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Modularity Meets Cloud at JAX London

Jessica Thornsby

“How do I run modular OSGi based applications in the Cloud?”

The third JAX London is just a few weeks away now! In this instalment of our interviews with JAX London speakers, we find out more about the relationship between OSGi and cloud computing, with CEO and Founder of Paremus, Richard Nicholson.

JAXenter: You will run a ‘Modularity meets Cloud’ session at JAX London. Why is modularity so important, within the context of cloud computing?

Richard Nicholson: Quite simply: modular systems are maintainable systems.

A substantial body of research concludes that application maintenance (i.e. the ‘legacy crisis’) accounts for almost 90% of application total cost of ownership. In contrast, current ‘Cloud Solutions’ are only concerned with the deployment of traditional software-stacks via virtual machine images. Whilst this may provide additional resource and operations costs savings; these solutions do nothing to address the “Elephant in the Room”; the ever increasing burden of application maintenance. Indeed I’d argue that ‘Cloud Computing’ in its current form is a dangerous distraction; diverting senior IT management from the real task at hand; which is ensuring robust and easily maintained applications for their businesses.

JAXenter: You will also talk about the relationship between OSGi and cloud computing in your JAX London session. What impact does OSGi have on current cloud computing technology?

Richard: OSGi is the modularity standard for Java; with wide industry adoption from embedded Systems to Enterprise. OSGi specifications are developed by the OSGi Alliance which is supported by all the dominant enterprise software vendors.

Modular systems are maintainable systems; and so organisations which either develop or consume Java based applications should be insisting that these are OSGi based. Hence the following question naturally arises; “How do I run modular OSGi based applications in the Cloud?”

JAXenter: In your opinion, what are the areas cloud computing currently cannot address on its own?

Richard: The unit of ‘Cloud’ deployment is currently the virtual machine image; this is pre-loaded with a traditional ‘software stack’. Recognising the issues caused by managing virtual machine images (versioning and virtual machine image sprawl) some companies are now looking at provisioning traditional application packages to pre-deployed ‘naked’ virtual machine images. Yet this still fails to address the application maintenance issues and usually introduces a brittle deployment infrastructure that was design for a static enterprise environment and not a dynamic Cloud environment.

JAXenter: What can attendees hope to learn, from your session?

Richard: My JAX London session will demonstrate the current ‘state-of-the-art’ with respect to what is possible when OSGi and Cloud concepts are combined with a focus on achieving maximum robustness and application agility. In addition to a demonstration of the Paremus Service Fabric, I’ll also briefly demonstrate a Financial Service demonstration created by Lab49; this demonstration is based on the Paremus Service Fabric used in conjunction with the Scala Akka framework.

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