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Tag Archives: GemFire

Updated vFabric GemFire 7 Delivers Fast, Reliable Data at Cloud-Scale

Doubling-down on in-memory data

Download GemFire 7Memory is faster than disk. People realize that when they need to support high performance on-line applications. Recently many traditional database providers latched onto this and started “washing” their offerings with in-memory variations. At the same time, new companies are jumping into the In-Memory Data Grid (IMDG) space with unproven offerings. However, enterprise data is not something many are willing to experiment on.

VMware has virtually pioneered the IMDG, even before it was a category. Its vFabric GemFire team has been at this for a while now with a proven, production-grade offering called vFabric GemFire. In its latest release, vFabric GemFire 7.0 brings a couple of key enhancements for developers and IT pros alike:

  • Improving developer productivity
  • Increasing operational efficiencies

These improvements are in addition to the already proven data consistency and reliability that many have come to expect form vFabric GemFire in their scale-out data architectures. Once more, VMware has shown, both the technical knowhow and the necessary experience in enterprise-grade in-memory data to support on Cloud-scale.
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Sizing vFabric GemFire – VMware’s Java-based, Spring-Enabled, In-Memory Data Platform

Capacity planning in the enterprise is no easy task. In this post, we provide an overview for sizing VMware’s elastic, in-memory data management product, vFabric GemFire and a link to an in-depth, technical article.

Setting the Stage for Memory Sizing

Enterprise applications today are distributed systems that have to satisfy increasingly more complex business requirements. When the ever growing demand for managing more data is added, the task keeps getting harder.

One of the key factors in capacity planning for memory intensive systems, such as in- memory data stores, is memory capacity. Even though the price of memory keeps going down, data capacity requirements keep going up, and this makes memory as precious a resource as ever. As large systems become even larger, it becomes more important to manage this resource efficiently. In addition to obvious reasons, such as Total Cost of Ownership (TCO), there are technical challenges that come with large memory pools. For one, garbage collection (GC) takes more time, which can affect both latency and throughput. Determining memory requirements correctly is both crucial and difficult.

That is why this post and the related technical article focus on memory sizing and provide concrete guidelines for determining required memory for optimal performance, especially in large scale vFabric GemFire deployments. GemFire has facilities that can be very useful for memory sizing. The article not only explains the facilities, but also describes a method and guidelines to take the guesswork out of memory sizing process. Continue reading

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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Using Visual Statistics Display to Analyze GemFire Runtime Configuration, Resources, and Performance

vFabric GemFire is a sophisticated product in a complex problem space: data management in distributed systems. In order to help our users get the most out of GemFire, we are starting a “cookbook” series, which will provide tried and tested recipes that we hope every GemFire user will find useful.

Our first topic is the Visual Statistics Display (VSD). VSD is a visual tool for analyzing GemFire statistics. It reads GemFire statistics from special statistics archive files created by GemFire, and renders their graphs for analysis. It is not a real-time online monitoring tool, such as vFabric Hyperic, so it does not have the real-time monitoring and alerting capabilities that they have. On the other hand, it is the most powerful tool for examining the state of a vFabric GemFire system, as it provides access to all the statistics collected by GemFire. No real-time monitoring tool can do that, as the amount of statistics that GemFire collects is prohibitive for real-time collection in a distributed system.

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3 Insightful vFabric Implementations to Learn From

At VMworld in San Francisco, several partners shared success stories at the vFabric partner panel.  As moderator for this session, I worked extensively with the three vFabric Partners prior to the event and uncovered a common theme – these experts are top notch at what they do and enjoy doing it.  Each Partner had a unique vFabric story about successful implementations.  Partners on the panel included Nancy Turbe with EMC consulting, Jeff Reed with Logicalis and Juan Garcia from Williams and Garcia.  Their stories covered:

 

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  1. A low-cost, high performance financial trading platform for the cloud based on vFabric Nanotrader,
  2. A fast, scalable software architecture deployed in the cloud for a loyalty card program, and
  3. An elastic data management solution for reloadable payment cards.

