Java developers who want ideas about speeding up large volumes of calculations, transforms, or validations, you may want to consider a previous post, where SQLFire is used with Spring Batch.  >>Read More

6. Application Modeling in vFabric Application Director
In this video, R&D Manager Matthew Ford demonstrates for application architects and administrators  how easy it can be to do real-time application modeling with the vFabric Application Director.  Application Director supports a streamlined process to define the logical structure of virtual machines, operating systems, software, and components and create a comprehensive, graphical application model, called a blueprint.  Complete with dependency management and custom configuration, once the application blueprint is complete, the system automatically provisions the infrastructure and applications across any VMware vCloud Director registered cloud service, including public cloud services as well as private cloud infrastructures.  >>Read More

7. How Even the Ocean (Data) Is In The Cloud
Recently, VMware worked with the Ocean Observatory Initiative to discuss an interesting case study that affects us all. The U.S. has built an ocean of big data on the ocean itself. Currently, we are collecting about 8 terabytes a day or 3 petabytes a year of data about the ocean in order to more efficiently and safely study the body of water that covers over 70% of earth. The Ocean Observatories Initiative (OOI) is a 25-year program responsible for managing a networked set of 100s of sensor instruments that sit in the ocean, take measurements, send data back to a massive data infrastructure, and make data-sets and reports available to oceanographers, scientists, educators, and the public on a very broad scale. This system, quite literally, is a Hubble Telescope for observing the ocean. While this mega-system has an amazing history and tons of interesting capabilities, we think it’s pretty cool that VMware vSphere and vFabric RabbitMQ play key roles.  >>Read More

8. What’s New in EM4J 1.1?
Elastic Memory for Java (EM4J) 1.1 is a memory management toolkit for Java in vSphere, focused on enabling customers to confidently achieve greater memory efficiency for their Java workloads. EM4J is a relatively new technology developed here at VMware which was created to solve the problem of memory reclamation in VMs predominantly running Java. This week, as part of the overall vFabric Suite 5.1 release, we introduced EM4J 1.1 which builds on that foundation with new monitoring capabilities in vCenter designed specifically to support Java workloads, as shown in this screenshot. First, however, if you are not familiar with EM4J, it may be helpful for a more detailed background on EM4J itself. If you are already familiar with it, you can skip to the section below on EM4J 1.1. >>Read More

9. How VMware IT Reduced Provisioning Time by 80% Using vFabric Application Director and More
In 2011, VMware IT embarked on an effort to transform their processes for application deployment. Similar to most IT shops, VMware IT regularly prioritizes projects to a) enhance business value and b) lower operating (efficiency, effectiveness, etc.) and capital expenditures.  For VMware IT, there is also the opportunity to showcase how VMware technology can impact VMware customers.  For example, VMware’s own hardware consolidation from virtualization has resulted in an infrastructure that is 97% virtualized and a significant cost savings.  With VMware’s products for cloud infrastructure and application management, the IT team saw an opportunity to automate cloud provisioning. (Note: There is a follow-up post to this article titled Q&A w/VMware IT: Reducing Provisioning Time by 90% and Costs by 30%)  >>Read More

10. NanoTrader: Now The SpringTrader Reference Architecture
What is SpringTrader? Back in August, we provided a sneak peak at NanoTrader, VMware’s vFabric Reference Architecture.  It was referenced in several posts and then featured in a session at SpringOne recently.  The application has now been named SpringTrader, and we wanted to a) share more information about the SpringTrader app including some updated architecture graphics, b) provide a new tool (a version you can log into online), and c) share the location of the Spring Trader bits for download.  >>Read More

11. How it Works: VMware’s Own Internal Self-Service Cloud
One of the hottest new products in the vFabric portfolio is vFabric Application Director. Many at VMware are excited about it simply because of what it means to our everyday work life. Earlier this year, we published a story on “How VMware IT Reduced Provisioning Time by 80% Using vFabric Application Director and More.” Now that number is up to 90%. Here’s an overview of what the business workload lifecycle management implementation looks like under the hood.  >>Read More

