Recently, VMware announced vFabric Application Director product to enable application deployments on public and private clouds. This is one initiative that gained momentum over a period of time in VMware and after a lot of thought process, my engineering team has finally delivered a product that meets not only current workload requirements that run within VMs but also enables future application stacks like Django, Ruby on Rails, NodeJS alongwith noSQL and SQL databases. The other key aspect that we have kepty under constant consideration is deploying these variety of apps on variety of platforms - public, private, amazon, openstack,.. We believe as developers will try various appstacks so will they try various cloud environments for different reasons. We want to give this freedom of choice to developers while helping them keep their applications abstracted enough to land into the right production ready vCloud environments eventually.
Enabling IT towards their journey to PAAS
When we look at current ( sometimes refered as legacy!) application stacks like JEE and SOA architectures , these apps have a specific requirement in terms of boot order for various app components. New app frameworks have moved away from this specific boot order requirements. With the advent of nosql databases, this arena is changing very fast. We went through lot of thought process creating Application Director - how do we satisfy current workloads but also build a product that is futuristic - one that paves a clear path for Platform as a Service model. Platform as a Service Model expects IT to follow a narrow set of application stack and if your IT environments can standardize on certain set of application stacks, you can harness the power of PAAS model : automated app lifecycle management - seamless updates to middleware and monitoring of workloads and so on. The question though is : are current IT administrators ready for PAAS? When we talk to customers, we find them in various phases of readiness for PAAS : ranging from tons of application types spread wide across in IT datacenters and there is no way they can bring them together to other side of spectrum - "we have disciplined our developers to follow specific application stacks and we are looking forward to operation-less IT through PAAS." Enabling customers to go from first end of the spectrum to the nirvana state of PAAS, is where vFabric Application Director fits right in - enabling customers towards their journey to PAAS - helping them first with creating inventory of appstacks used in their private clouds and extended public clouds. Then help them curate their environment , reducing the plethora of appstacks to fewer standardized appstacks while still enabling a wide range of selection of appstacks for their developers.
What to expect in coming blog posts
In coming series of blogs we will go in details of specific features of vFabric Application Director, we will also talk about differences between various cloud environments and how Application Director works to enable the richness of various clouds shine through. We will go in architectural details around multitenancy, hybrid cloud abstraction layer, auto-generation of execution plan from application blueprints and rich troubleshooting around complex applications. We will talk about setting up a customized self service portal for developers and QE in your teams to deploy applications abstracting them from virtual machines, compute, network and storage details, thereby enabling them to focus on what matters most for them - business logic and business needs around their applications. Standardization will be another area of focus where we will talk about standardization at various levels : catalog of middleware services, blueprints and deployment profiles. But first we will start with introducing the key concepts in details.