Tomcat Expertise

By Darryl K. Taft  |  Posted 2008-12-02

SpringSource Leverages Apache Tomcat for New App Server

HOLLYWOOD, Fla. -- On the heels of its recent application server news, SpringSource has announced yet another application server offering, this time it is an enterprise version of Apache Tomcat, known as the SpringSource tc Server.

SpringSource, the company behind the Spring Framework, announced the new SpringSource tc Server at the company's annual developer conference, SpringOne Americas 2008, held here.

"SpringSource tc Server is essentially Tomcat, except it's better," said Rod Johnson, CEO of SpringSource, during his keynote.

Tomcat is the most widely used Java application server, analysts say. SpringSource tc Server is hardened for enterprise use and coupled with mission-critical operational capabilities and support that systems administrators and developers require from the industry's leading Tomcat support provider.

According to a recent extensive Evans Data research study, nearly 70 percent of respondents reported that Tomcat is in production within their organizations.

In October, SpringSource announced the SpringSource dm Server, which is a modular Open Services Gateway Initiative (OSGi) based Java application server that is designed to run enterprise Java applications and Spring-powered applications with a new degree of flexibility and reliability. Now the company that was founded to revolutionize the Java application server market comes right back two months later with a new application server solution.

"SpringSource tc Server is suited for organizations using Spring and who are considering migrating off more expensive and heavyweight application servers, as well as for current Tomcat users who need additional enterprise-class server capabilities," said Peter Cooper-Ellis, senior vice president of engineering and product management for SpringSource. "If your application is purely a Web application, meaning that it is developed using servlets and JSPs [JavaServer Pages], and you require distributed management capabilities, advanced diagnostics and enterprise-level support, SpringSource tc Server provides these capabilities and enables support for Web applications at a significantly lower cost and with a powerful and lightweight solution."

SpringSource tc Server includes Apache Tomcat-enhanced operational management capabilities and advanced server and application diagnostics. The server is packaged and certified on a wide variety of environments and supported by enterprise-level, mission-critical support, SpringSource officials said.

Tomcat Expertise


Moreover, SpringSource tc Server provides centralized management and monitoring of an organization's Tomcat server farm from a single console view. This includes the ability to define Tomcat server groups and deploy/start/stop/un-deploy applications individually or across a server group, as well as to start and stop the Tomcat servers themselves. Tomcat server configuration allows control of the complete operations lifecycle of the Tomcat servers from a single console.

"Many enterprise customers demand robust operational management and diagnostic capabilities before considering the adoption of open-source application server alternatives," said Kirk Knoernschild, analyst with Burton Group. "Until now, failing to provide these capabilities has limited adoption of open-source application servers in the enterprise."

SpringSource tc Server provides advanced diagnostics, such as deadlock detection and incremental tracing, delivering rapid problem identification and troubleshooting. These diagnostics, upon the occurrence of a failure, capture tracing, dump and thread information from the servers for swift diagnosis, isolation and repair of runtime issues, the company said.

Meanwhile, SpringSource has considerable Tomcat expertise in that many of the active committers for Apache Tomcat are SpringSource employees. In fact, SpringSource employees are responsible for 80 percent of the commits to Apache Tomcat in the past two years and most Tomcat problem incidents are resolved by SpringSource long before they reach the community forums, resulting in a 97 percent renewal rate for Tomcat support. This is largely due to SpringSource's acquisition of Covalent in January of 2008.

Indeed, Jim Jagielski, chief open source officer and principal software engineer at SpringSource, demonstrated the SpringSource tc Server during the keynote. Jagielski was formerly CTO of Covalent before SpringSource acquired it. And he is the director and chairman of the Apache Software Foundation. Jagielski not only knows Tomcat very well as a core contributor to that project, but he also helped build the original Apache Web Server. 

SpringSource provides enterprise-level support for tc Server with mission-critical, production service level agreements (SLAs), Johnson said. SpringSource is able to offer this high level of service because of its deep Tomcat experience. For enterprise customers, this minimizes application downtime and increases the return on investment (ROI) for Web applications deployed on tc Server, he said.

Jagielski said the SpringSource tc Server is built for and certified on all leading operating systems, 32- and 64-bit chip architectures, as well as multiple versions of Java and Java Virtual Machine vendors. SpringSource tc Server will be generally available in January 2009, he added.  For more information please visit

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