Welcome!

Java IoT Authors: Elizabeth White, Pat Romanski, Yeshim Deniz, Liz McMillan, Paul Simmons

Related Topics: @CloudExpo, Microservices Expo

@CloudExpo: Blog Feed Post

How to Build a Cloud Without Using Virtualization

Leveraging Java EE and dynamic infrastructure to enable a shared resource, on-demand scalable infrastructure

Leveraging Java EE and dynamic infrastructure to enable a shared resource, on-demand scalable infrastructure – without server virtualization

Many pundits and experts allude to architectures that are cloud-like in their ability to provide on-demand scalability but do not – I repeat do not – rely on virtualization, i.e. virtual machines. But rarely – if ever – is this possibility described. So everyone says it can be done, but no one wants to tell you how.

Maybe that’s because it appears, on the surface, to not be cloud. And perhaps there’s truth to that appearance. It is more pseudo-cloud than cloud – at least by most folks’ definition of cloud these days – and thus maybe you really can’t do cloud without virtualization. There’s also the fact that there is virtualization required – it’s just not virtualization in the way most people use the term today, i.e. equating it with VMware, or Xen, or Hyper-V.

But it does leverage shared resources to provide on-demand scalability, and that’s really what we’re after with cloud in the long run, isn’t it?

 


THE JAVA EE BASED PSEUDO-CLOUD


One of the tenets of cloud is that scalability is achieved through the use of shared resources on-demand. Anyone who has deployed a Java EE environment knows that it is, above all else, a shared environment. The Java EE application server is essentially a big container, and it performs many of the same functions traditionally associated with virtualization platforms such as abstraction from the operating system, it receives requests via the network and hands them out to the appropriate application, etc… It’s not a perfectly analogous relationship, but the concept is close enough.

So you have a shared environment in which one or more applications might be deployed. The reason this is cloud-like is that just because an application is deployed in a given application server doesn’t mean it’s running all the time. In fact, it doesn’t even need to be loaded all the time, just deployed and ready to be “launched” when necessary.

In order to provide the Java EE “cloud” with mobility we employ a file virtualization solution to normalize file access across a shared, global namespace. Each application server instance accesses the same application resource packages from the normalized file system, thus reducing the storage requirements on the individual server platforms.

The application delivery controller (a.k.a. load balancer plus) virtualizes the applications to provide unified access to the applications regardless of which application server instance they may be launched on. The application delivery controller, assuming it is infrastructure 2.0 capable, is also responsible for the implementation of the “on-demand scalability” necessary to achieve cloud-like status.

 


THE SECRET SAUCE


The “secret sauce” in this architectural recipe is the ability to integrate the application delivery controller (hence the requirement that it be Infrastructure 2.0 capable) and the application server infrastructure. This integration is really a collaboration that enables a controlling management application to instruct the appropriate application server to launch a given application upon specified conditions – typically upon reaching a number of connections that, once surpassed, is known to cause degradation of performance or the complete depletion of available resources.

Because the application delivery controller is mediating for the applications, it has a view of both the client-side and server-side environments, as well as the network. It knows how many connections are currently in use, how much bandwidth is being used, and even – when configured to do so – the current capacity of each off the application servers. And it knows this on a per “network virtual server” which generally corresponds to an application.

All this information can be retrieved by the controlling management application via the application delivery controller’s service-enabled control plane, a.k.a. API (either RESTful or SOAPy, as per the vendor’s implementation). The controlling management application uses this information to decide when (on-demand) to launch a new instance (or unload an instance) of an application on one of the application servers. Java EE application servers are essentially infrastructure 2.0 capable, as well, and provide several methods of remote control that enable the ability to remotely control an application and its environment.

Once the controlling management application has successfully launched (or unloaded) the application in the appropriate application server, the application itself becomes part of the process. A few lines of code effectively instrument the application to register – or deregister as the case may be – itself with the application delivery controller using the aforementioned control-plane. Once the application is registered, it is put into rotation and capacity of the application is immediately increased appropriately. On-demand, using otherwise idle-resources, as required by the definition of “cloud.”

Wash. Rinse. Repeat.


DYNAMIC INFRASTRUCTURE the ENABLING FACTOR


Dynamic infrastructure, such as an infrastructure 2.0 capable application delivery controller, is a necessary component of any successful on-demand architecture, whether “real cloud” or “pseudo cloud.” It is the ability of such infrastructure to interact with and integrate with management and application infrastructure that enables the entire architecture to affect an on-demand scalable posture capable of utilizing shared resources – whether virtualized or not. Without a dynamic infrastructure this architecture would still be possible; one could manually perform the steps necessary to launch when and where necessary and then add the application to the application delivery controller, but that would incur additional costs and the human latency required to coordinate actions across multiple teams is, well, exceedingly variable – especially on the weekends.

