More action in the Cloud with VMWare+SpringSource – and ISV’s getting encouraging results

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The proliferation of “everything-as-a-service” acronyms is often confusing, and merits an explanation and simplification. The VMware acquisition of SpringSource is an excellent illustration of the architecture. At the infrastructure level we find Operating System resources, which VMware encapsulates and virtualizes, offering shared hardware multitenancy but very limited elasticity. In order to increase the resource elasticity – which is the key factor of cost savings – virtualization needs to extend to the application level. That is the next layer, and I would expect that a tight integration of SpringSource with VMware would in fact provide this for Java based applications.

 This evolution has a lot of similarities to Microsoft’s move with Azure. Whereas Azure offers Cloud enablement for .NET applications, VMware+SpringSource would do the same for Java applications. However, in both cases this applies rather to newly developed applications – existing applications need to be redesigned in order to take advantage of the virtualization and resource abstraction features.

As I have noted in other posts, ISV’s who want to extend their portfolio and take advantage of the growing demand for SaaS need to work across multiple deployment models, where development and maintenance costs can double if they need to create the same application in more than one format.

 So the main challenge for most ISV’s is to manage an extended solution portfolio, continuing to service their current customer base with current deployment models while driving growth through Cloud Based deployment. VMware+SpringSource will facilitate this for Java oriented ISV’s, as the announcement states support for both traditional JEE deployments as well as Cloud based deployments.

 An alternative to the bottom-up approach of system infrastructure vendors such as VMware or Microsoft, comes from some Application Infrastructure vendors such as SalesForce.com or Magic Software. These vendors provide for some time already PaaS and SaaS/Cloud Enabled Application Platforms (SEAP), which deal with virtualization and elasticity by abstracting system resources from the applications, so that XaaS can be achieved at conventional data centres.

 Today I came across an account of a UK based ISV whose been there and done that – successfully, even in the present economy climate. Take a look at the story of FactoryMaster and how they manage take advantage of the new platforms.

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2 responses to “More action in the Cloud with VMWare+SpringSource – and ISV’s getting encouraging results

  1. Thanks for the post.

    I’m not sure I agree entirely with one of your points:
    “in both cases this applies rather to newly developed applications – existing applications need to be redesigned in order to take advantage of the virtualization and resource abstraction features”

    VMware’s approach to virtualization and cloud computing is based on vSphere which already does a great job enabling applications running within enterprises to benefit from virtualization and resource abstraction. VMware’s vMotion, HA, vStorage, and vShield Zones are used for a variety of app workloads today with minimal changes required to the actual apps.

    The vCloud initiative builds on vSphere and looking through the info on their website, portability across internal and external cloud platforms appears pretty important.

    Full disclosure: I work at SpringSource and can only comment so much on this topic until the VMware acquisition closes, but I figured I’d chime in.

    Thanks again for the post.

  2. avigdorluttinger

    Shaun,

    Thanks for your comment, with which I agree. Actually I meant to highlight the “application level abstraction” required for shared stack multitenancy and accociated resource elasticity, not the infrastructure virtualization that is already available from VMware.

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