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Tag Archives: operations

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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6 Simple Steps: Installing vFabric Administration Server (VAS) and Provisioning tc Server across 3 Nodes

As a suite of products, vFabric offers a single SKU model that includes the entire suite. Besides offering an economically beneficial licensing model that is flexible, based on average use, and hardware independent, the vFabric team has developed the vFabric Administration Server (VAS) to help make installation, configuration, and operations easier.

If you missed a previous article explaining how VAS work and what it can do for you, VAS is based on a single system image design (SSI) and allows you to define a group of nodes where each operation on the group is applied to each node who is a member of the group. This approach provides time savings and reduces errors by keeping systems more consistent, allowing easier ways to scale, and simplifying administration. VAS also provides a robust set of REST APIs for virtually all of its functionality. In addition to vFabric tc Server, VAS can manage vFabric RabbitMQ, vFabric GemFire, vFabric SQLFire, and vFabric Web Server. VAS 1.1.1 was recently released with new features and many bug fixes.

In this article (and demonstration further below), we will show you six steps that give you an idea of how easy it is to provision using VAS. We will show you how to install VAS and use it to provision vFabric tc Server across three nodes along with a WAR file. The explanation below refers to examples from RubyGems.org and GitHub/vFabric/VAS-Ruby-API along with the latest VAS documentation.

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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

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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Join us at the Cloud Computing Expo in Santa Clara

Join at the upcoming Cloud Expo in Santa Clara, CA on November 5-8.

Recent IDC research shows that worldwide spending on cloud services will grow almost threefold, reaching $44.2 billion by 2013. And a recent Gartner report predicts that the volume of enterprise data overall will increase by a phenomenal 650% over the next five years.

These two enterprise IT trends, Cloud Computing and Big Data, will converge at the 11th Cloud Expo – at the Santa Clara Convention Center. There are 200+ technical sessions covering everything from infrastructure to platforms to applications.
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NanoTrader: Now The SpringTrader Reference Architecture

What is SpringTrader?

Back in August, we provided a sneak peak at NanoTrader, VMware’s vFabric Reference Architecture.  It was referenced in several posts and then featured in a session at SpringOne recently.  The application has now been named SpringTrader, and we wanted to a) share more information about the SpringTrader app including some updated architecture graphics, b) provide a new tool (a version you can log into online), and c) share the location of the Spring Trader bits for download.

If you haven’t heard, the SpringTrader reference architecture is used to help Java-based application architects, developers, infrastructure, and operations teams advance their application roadmaps and provide reusable patterns.  Some might also consider how vFabric Application Director can be used with the SpringTrader app to enable continuous deployment or automatically provision and scale the app in a completely virtual data center (i.e. a software defined data center). As well, vFabric Application Performance Manager can be used to monitor the entire stack and trigger automated scaling events like adding a new JVM and tc Server to the SpringTrader app’s production environment.
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vFabric VMworld Sessions available On Demand

For anyone that attended VMworld 2012, you can access content for all VMware sessions here.

If you did not attend, you can purchase a subscription to access the content online. Content from all previous years is free for all community members along with the 2012 General Session Keynotes.

For your convenience, we’ve provided a list and links to all the vFabric-related sessions below:
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Understanding the Difference between Spring Insight Developer & Insight Operations

Every developer knows Byte Code Instrumentation (BCI) is useful. It automates how you instrument your code, and let’s you see exactly how data is being transferred and manipulated within your application. The level of detail is essential to writing and debugging good code.

The Spring Framework has its own BCI tool, called Spring Insight. It comes in two flavors: Spring Insight Developer Edition (Insight) and Spring Insight Operations (Insight Operations). It is also bundled with AppInsight as part of the vFabric Application Performance Suite, and currently only works on Java/Spring code, a fact that is open to change with the upcoming Split-Agent Architecture.

So what is the difference?

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JavaOne Architect Viewpoint: The Inexorable March toward Simplicity

Here is a quick field report from JavaOne!

We’ve talked to dozens of people, and the theme we keep hearing is simplicity, simplicity, simplicity.

Many amazingly bright application architects have stopped by to understand and learn more about the vFabric application architecture, and these folks hail from a number of industries – giant telecom manufacturers, government ministries of defense, and multi-industry service companies to name a few.

 

These conversations with architects have tended to fall into one of the falling categories: Continue reading