Certainly the benefits of a pseudo-cloud are similar, but not exactly the same, as that of a “real” cloud. You do get to take advantage of shared and quite possibly idle resources. You do get the operational efficiencies associated with automation of the provisioning and de-provisioning of application instances. And you also get the reduction in costs from leveraging a shared storage system. If business stake-holders are charged back only what they use, then you’re further providing value in potentially reducing the physical hardware necessary to ensure resources are available for specific applications, much of which is often wasted by the over-provisioning inherent in such traditional deployments. That reduces the CapEx and OpEx, which is yet another touted benefit that is desired by those exploring both public and private cloud.

This isn’t a simple task. The sharing of resources – particularly in controlling thresholds per application – is more difficult without virtualization a la VMware/Xen/Hyper-V. It’s not nearly as easy as just virtualizing the applications and it requires a bit more planning in terms of where applications can be deployed, but the orchestration of the processes around enabling the on-demand capability is no more or less difficult in this pseudo-cloud implementation as it would be in a real-cloud scenario.

It can be done, and for some organizations unwilling for whatever their reasons to jump into virtualization, this is an option to realize many of the same benefits as a “real” cloud.

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Lori MacVittie

Lori MacVittie is responsible for education and evangelism of application services available across F5’s entire product suite. Her role includes authorship of technical materials and participation in a number of community-based forums and industry standards organizations, among other efforts. MacVittie has extensive programming experience as an application architect, as well as network and systems development and administration expertise. Prior to joining F5, MacVittie was an award-winning Senior Technology Editor at Network Computing Magazine, where she conducted product research and evaluation focused on integration with application and network architectures, and authored articles on a variety of topics aimed at IT professionals. Her most recent area of focus included SOA-related products and architectures. She holds a B.S. in Information and Computing Science from the University of Wisconsin at Green Bay, and an M.S. in Computer Science from Nova Southeastern University.

