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Tag Archives: provisioning

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

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

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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Solving the Learning Curve: How VMware Accelerates IT Service Delivery Yet Again

Have you ever been asked to get a new application environment up and ready for a new initiative and been told, “this really should have been done yesterday”? Usually when this happens, the application they are looking for requires some technology you know nothing about, like an Oracle WebLogic Server. Of course, just to stress matters more, you do not have any WebLogic subject matter experts in-house to help you out. So, you are stuck with cryptic installation docs and maybe a useful YouTube video or two. Wouldn’t it be great if you could leverage a website that was similar to Apple’s App Store? A marketplace where you can download and deploy that environment at the click of a button, and avoid the whole learning curve of setting it up? As a bonus, you can trust that the WebLogic server you are deploying was set up by subject matter expert whose optimized the setup already to run in the cloud? If that existed, your job in IT would be a lot easier, right?

As of this month, your job can be that easy. On December 3rd, VMware announced the VMware Cloud Application Marketplace as part of the VMware Solution Exchange. The Cloud Application Marketplace provides easy access to best practice application components, services, and even complete blueprints for cloud-ready solutions that can be deployed to any cloud using vFabric Application Director.

With over 30 software vendors, system integrators, and cloud providers like Oracle, Microsoft, Riverbed, and Accenture already on board, your IT department has access to over 100 real world applications you can rapidly deploy, monitor and scale in public, private and hybrid cloud infrastructures. Continue reading

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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Free Event in London on Dec 6th: Automate Provisioning of Spring Apps to EC2 & VMware vCloud

If you missed it at SpringOne 2GX, VMware’s David Winterfeldt will be presenting “Automated Provisioning of Spring Apps to EC2 & VMware vCloud” for free at Skills Matter on December 6th at 18:30PM.  It’s location is the Skills Matter eXchange.

Whether you are an executive interested in Spring-related trends or a Java developer and architect looking to simplify your Java architecture, automated deployment of Spring-based apps allows companies to do things like this:

You might be interested in learning more about how this type of provisioning works…and it’s free!

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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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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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Application Director Beta Open To Public

Due to popular request by customers and the field since the VMworld announcement making vFabric Application Director to be part of the vCloud Suite, VMware is opening the beta program for the next release of vFabric Application Director to the public. Both current or potential customers are invited to try beta the latest version of VMwares innovative application provisioning software that was showcased at VMworld and saved VMware own internal IT organization up to 90% in time to provision and 30% of the cost.

In addition, until December 15, 2012 at 11:59 pm PST, VMware customers are invited to upgrade vSphere Enterprise Plus to the vCloud Suite Enterprise Edition, which includes Application Director, at 35% off. See the vCloud Suite promotion for full details including other offers.

To participate in this open beta, please contact VMware Sales and specify your interest in participating in the Application Director Beta. While the beta version is not intended for production environments, the final release for Application Director is expected by the end of 2012.

Understanding App Delivery Controllers in Hybrid Clouds

Many call Application Delivery Controllers (ADC) the next generation of load balancers.  Same as load balancers, they sit in front of web servers. In addition to providing the balancing services, they now help improve scale, availability, fault tolerance, security, and routing. But, not all ADCs are delivered as pure software solutions, designed for cloud-based and virtualized deployments, or work in hybrid cloud environments—items which are becoming mainstream requirements for the Software Defined Datacenter (SDDC) that VMware sees as the future of cloud computing.

Why care about the SDDC?

VMware and Riverbed Join Forces!

Thursday November 15, 2012 at 11AM PDT/2PM EDT

Register for Webinar Provision and Scale Your Multi-Tier Applications in the Hybrid Cloud:
Click Here

Industry leaders across the board are gravitating to hybrid clouds for lower costs, no lock-in, greater flexibility, increased speed, built-in disaster recovery, and new capabilities. Of course, there are more reasons, and all these reasons are driving the need to get to a hybrid cloud model. In Sandhill.com’s recent “Leaders in the Cloud” research study from 2010 (and updated in 2011), they said, “our study surveyed more than 500 IT executives and indicated that the biggest growth will be in hybrid clouds (from 13 percent now to 43 percent in three years).”

In order to achieve the promises of hybrid clouds, VMware sees the need for a completely software driven data center so your applications are portable across disparate architectures.  By removing hardware devices, and creating application architectures where all infrastructure is virtualized, delivered as a service, and entirely automated by software, companies can now effectively move apps across clouds to meet their needs.
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