VMware Launches vFabric 5 for Virtual and Cloud Environments

VMware's new vFabric 5 combines the programming power of the Spring framework and introduces new flexible packaging and licensing.

VMware announced vFabric 5, an integrated application platform for virtual and cloud environments.

The new vFabric 5 platform combines VMware's Spring development framework for Java with the latest generation of vFabric application services to provide the core application platform for building, deploying and running modern applications, Dave McJannet, director of product marketing at VMware, told eWEEK.

More than 3 million developers use the Spring framework to build enterprise Java applications. With vFabric 5, users can gain insight into the performance of their Spring applications with the new Spring Insight Operations. Based on the Spring Insight technology used by Spring developers today in development environments, Spring Insight Operations extends this capability into production environments, and in doing so, enables operations and development teams to collaborate better.

McJannet said vFabric 5 introduces a flexible packaging and licensing model that allows enterprises to purchase application-infrastructure software based on virtual machines, rather than physical hardware CPUs, and to pay only for the 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. The model in vFabric 5 more closely aligns to cloud-computing models that directly link the cost of software with the use, consumption and value delivered to the organization, VMware officials said.

"We believe licensing based on average virtual machines is the best way to go," McJannet said

"Cloud computing is reshaping not just how IT resources are consumed by the business, but how those resources are purchased, licensed and delivered," Rod Johnson, senior vice president of application-platform strategy at VMware, said in a statement. "While application-infrastructure technologies have advanced to meet the needs of today's enterprise, to date, the business models have remained rigid and out-of-date. With the introduction of vFabric 5, VMware is inextricably linking the cost of application-infrastructure software to the volume utilized by the organization and the value delivered back to the business, helping all organizations advance further toward a cloud environment."

McJannet also said vFabric 5 is engineered specifically to take advantage of the server architecture of VMware vSphere. "We continue to invest in making vFabric run with vSphere," he said.

Meanwhile, VMware officials said the new Elastic Memory for Java capability available in the vFabric tc Server allows for optimal management of memory across Java applications through the use of memory ballooning in the Java virtual machine. This capability, in combination with vSphere enables greater application-server density for Java workloads on vFabric, the company said.

"The integration of memory management across the infrastructure and application platform layers is significant. By allowing for greater application-server density, customers will be able to gain greater efficiencies," Maureen Fleming, program vice president of IDC's business-process-management and middleware research, said in a statement. "Another important area of efficiency critical to enterprises is cost efficiency. Modernizing licensing to a VM unit of price for virtualized and cloud-enabled application platforms aligns well with enterprise needs."

Moreover, licensed on a per-VM basis, rather than a traditional CPU-based license, vFabric 5 enables enterprises to flexibly deploy different application-platform components across different VMs in the data center. The new model enables customers to pay only for those licenses in use and to scale volumes up and down to meet peak use requirements, while only paying for their average usage. Each licensed vFabric VM can run any combination or all of the software within the vFabric 5 product family, eliminating licensing constraints that restrict the shift of traditional application infrastructure into virtual and cloud environments.

The core services in vFabric 5 include: vFabric tc Server with Elastic Memory for Java, an enterprise version of Apache Tomcat 7 optimized for Spring and VMware vSphere;


GemFire, a memory-oriented data-management technology that adds elasticity and performance to the data tier; vFabric SQLFire, which introduces a standard SQL interface to the core GemFire technologies; vFabric RabbitMQ, an open-source implementation of the Advanced Message Queuing Protocol and enables a cloud-ready approach to messaging; vFabric Web Server, an enterprise version of the Apache Web server;

Spring Insight Operations

, which provides insight into the performance of Spring applications across development and production environments; and


Hyperic, which enables proactive performance management of custom applications through transparent visibility into modern applications deployed across physical, virtual and cloud environments.

VMware vFabric 5 will be generally available in late summer 2011, the company said. It is offered in two versions: VMware vFabric Standard at $1,200 per VM and VMware vFabric Advanced at $1,800 per VM.