12. 4 Examples of Big Data Trends
Whether you are doing Algo Trading or Agriculture, your business is becoming more and more reliant on data. And what is it about that data that is common? It’s Big. It’s Fast. It’s Flexible. These three trends (i.e. big, fast, and flexible) in new data and analysis are stretching the database in ways we hadn’t even conceived of in the past. To better articulate and think clearly about these trends, let’s analyze some examples so we may understand how these disruptors are impacting the data market. As well, we will look at an example of a fourth trend — how cloud delivery models impact data.  >>Read More

13. 4 Drivers behind Intel’s Cloud Foundry Choice and Why
Our goal at Intel was to let software developers get an innovative idea into production in less than a day. One of the large aspects of meeting this goal is delivering a robust PaaS solution. We made a decision in mid-2011 that PaaS would enable this goal, and for our wide range of data and security requirements, running it in our private cloud was paramount. In searching for a PaaS solution for our Enterprise Private cloud, we conducted a study of solutions that could be landed within an enterprise. We specifically wanted a solution that could run on an IaaS and help address our key challenges.  >>Read More

14. Introducing VMware vFabric Suite 5.1: Automated Deployment, New Components, and Open Source Support
Today, VMware announced the release of VMware vFabric Suite 5.1, an integrated family of components that streamline how companies build, run and manage Java Spring applications whether on-premise or in the cloud. At VMware, we understand that smart, agile and cost-effective cloud infrastructure services are important. But ultimately, it’s about the applications that run atop that cloud infrastructure.  >>Read More

15. 5 Ways IT Benefits From The New Cloud Operating Model
It’s official. IT’s investment in the cloud is accelerating. Gartner recently reported that spending on public cloud services will reach $109 billion this year, up from $91 billion from last year’s spend. That’s an increase of over 20% in one year, and the fastest growing area of spend according to their predictions. How is IT coping with such a dramatic shift in resources? At VMware, we are seeing an organizational shift that we are calling the Cloud Operating Model that is capitalizing on this effort. The Cloud Operating Model is both an organizational change and a technology evolution.  >>Read More

16. Powering Mobile Architecture with vFabric
Mobile is driving a lot of new application development. But, how can vFabric help? We’ve all heard the incredible growth trends of mobile. As an example, “The Future of Mobile” presentation by Henry Blodget, CEO of Business Insider (2012), shows how mobile apps are now a $10B market and growing at 100% per year.  >>Read More

17. Doing Agile? 10 Features of an Agile App Platform (Part 1)
Using an “agile process” is listed as one of the Top 10 Reasons for Project Success. So, it’s not surprising that everyone wants to be agile these days. There are numerous books and blogs available that explain how to adopt agile practices from a people and process perspective, but what about technology? Do the decisions we make when choosing our “build, run and manage” application platform affect our ability to adopt agile practices? To answer this question, we’ve looked at the principles behind the agile manifesto[2] and identified two core themes to help characterize the agile features of application platforms. >>Read More

18. 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 ofdollars 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.  >>Read More

19. 2 Ways Fast/Big Data Impacts the IT Org Structure
Though my background includes time as both a developer, architect, and CTO, much of my time today is spent discussing applications with senior IT executives. I manage an application development division of a national VAR and focus on the vFabric stack from top to bottom. One of the challenges I face is trying to provide application-centric consulting services to operations/infrastructure teams who (a) don’t really own the decision of app software infrastructure and/or (b) don’t understand it and, (c) worse in some cases, don’t care.  >>Read More

20. Virtualization for Oracle DBs – Some cut TCO by 50%
One of the biggest IT megatrends of the new millennium has been virtualization.  As of 2011:

While that sounds (and is) impressive, it will draw little more than a yawn from most of many of my DBA and ETL friends.  “Virtualization is great and all”, they say, “but we do real work.  You know, we work with Oracle and with data.” And, therein lies the rub.  >>Read More

About the Author: Stacey Schneider has over 15 years of working with technology, with a focus on working with sales and marketing automation as well as internationalization. Schneider has held roles in services, engineering, products and was the former head of marketing and community for Hyperic before it was acquired by SpringSource and VMware. She is now working as a product marketing manager across the vFabric products at VMware, including supporting Hyperic. Prior to Hyperic, Schneider held various positions at CRM software pioneer Siebel Systems, including Group Director of Technology Product Marketing, a role for which her contributions awarded her a patent. Schneider received her BS in Economics with a focus in International Business from the Pennsylvania State University.

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