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Tag Archives: architecture

Banks Are Breaking Away From Mainframes to Big, Fast Data Grids

The world’s largest banks have historically relied on mainframes to manage all their transactions and the related cash and profit. In mainframe terms, hundreds of thousands of MIPS are used to keep the mainframe running these transactions, and the cost per MIP can make mainframes extremely expensive to operate. For example, Sears was seeing the overall cost per MIP at $3000-$7000 per year and didn’t see that as a cost-effective way to compete with Amazon. While the price of MIPS has continued to improve, mainframes can also face pure capacity issues.

In today’s world of financial regulations, risk, and compliance, the entire history of all transactions must be captured, stored, and available to report on or search both immediately and over time. This way, banks can meet audit requirements and allow for scenarios like a customer service call that results in an agent search for the transaction history leading up to a customer’s current account balance. The volume of information created across checking, savings, credit card, insurance, and other financial products is tremendous—it’s large enough to bring a mainframe to its knees. Continue reading

Understanding Speed and Scale Strategies for Big Data Grids and In-Memory Colocation

The new database is opening up significant career opportunities for data modelers, admins, architects, and data scientists. In parallel, it’s transforming how businesses use data. It’s also making the traditional RDBMS look like a T-REX. 

Our web-centric, social media, and internet-of-things are acting as a sea-change to break traditional data design and management approaches. Data is coming in at increasing speeds, and 80% of it cannot be easily organized into the neat little rows and columns associated with the traditional RDBMS.

Additionally, executives are realizing the power of bigger and faster data—responding to customer demands in real-time. They want analysis, insights, and business answers in real-time. They want the analysis to be done on data that is integrated across systems. And, they don’t want to wait a day to load it into a data warehouse or data mart. As a result, developers are changing how they build applications.  They are using different tools, different design patterns, and even different forms of SQL to parse data. 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

3 Game Changing Capabilities in SQLFire

According to one of our partners, vFabric SQLFire is a product he wishes more customers would use.

“SQLFire is a game-changer.  I think many companies underestimate the value of scaling the data later horizontally.  Every project I propose has a business case, and I see a tremendous amount of value being unlocked with this product—not just for the CIO or CTO’s agenda, but for the CFO and CEO.  Then, you add the fact that the whole application stack is virtualized and has solid integrations. It’s a simple story, the product allows you to add a lot of value in a really cost effective way.”

What makes SQLFire such a game-changer?

In this article, we’ll talk more about three game-changing capabilities: server groups, partitioning, and redundancy.

If you haven’t been following our stories on SQLFire, see the end of this article for a  list of posts and key capabilities that help explain how transformative SQLFire can be to your data management strategies. Continue reading

Part 2: The Value, Architecture, & Code for Building Geography-Based Apps

In our last post, we 1) covered how geographic data can release value in mobile and machine-based applications, 2) explained how technology is used to overcome barriers to these types of big data scenarios, and 3) detailed the architecture for a data fabric or grid (like vFabric GemFire) that works with geographic data and specialized or alternative indexes. There were also code examples to explain the object model, the spatial index, and data changes.

Now, we will continue the examples, show you how to make the index highly available, and use a function to access the data via the index.

The Scenario for a Highly Available Index

In some cases, a piece of data may be added to a node, or become primary on a node without a clean method call. This happens in the cases of both failover and rebalancing. In the case of failover, a bucket that is on a node (that was also a redundant copy) may suddenly become the primary copy if the node that held the primary failed.

In the case of rebalancing, an entire bucket can be moved to a new node that was added to the system without the benefit of capturing the “put” call on each piece of data. 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.

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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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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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.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

Cloud Diaries: Turning 13 Datacenters into 6? How vFabric Application Director Helps

Data center consolidation.

Those three words often mean a lot of things – a lot of work, a lot of change, a lot of cost savings, a lot of leadership, and a lot of coordination.  Of course, the payoff of doing it right can also be outstanding.

We had the opportunity to gain personal, anonymous observations from a senior technical architect of a European consulting firm who knows firsthand that data center consolidation can create value, citing “moving thirteen datacenters run by thirteen teams to six data centers run by one team is the catalyst for huge improvements in many areas.” Our architect’s company provides recommendations, architecture, installation, customized solutions, and operations services for IT.  In their conversation with VMware, we found that deployment automation is a critical requirement to many of their client’s consolidation plans, and they pointed out how vFabric Application Director is fundamental to the approach.

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