Products and services represented across the three stories ran the entire length of the vFabric stack including tc Server, EM4J, SQLFire, GemFire, Data Director, Application Director, RabbitMQ, Application Performance Manager, and more. Below, I’ve included a short overview and some compelling insights from each panelist at the session. Continue reading

Doing Agile? 10 Features of an Agile App Platform (Part 2)

header-agile-business-guy-jumpingIn Part 1 of this blog post, we outlined 2 Key Agile Themes (delivery efficiency and adaptable designs), Then, we used the themes as a guidepost to identify 10 features of an application platform. In Part 2, we provide examples of how the vFabric Application Platform delivers against these 10 features:

1. An application framework that minimizes coupling
2. An application framework with great support for Unit and Integration Testing
3. A messaging technology that can run anywhere
4. An application platform that supports performance testing in the development cycle
5. An application server that streamlines application deployment Continue reading

What’s Cool at VMworld? A Partner’s 2000 Milli-cents

Earlier this year, we did a video interview with Jeff Reed about VMware vFabric and did a Q&A session.  Several months have passed, and VMworld is around the corner.  So, we asked him a few more questions to hear what he is most excited about:

Q1: What’s your favorite resource that you get access to as a VMware partner at VMworld?
Answer: I have two: (1) the ability to communicate with the product managers and get visibility into next generation features and (2) discussing co-marketing efforts with the marketing team.

Q2: What is the “hot” vFabric product this year for your customers?
Answer: SQLFire and GemFire have the most interest as potential NoSQL solutions, and Application Director has interest from our customers trying to build private clouds. Continue reading

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.

The Nanotrader application is based on the web based Trading application, Day Trader. The legacy Day Trader application provides context for application modernization by representing the “before” picture while Nanotrader provides developers with a blueprint for achieving the “after” picture. Functionally, both applications allow users to login, view their portfolio, lookup stock quotes, and buy or sell stock shares. However, this is where their similarity ends. The following table describes key high-level differences in the application design: Continue reading

Top 5 Reasons App Teams Should Come to VMworld

VMware is excited about the upcoming VMworld 2012 in San Francisco on August 26 through 30. The VMworld team published the Top 5 Reasons Why You Should Come to VMworld, including getting the inside information on what’s next, hands-on training, and meeting the industry luminaries that this event attracts. However, some may not glean from this list that VMworld is aimed not just at virtualization infrastructure teams, but at app teams as well. While VMware is the leader in virtualization and cloud technologies, we are also squarely focused on helping customers build apps that are optimized to run on this infrastructure, and the vFabric team’s presence at VMworld this year underscores this fact in spades.

Why should app teams come to VMworld?

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1. Knowledge. If you develop with Spring or intend to virtualize Java, you will gain enough insights on VMware’s vFabric application stack to impact your career for several years.

2. Customer roundtables. We are looking to bring together a variety of vFabric users with their peers and our product leaders to hear and provide feedback on our product roadmaps, use cases, and suggestions that will help define our upcoming products.

3. One-on-one interviews and testimonials. We want to hear from you! Meet with our product representatives and tell us your vFabric experience. Sharing your achievements adds to the community, builds respect with your peers, and can even earn you some special rewards from VMware itself.

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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 Screen shot 2012-08-08 at 10.48.39 AM
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. Recently, I’ve come to love my job for two primary reasons:

1. “Cloud” technologies are forcing the Operations teams and the Application teams to “share” responsibility for overall IT efficiency. The cloud concept of an on-demand, elastic infrastructure is knocking down political walls and silos that have evolved over the past decades in IT. This is no more evident than at VMWare, where vFabric and vSphere product lines are starting to blur (e.g. vCenter –> vCloud Director –> Application Director). Finally, I have something to talk to the Infrastructure folks that gets them excited! Perhaps it is the needed automation of infrastructure that brings Ops to the Aps side. Or, perhaps it an elastic architecture that brings Aps over to the Ops side. In any event, the two teams are brought together and work together more in cloud solutions.

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