The vFabric Suite Aims to Address the Cost, Complexity of Java Platforms

By Darryl K. Taft  |  Posted 2012-05-15 Print this article Print

€œDelivering excellent customer service is a hallmark of Southwest, so it's important to us that our customers have a seamless shopping, booking and travel experience,€ Bob Young, CTO at Southwest Airlines, said in a statement. €œWe have a number of strategic initiatives under way at Southwest Airlines, and a core component in supporting these critical operations is ensuring an agile, flexible delivery of technology to all parts of the company. By partnering with VMware, for example, we were able to streamline the way we deliver and deploy applications across platforms, without compromising our service-centered approach.€

The VMware vFabric Suite now includes support for the open-source runtime components most frequently used in production deployments of Spring applications, including Apache Tomcat, Apache HTTP Server and RabbitMQ messaging, the company said. VMware took this approach to help simplify the adoption path of vFabric technologies for organizations using these open-source components today.

€œA good example of this is Instagram,€ McJannet said. €œInstagram was built using an open-source framework, database and in-memory cache. Five to seven years ago that would likely have been built with Oracle.€

To reduce database costs and increase agility, vFabric Suite 5.1 includes vFabric Postgres, a VMware-optimized relational SQL database. vFabric Postgres is compatible with open-source PostgreSQL, enabling customers to leverage existing standard PostgreSQL tools. vFabric Postgres comes as a virtual appliance and has virtualization optimizations such as elastic database memory to share database memory pools and smart configuration to reduce tuning time after resizing virtual machines.

To drive greater efficiency and better performance, vFabric Suite now includes vFabric Application Director and vFabric Application Performance Manager. vFabric Application Director automates the deployment of applications through easy-to-use blueprints with standardized templates, component libraries and workflows, the company said. vFabric Application Performance Manager provides comprehensive monitoring of end-user transactions, Java code, middleware servers and vSphere hosts, enabling customers to proactively manage application performance, find and fix problems quickly, and meet service-level agreements (SLAs).

Moreover, McJannet said many of today€™s mobile and Web-oriented applications must support highly variable access patterns, putting pressure on the database-only approach to data management. To support this evolution, in-memory databases have emerged as a standard component of the core technology stack developers use. VMware vFabric SQLFire is an in-memory distributed SQL database built on the strength of vFabric GemFire. vFabric SQLFire delivers dynamic scalability and high performance for modern, data-intensive applications, all accessible through a familiar SQL interface. By pooling memory, CPU and network resources across a cluster of machines, vFabric SQLFire eliminates the main performance bottleneck in traditional databases€”disk access. vFabric SQLFire can manage data across regions, accelerating application performance, minimizing latency and increasing reliability. vFabric SQLFire Professional is now included in the vFabric Suite 5.1.

McJannet said vFabric Suite 5.1 is also packaged and licensed to allow enterprises to purchase application infrastructure software based on virtual machines, rather than physical hardware, and to pay only for the average number of licenses in use. This model eliminates the need for organizations to purchase excess software in anticipation of peak loads, incurring significant costs and allowing software licenses to sit dormant outside of peak periods.

VMware said vFabric Suite 5.1 is expected to be available in Q2 2012. It will be licensed per VM with prices starting at $1,500 per VM. VMware vFabric SQL Fire is now available, and is licensed per VM with prices starting at $2,500 per VM, when purchased as part of VMware vFabric Suite Advanced.

Darryl K. Taft covers the development tools and developer-related issues beat from his office in Baltimore. He has more than 10 years of experience in the business and is always looking for the next scoop. Taft is a member of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and was named 'one of the most active middleware reporters in the world' by The Middleware Co. He also has his own card in the 'Who's Who in Enterprise Java' deck.

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