@ThingsExpo Stories
In an era of historic innovation fueled by unprecedented access to data and technology, the low cost and risk of entering new markets has leveled the playing field for business. Today, any ambitious innovator can easily introduce a new application or product that can reinvent business models and transform the client experience. In their Day 2 Keynote at 19th Cloud Expo, Mercer Rowe, IBM Vice President of Strategic Alliances, and Raejeanne Skillern, Intel Vice President of Data Center Group and ...
More and more brands have jumped on the IoT bandwagon. We have an excess of wearables – activity trackers, smartwatches, smart glasses and sneakers, and more that track seemingly endless datapoints. However, most consumers have no idea what “IoT” means. Creating more wearables that track data shouldn't be the aim of brands; delivering meaningful, tangible relevance to their users should be. We're in a period in which the IoT pendulum is still swinging. Initially, it swung toward "smart for smart...
@DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo, taking place November 12-13 in New York City, NY, is co-located with 22nd international CloudEXPO | first international DXWorldEXPO and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world.
DXWorldEXPO LLC announced today that All in Mobile, a mobile app development company from Poland, will exhibit at the 22nd International CloudEXPO | DXWorldEXPO. All In Mobile is a mobile app development company from Poland. Since 2014, they maintain passion for developing mobile applications for enterprises and startups worldwide.
In his keynote at 19th Cloud Expo, Sheng Liang, co-founder and CEO of Rancher Labs, discussed the technological advances and new business opportunities created by the rapid adoption of containers. With the success of Amazon Web Services (AWS) and various open source technologies used to build private clouds, cloud computing has become an essential component of IT strategy. However, users continue to face challenges in implementing clouds, as older technologies evolve and newer ones like Docker c...
DXWorldEXPO LLC announced today that ICC-USA, a computer systems integrator and server manufacturing company focused on developing products and product appliances, will exhibit at the 22nd International CloudEXPO | DXWorldEXPO. DXWordEXPO New York 2018, colocated with CloudEXPO New York 2018 will be held November 11-13, 2018, in New York City. ICC is a computer systems integrator and server manufacturing company focused on developing products and product appliances to meet a wide range of ...
Coca-Cola’s Google powered digital signage system lays the groundwork for a more valuable connection between Coke and its customers. Digital signs pair software with high-resolution displays so that a message can be changed instantly based on what the operator wants to communicate or sell. In their Day 3 Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Chambers, Global Group Director, Digital Innovation, Coca-Cola, and Vidya Nagarajan, a Senior Product Manager at Google, discussed how from store operations and ...
We are seeing a major migration of enterprises applications to the cloud. As cloud and business use of real time applications accelerate, legacy networks are no longer able to architecturally support cloud adoption and deliver the performance and security required by highly distributed enterprises. These outdated solutions have become more costly and complicated to implement, install, manage, and maintain.SD-WAN offers unlimited capabilities for accessing the benefits of the cloud and Internet. ...
Headquartered in Plainsboro, NJ, Synametrics Technologies has provided IT professionals and computer systems developers since 1997. Based on the success of their initial product offerings (WinSQL and DeltaCopy), the company continues to create and hone innovative products that help its customers get more from their computer applications, databases and infrastructure. To date, over one million users around the world have chosen Synametrics solutions to help power their accelerated business or per...
Dion Hinchcliffe is an internationally recognized digital expert, bestselling book author, frequent keynote speaker, analyst, futurist, and transformation expert based in Washington, DC. He is currently Chief Strategy Officer at the industry-leading digital strategy and online community solutions firm, 7Summits.
Founded in 2000, Chetu Inc. is a global provider of customized software development solutions and IT staff augmentation services for software technology providers. By providing clients with unparalleled niche technology expertise and industry experience, Chetu has become the premiere long-term, back-end software development partner for start-ups, SMBs, and Fortune 500 companies. Chetu is headquartered in Plantation, Florida, with thirteen offices throughout the U.S. and abroad.
Bill Schmarzo, author of "Big Data: Understanding How Data Powers Big Business" and "Big Data MBA: Driving Business Strategies with Data Science," is responsible for setting the strategy and defining the Big Data service offerings and capabilities for EMC Global Services Big Data Practice. As the CTO for the Big Data Practice, he is responsible for working with organizations to help them identify where and how to start their big data journeys. He's written several white papers, is an avid blogge...
Bill Schmarzo, author of "Big Data: Understanding How Data Powers Big Business" and "Big Data MBA: Driving Business Strategies with Data Science," is responsible for setting the strategy and defining the Big Data service offerings and capabilities for EMC Global Services Big Data Practice. As the CTO for the Big Data Practice, he is responsible for working with organizations to help them identify where and how to start their big data journeys. He's written several white papers, is an avid blogge...
Charles Araujo is an industry analyst, internationally recognized authority on the Digital Enterprise and author of The Quantum Age of IT: Why Everything You Know About IT is About to Change. As Principal Analyst with Intellyx, he writes, speaks and advises organizations on how to navigate through this time of disruption. He is also the founder of The Institute for Digital Transformation and a sought after keynote speaker. He has been a regular contributor to both InformationWeek and CIO Insight...
"IBM is really all in on blockchain. We take a look at sort of the history of blockchain ledger technologies. It started out with bitcoin, Ethereum, and IBM evaluated these particular blockchain technologies and found they were anonymous and permissionless and that many companies were looking for permissioned blockchain," stated René Bostic, Technical VP of the IBM Cloud Unit in North America, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Conventi...
Michael Maximilien, better known as max or Dr. Max, is a computer scientist with IBM. At IBM Research Triangle Park, he was a principal engineer for the worldwide industry point-of-sale standard: JavaPOS. At IBM Research, some highlights include pioneering research on semantic Web services, mashups, and cloud computing, and platform-as-a-service. He joined the IBM Cloud Labs in 2014 and works closely with Pivotal Inc., to help make the Cloud Found the best PaaS.
As data explodes in quantity, importance and from new sources, the need for managing and protecting data residing across physical, virtual, and cloud environments grow with it. Managing data includes protecting it, indexing and classifying it for true, long-term management, compliance and E-Discovery. Commvault can ensure this with a single pane of glass solution – whether in a private cloud, a Service Provider delivered public cloud or a hybrid cloud environment – across the heterogeneous enter...
Cloud-enabled transformation has evolved from cost saving measure to business innovation strategy -- one that combines the cloud with cognitive capabilities to drive market disruption. Learn how you can achieve the insight and agility you need to gain a competitive advantage. Industry-acclaimed CTO and cloud expert, Shankar Kalyana presents. Only the most exceptional IBMers are appointed with the rare distinction of IBM Fellow, the highest technical honor in the company. Shankar has also receive...
"We view the cloud not as a specific technology but as a way of doing business and that way of doing business is transforming the way software, infrastructure and services are being delivered to business," explained Matthew Rosen, CEO and Director at Fusion, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo (http://www.CloudComputingExpo.com), held June 7-9 at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
The Founder of NostaLab and a member of the Google Health Advisory Board, John is a unique combination of strategic thinker, marketer and entrepreneur. His career was built on the "science of advertising" combining strategy, creativity and marketing for industry-leading results. Combined with his ability to communicate complicated scientific concepts in a way that consumers and scientists alike can appreciate, John is a sought-after speaker for conferences on the forefront of healthcare science,...