Automated development here we come

VMware boosts cloud app platform vFabric Suite 5.1

Chris Mayer
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VMware retaliate with the release of vFabric by adding automated deployment, enterprise open source support, PostgreSQL capabilities and SQLFire to cover all bases.

Following weeks of letting the competitors take the cloud
spotlight, VMware have revealed the latest version of the cloud
application platform vFabric Suite 5.1, aiming to give companies
more bite in their toolkit for developing cloud apps.

Amongst the new capabilities available in the arsenal of VFabric
5.1 Suite include automated deployment of complex
applications, several new instances of enterprise open source
support, PostgreSQL capabilities
 and the introduction
of an in-memory distributed SQL database, in SQLFire.

vFabric has long been the premier choice for Spring developers
looking to build, run and manage Java and Spring applications, both
on-premise or into the cloud wilderness. Its key advantage is its
simplicity in the lightweight framework, bringing a set of standard
open source tools together under one roof. These include the likes
of SpringSource’s Apache Tomcat in vFabric
tc Server
, Java-based in-memory datagrid vFabric
GemFire
 and open source messaging platform vFabric
RabbitMQ
 as well as the standard SpringSource offering of
the Spring Framework and so on. If you’re not keen on being tied
down to VMware’s products, vFabric 5.1 ushers in options like
Apache Tomcat and HTTP server to appease all.

Further to this, there’s a ramped-up version of SQLFire within
vFabric 5.1, aiming to radically reduce larger workloads and
embrace maximum scalability.

Two components hold more weight in vFabric 5.1 than others. The
first is vFabric Application
Director
 (initally appearing at VMware in August 2011)
which automates the deployment of applications via the use of
blueprints, component libaries and workflows. The second
is vFabric Postgres, VMware’s own open source brewed
version of PostgreSQL, reducing the cost of databases through
making them more elastic.

Jerry Chen, vice president of Cloud and Application
Services at VMware spoke of the release:

The cloud era is driving a transformation in applications.
Today, most are built with open source development frameworks,
deployed on lightweight application containers, run on virtual
infrastructure and are data intensive

This is driving a real transition in the type of technologies
our customers are using to build, run and manage these new
applications. Since introducing the vFabric Suite a year ago we
have seen remarkable adoption amongst our customers, helping our
Cloud Application Platform business to nearly double in year over
year growth in 2011.

RedMonk’s Stephen O’Grady offered his view:

From the increasing number of programming languages used
to the heterogeneous nature of today’s hybrid infrastructures,
application development is changing quickly…

Faced with such diversity, enterprises are increasingly turning
to lightweight application containers to ease the pains of
deployment.

He makes an excellent point – with the cloud landscape becoming
ever more open-natured, more languages come to the floor and the
benefits of being an open house to them all seem obvious. In turn,
lightweight containers might be the way forward to deal with so
many spokes to a cloud application platform.

vFabric Suite 5.1 lies on its own in this respect,
introducing a pricing system based on VMs, rather than physical
hardware, and you only need to pay for the average number of
licenses in use. Cutting out the waste could be a dealbreaker, plus
the fact you wouldn’t need to splash out on excess hardware in
strenuous times.

We really like what VMware have done here – letting down
the drawbridge to key open source tools whilst maintaining a very
strong core offering. It’s an essential update for enterprises
wanting perfect Spring Java apps in the cloud.

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