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Tag Archives: monitoring

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

Scaling and Modernizing .NET and Java: SQLFire Performance Test Blows Away Traditional RDBMS

We all know the devil is in the details when it comes to technology.

Yet, our recent vFabric SQLFire performance test (a benchmark from vFabric SQLFire Best Practices Guide) is certainly worth review if you need to scale a Java app, .NET app, or other legacy data source.

If you don’t know what vFabric SQLFire is, it is basically what happens when Apache Derby gets married to vFabric GemFire:

  • Apache Derby is used for its RDBMS components, JDBC driver, query engine, and network server.
  • The partitioning technology of GemFire is used to implement horizontal partitioning features of vFabric SQLFire.
  • vFabric SQLFire specifically enhances the Apache Derby components, such as the query engine, the SQL interface, data persistence, and data eviction, as well as adding additional components like SQL commands, stored procedures, system tables, functions, persistence disk stores, listeners, and locators, to operate a highly distributed and fault tolerant data management cluster.

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Building a Multi-Tenant Development Mindset in the Travel Software Industry

The travel industry has been a technology innovator for decades.

But how do these tech innovators use a cloud application platform like vFabric?

In this article, we get a real-world, inside perspective from a cloud architect who designs and leads development teams for airline check-in and baggage software and cloud-based services. We will dive into his requirements and approaches to cloud-centric devops tools that keep systems running in high performance environments.

Travel companies use technology everywhere they can. For example, their technology lets us buy tickets over the web, check in via self-serve kiosks, and use iPhones or Androids as boarding passes. It wasn’t long ago that these capabilities didn’t exist, but innovative companies like American Airlines use technology everywhere to differentiate their company and connect with customers. For example:

  • AA.com gets 1.6 million visits per day.
  • Their mobile app has over 3 million downloads:
    • It’s available on iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Android, Blackberry, Nook, Windows Phone 7, and Amazon Kindle Fire.
    • Mobile boarding passes are available in 77 cities.
    • The apps include wifi flight search, flight status notification, and more.
  • Over 800 kiosks allow customers to check in while people can also check in from the website. The kiosks provide passport, credit card, and barcode scanning.
  • The list continues with on-board purchases, advanced loyalty programs, RFID, and more. 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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How We Improved APM’s Monitoring Capacity by 500% with Gemfire, RabbitMQ, vPostgres, and a Few Scalability Design Patterns

Earlier this week, we announced the general availability of a major upgrade to vFabric Application Performance Manager (APM). This release started one year ago, after we released the first version of the product to market. When we started work on this release, we knew we would need to invest heavily in scalability. APM is designed to help simplify monitoring and management for highly dynamic, large web applications living in the cloud. To succeed, we needed to make sure our product could scale gracefully with our customers. So, we set out with a challenging goal to increase the capacity of APM by a factor of 5.

Transforming a complex product such as APM into a more scalable architecture is not an easy task, let alone doing so in a single release. For this reason we’ve started by modifying the architecture in steps, starting with local improvements inside our virtual appliance, (available in the APM 5.0 release) and moving towards a horizontal scale solution in future releases. Continue reading

Cloud Diaries: Financial Services Company Saves 30-50% Capex & Automates 3000+ VM Deployment

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.

Here are the highlights:

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Why Hyperic is Going to Support PostgreSQL Only As a Backend Database

The next release of Hyperic is coming up soon and the biggest change is to the backend. In the next release, we will only support one database, namely PostgreSQL. Those of you who have been with Hyperic for a while as long as I have may be surprised considering our history with PostgreSQL, but, as you read though this blog, it will start to make sense.

History of PostgreSQL and Hyperic

For the last few years Hyperic has supported only two databases for production use at scale—Oracle and MySQL. This in itself was a big change since at one point, PostgreSQL was our bread and butter.  Hyperic was originally designed on PostgreSQL 7.x. As an open source project, PostgreSQL has a very easy license for distribution. As a startup company we had to get our product out into the marketplace quickly and affordably, so therefore PostgreSQL made sense.

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Rearview Mirror: The Evolution of Hyperic Over the Past 6 Years

An early design for mousepad giveaways from 2007 that I still use as my mousepad today.

Today is a new kind of birthday for me—it’s the day I started at Hyperic 6 years ago. It’s a journey that has been nothing short of surprising. My first meeting with then CEO Javier Soltero started the pace of what was to come: I had no idea it was an interview walking in, and was even more surprised when I walked out of that same interview accepting a job that same night. That sets the tone for the next 6 years.

It’s been an exciting journey riding the waves of technology changes these past 6 years, and sitting, in my opinion, in the perfect spot to see some of the biggest disruptors unfold.  I have literally had the privilege to work with the most interesting companies in technology along the way. Most of the biggest companies on the web, many of the biggest companies on the stock market, and some incredibly innovative startups have used our software, partnered with us, and in two cases—acquired us. From this vantage point, I have seen some impressive changes in our industry along the way. Here are some of the highlights:
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ROBLOX: RabbitMQ, Hybrid Clouds, and 1 Billion Page Views/Month

Online video games have amazing software architectures, particularly when they support millions or billions of transactions.

One of the most interesting companies in this growing industry is ROBLOX.

If you haven’t heard of ROBLOX, they allow users develop their own games – creating players, 3D worlds, and objects from first-person shooters to genres like military and sci-fi. They are able to share these games with others, and, of course, play them. The ROBLOX application also has a built in advertising system, social network, and virtual economy with currencies. According to their website, they generate:

  • Over one billion page views, 29 million in-game hours, and 10 million unique visitors per month.
  • Players created 5.4 million games and spent over 250 million hours of game-play in 2011

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