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Category Archives: EM4J

10 Lessons from Spring Applied to Java Virtualization with vFabric

The Spring Framework became the de-facto standard for developing enterprise Java applications, and its radical simplicity was fundamental to its success. Why the “radical” simplicity? Because at the time, it was hard to imagine how creating such applications could be made simple.

By tackling issues such as portability, understanding the importance of cross-cutting concerns, and making it trivial to develop automated tests, Spring allowed developers to focus on what matters: what makes their application unique.

As I was pulling together my presentation for SpringOne2GX 2012, I reflected on the parallels between Spring’s success and the direction we were going with EM4J. Why did Spring succeed? Why did simplification win? Where are we replicating these patterns within VMware, vFabric, and Java?

In short, complexity is expensive, and simplification has many economic benefits. By giving people better, simpler, and easier to use tools to help build, run, and manage applications, we create economic advantages.

In a nutshell, there are some core reasons why Spring succeeded, “Spring values” if you will: Reducing complexity, increasing productivity, provisioning flexibility, tooling and monitoring, extensibility, automation, flexible integration and ease of testing. Continue reading

Introducing A New Reference Architecture That Will Speed Knowledge & Development of Modern Cloud Applications

Technology is evolving at breakneck speeds.

Universally, applications are faster, deal with large data sets, and provide more compelling user experiences than ever before.

Competition is steep.

As a result, competitive organizations demand that IT leaders speed the rate of new application innovation and development.  IT must rise to the challenge or face competitive threats, missed business opportunities, and lose momentum within their user base. In short, IT leaders and providers that do not accelerate will face a backlash from executives.

In order to meet these challenges, IT is renovating application architectures to thrive in the cloud. This is an organization-wide change involving people redirection, process redesign, and technology exploitation. For many, there is a steep learning curve. Continue reading

VMware vFabric tc Server to Continue Support of Java 6

Oracle has announced the formal end of life (EOL) of Java 6 coming up in February of 2013. Given that a significant portion of VMware vFabric Suite customers are still running applications that use Java 6, VMware has chosen to continue  support for vFabric Suite running Java 6 applications.  This includes a la carte support only contracts for Apache Tomcat and Apache HTTPD. Current versions will not expire their support for Java 6 with the EOL in February, 2013.

Additionally, VMware will continue testing and validating future versions of the vFabric Suite on Java 6 until further notice.

What this means for customers

vFabric customers that chose not to update their applications to Java 7 will still enjoy the same level of support from VMware for their vFabric middleware stack that powers their Java 6 applications, even past its end of life. It also means that Java 6 will continue to be a testing requirement for future versions of vFabric Suite. Customers not interested in updating their applications to Java 7, can continue to trust their vFabric upgrades from VMware.

For customers purchasing a la carte VMware support only for Apache Tomcat or combined support only for Apache Tomcat and HTTPD, they will not violate their support contract by continuing to run applications using Java 6.

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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.

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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

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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.

If you haven’t heard, the SpringTrader reference architecture is used to help Java-based application architects, developers, infrastructure, and operations teams advance their application roadmaps and provide reusable patterns.  Some might also consider how vFabric Application Director can be used with the SpringTrader app to enable continuous deployment or automatically provision and scale the app in a completely virtual data center (i.e. a software defined data center). As well, vFabric Application Performance Manager can be used to monitor the entire stack and trigger automated scaling events like adding a new JVM and tc Server to the SpringTrader app’s production environment.
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vFabric VMworld Sessions available On Demand

For anyone that attended VMworld 2012, you can access content for all VMware sessions here.

If you did not attend, you can purchase a subscription to access the content online. Content from all previous years is free for all community members along with the 2012 General Session Keynotes.

For your convenience, we’ve provided a list and links to all the vFabric-related sessions below:
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vFabric Suite 5.2 Released

vFabric Suite 5.2 has been released and is now available for VMware customers to download and deploy. Considered a minor release, this update fulfills VMware’s desire to update the 13 different application components that comprise the suite every six months.  The improvements across the products for this version focus on improving standardization and consistency across products, an important maintenance effort as several of the products are relatively new to the vFabric product portfolio. Customers will universally benefit from standardization across products on five fronts:

  1. Platform Support
  2. Accessibility certification
  3. Globalization
  4. Packaging/RPMs
  5. Security Audits

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Field Report VMworld Europe Day 3

Over 37,000 VMs have been started in Hands on Labs. Hands on Labs run in Hall 6 through Thursday. vFabric labs include Application Director, Data Director, CloudFoundry, SQLFire and scaling with vFabric.

As noted in the Field Report from Day 2, we greatly appreciate the opportunity to listen and learn from our VMworld Europe customers, prospects, and partners! VMworld this year has not dissapointed. We’ve met with hundreds of partners, thousands of customers and spun up tens of thousands of virtual machines in our hands on labs. Over 37,000 in fact at the start of Wednesday, with two more full days to go! An impressive event all around.

Not surprisingly after the keynote yesterday, customer discussions have continued on Application Director, with many stating explicitly that they are going to use this as the cornerstone opportunity to build out a self-service infrastructure, just like VMware’s own IT did.

Beyond that, a few other key themes have emerged:

Significant vFabric Interest from VMware Partners
Monday was a partner day, and there is a lot of interest in vFabric from partners.  They are looking to VMware to learn and improve how they are building apps for their customers in cloud environments. For one of our presentations on Monday, we had a packed house with over 100 people in the audience.
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Find the vFabric Team at VMworld Europe

We are kicking off VMworld Europe in Barcelona this week.  The event starts at 9 am, with VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger and VMware CTO Steve Herrod detailing how VMware is helping customers and partners thrive in the cloud era with solutions that support the software-defined datacenter including a demonstration of Application Director. To view the general session live, check out the VMworld website here. For those heading to the event, come find the vFabric team and discover how you can build, run and manage apps better with support from VMware. Here is a run-down of what how you can find vFabric information and experts – Sessions, Labs, and Demos:
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