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 →
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?
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 →
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
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:
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.
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.
Deploying an application automatically to over 1000 blades with 3000 to 5000 virtual machines is a big deal, particularly when a failed system can stop millions in daily revenue as is the case with large financial services company.
When you are an architect within a financial services company and responsible for such a massive infrastructure like this, your technology architecture decisions also cost millions of dollars.
VMware had the opportunity to open the “private diary” of a cloud architect responsible for such a system at one of the most well-known global financial services brands in the world. In our dialogue, we were able to better understand why and how they use VMware’s vCloud Suite and vFabric Application Management in their data center.
In addition, until December 15, 2012 at 11:59 pm PST, VMware customers are invited to upgrade vSphere Enterprise Plus to the vCloud Suite Enterprise Edition, which includes Application Director, at 35% off. See the vCloud Suite promotion for full details including other offers.
To participate in this open beta, please contact VMware Sales and specify your interest in participating in the Application Director Beta. While the beta version is not intended for production environments, the final release for Application Director is expected by the end of 2012.
In a nutshell, the vCloud Suite helps IT automate application deployments in a way that is very similar to how public cloud providers like Amazon’s are provisioned today—on demand by end users. The vCloud Suite helps IT organizations transform themselves into service providers, and provides them with the framework to ensure your cloud infrastructure is optimized, cost effective, secure and flexible enough to meet any business demands.
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:
While vFabric Application Director supports a variety of products out of the box (mostly vFabric) and a growing number of products on the Cloud Application Management MarketplaceBETA (like Puppet Integration), it is easy to extend Application Director to support additional applications. Let’s take a look at how to use Application Director with Apache’s open source database, Cassandra. If you are new to Application Director, you might check out this 5-minute explanation. Otherwise, this post will show you how to automate the provisioning and set-up of a Cassandra cluster with Application Director in two main steps: 1) creating the catalog service and 2) defining a blueprint. Then, we will look at an example. Continue reading →