I spent the Week at EclipseCon, the Open Source Software tools conference. EclipseCon is a conference like no other, it is where the industry gets together to discuss how it is building the tools that are used to build the applications that we are all using. Since tools precede applications it tends to see into the future. Eclipse is the dominant non-Microsoft software tools platform, so unless it can be built using things that are currently being built for Eclipse or by Microsoft Visual Studio 2010, it’s very unlikely that it will be built in the next few years. Conversely, tools are only there to sell runtimes, and if there are developments in runtimes there will be investment in corresponding features of tools.
The perplexing feature of EclipseCon is that there are almost no users present, except in the sense that everyone is eating their own dog food, using Eclipse to build things in and/or for Eclipse. This means there is no hype, just a hard-bitten technical cynicism about how the marketing guys are spinning the latest technology. And yet you can see the cloud creeping across the hallways and in through the doors of the conference sessions, and onto the presentations and panel sessions.
Continue reading Development Tools and Application Servers for the Cloud
We have a series of posts (SpringSource/VMware, 3Tera, Eucalyptus, Hadoop/Cloudera…) about the application directly targeting a distributed virtual machine which is abstracting over the virtualization layer and/or operating system. Essentially these are targeted at those who are building or adapting applications for the cloud, rather than starting from the premise of a virtualization of existing infrastructures.
It must be said there is no clear model yet emerging for how you do this. The 3Tera solution is slick and allows you to define your infrastructure at a logical (application) level and grow or shrink your architecture graphically on commodity hardware, but ultimately there are limits to the horizontal scalability of the layers in the architecture that comprise your application. When we last looked at Eucalyptus it was driving in a similar direction with packaged VMs and its own scalable filesystem but wasn’t really dealing with the tiers of an application as logical entities.
We recently received a presentation on a combined solution from Eucalyptus and Terracotta. Initially we were suspicious because they clearly share an investor – Benchmark Capital. Was this a PowerPoint integration dreamt up by two Venture Capitalists over a power breakfast? However, the combined solution was presented by some very plausible techies with a real-live demo and does look as though it starts to provide a generally-useful abstraction over which to deploy scalable applications (specifically Java stacks), and it too works with commodity hardware. It’s not as slick as the 3Tera solution, more of a command-line approach, but it potentially has the edge in scalability. Continue reading Eucalyptus/Terracotta a scalable Java Cloud Platform?
VMware is acquiring Zimbra, an open source messaging and collaboration suite from Yahoo. This appears to be an extension of the same thinking that lead to the acquisition of SpringSource – specifically a desire on the part of senior VMware management to (with SpringSource) move into enabling virtualization aware custom applications, and apparently now with Zimbra providing a common horizontal application suite (messaging and collaboration) in a virtualization aware manner. Continue reading VMware Buys Zimbra from Yahoo – Moves Up the Stack into Applications
“Thus it is that in war the victorious strategist only seeks battle after the victory has been won, whereas he who is destined to defeat first fights and afterwards looks for victory.”
Sun Tzu, “The art of war”, written between 476 and 221 BC (approximately)
In the fog of the datacenter virtualization war, it is difficult to see clearly who will end up on top, and yet the outcome is almost certainly determined, and the victorious generals are even now moving on to fight new battles. Here at the Virtualization Practice we too would like to think we can see through the fog to work out who has won, so here are our thoughts, take account of them as you wish. They concern, primarily, the big four protagonists: Microsoft/Hyper-V, Citrix /Xen, VMware/vSphere and Red Hat/KVM. Continue reading The Hypervisor Wars, a 2000-year old story
During his technical keynote at VMworld, Stephen Herrod added a fourth leg to the now familiar previous three legs of the VMware strategy. The previous three were View (Desktop), vSphere (the data center), and vCloud (the internal and external clouds). The new addition was the elevation of vApps to a fourth leg in the stool which describes the VMware strategy. This fourth leg of the stool is all about VMware as an application platform, and VMware adding value directly to how applications run. This new fourth leg ultimately results in a new strategy from VMware allowing applications platforms (and therefore applications) to be run directly in a VMware Guest without the need for an underlying Windows or Linux operating system. Continue reading VMware’s “No OS” Application Platform Strategy
We’ve looked in detail at VMware‘s acquisition of SpringSource, but if we’re honest it does remain a bit of a puzzle. The VMware faithful are perplexed and the Open Source community behind SpringSource is feeling a little bruised. OK, SpringSource has some management tools, but so do lots of people, and VMware does a lot of management so why is SpringSource being put into a separate division? And of course, SpringSource has development tools, but what is an infrastructure vendor doing buying a development tools vendor? It doesn’t happen very often, because it generally doesn’t make sense. There are too few obvious synergies. Continue reading SpringSource – VMWare gets an OSGi Runtime