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Tag Archives: development

5 Characteristics of a Modern Mainframe Cloud App – Avoid Tornado IT

No one likes being rushed into bad decisions.

Yet, the pace of information technology often forces IT executives to do that.

In today’s world, mainframe-to-cloud decisions need solid thinking or we risk a technology tornado. This article outlines some key lessons learned at the front-line of IT decision-making.

As previously discussed, it’s possible to “modernize” mainframe legacy applications to the cloud. You can get there with little to no modification by using a “lift-and-shift” strategy.  Several of my clients have taken this approach to quickly satisfy a “cloud mandate”. The results have been less than desirable:

  • Without the use of pooled resources, the applications do not scale well.
  • Timely user provisioning and access from any device is still a challenge because the apps do not provide on-demand, ubiquitous access.
  • In addition, utility-based pricing/costing is performed manually, with little accuracy to the realities of actual usage.
  • Most importantly, the applications continue to have monolithic, stove-piped architectures, which are difficult and expensive to maintain and enhance.

These “cloud” applications are more like funnel cloud apps or tornoado apps—waiting to cause IT organizations extreme havoc. Assuming you want to avoid funnel clouds and IT tornadoes, consider applying the following five application architecture and design principles indicative of a true cloud application: Continue reading

Build Your First Mobile App in the Cloud in 45 Minutes (Tutorial)

Two of the hottest topics in technology today are “mobile” and “cloud.” They are at the top of most CTOs list of objectives, yet they also seem to be the ones most shrouded in mystery. So where do you start?

With the video and do-it-yourself guide below!

This past year, at VMworld 2012 San Francisco and Barcelona, I ran a session where we built a complete database-backed web application from scratch using the SpringSource Tool Suite and the Grails framework for Java. Then, we published the application to Cloud Foundry—our open Platform-as-a-Service offering. Finally, we proceeded to build a mobile application that consumed the data from the web application built earlier.  I broke a cardinal rule by doing the entire session live, but it all went off without a hitch and audience participation with the application was an absolute blast. By the time we were done, we had built two applications from the ground up, and folks had an application that looked, smelled, and tasted like a native mobile application running on their phones. And, we did all of this in less than one hour! 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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How Building Websites Is Changing Right Before Your Eyes

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

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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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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Join us at Gartner AADI in Las Vegas – Nov 27-29

Gartner’s Application Architecture, Development, and Integration Summit is right around the corner on November 27-29 in Las Vegas, NV. Below, we outline all the cool stuff happening at this conference, and we cover how you can find vFabric experts and information while there.

This conference is intended for CIO/CTOs, application leaders, architects, portfolio managers, and those implementing cloud applications. You get access to seminars, analysts, peer roundtables, case studies, and workshops. The tracks are as follows:

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Application Director Community is Open & Growing

With the announcement at VMworld that vFabric Application Director is now part of VMware’s vCloud Suite, the popularity of the product and usage among VMware users has grown significantly. In order to best support a group of diverse users creating cloud applications that can run on any cloud, VMware has created a new community for Application Director users.

But why? Why is application provisioning becoming so popular?
Well, here is how the story is unfolding.

>> Join the Application Director Community
>> Follow us on Twitter

Why IT Departments are Prioritizing Application Director
If you look at it through an extremely pragmatic, financially conscious lens, it’s not terribly difficult to imagine how things evolve as IT looks to prioritize improvements. Here is an example of how we have seen our customers thought processes unfold in discussions:
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VMware @Zendcon Oct 22-25 in Santa Clara, CA

VMware will be at Zendcon next week!  Of course, there will be content covering PHP best practices, architecture, design, and development. As well, a key theme this year will be around cloud-based technologies.  Komal Mangtani, VMware Engineering Director, will be presenting a session about Application Director and Zend Server on Tuesday, October 23rd, from 5:15p to 6:15p.

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