Welcome!

Java IoT Authors: Liz McMillan, Pat Romanski, Elizabeth White, Yeshim Deniz, Frank Lupo

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 a recent survey, Sumo Logic surveyed 1,500 customers who employ cloud services such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform (GCP). According to the survey, a quarter of the respondents have already deployed Docker containers and nearly as many (23 percent) are employing the AWS Lambda serverless computing framework. It’s clear: serverless is here to stay. The adoption does come with some needed changes, within both application development and operations. Tha...
As hybrid cloud becomes the de-facto standard mode of operation for most enterprises, new challenges arise on how to efficiently and economically share data across environments. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Dr. Allon Cohen, VP of Product at Elastifile, will explore new techniques and best practices that help enterprise IT benefit from the advantages of hybrid cloud environments by enabling data availability for both legacy enterprise and cloud-native mission critical applications. By rev...
In his Opening Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, John Considine, General Manager of IBM Cloud Infrastructure, will lead you through the exciting evolution of the cloud. He'll look at this major disruption from the perspective of technology, business models, and what this means for enterprises of all sizes. John Considine is General Manager of Cloud Infrastructure Services at IBM. In that role he is responsible for leading IBM’s public cloud infrastructure including strategy, development, and offering ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Ryobi Systems will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Ryobi Systems Co., Ltd., as an information service company, specialized in business support for local governments and medical industry. We are challenging to achive the precision farming with AI. For more information, visit http:...
Amazon is pursuing new markets and disrupting industries at an incredible pace. Almost every industry seems to be in its crosshairs. Companies and industries that once thought they were safe are now worried about being “Amazoned.”. The new watch word should be “Be afraid. Be very afraid.” In his session 21st Cloud Expo, Chris Kocher, a co-founder of Grey Heron, will address questions such as: What new areas is Amazon disrupting? How are they doing this? Where are they likely to go? What are th...
High-velocity engineering teams are applying not only continuous delivery processes, but also lessons in experimentation from established leaders like Amazon, Netflix, and Facebook. These companies have made experimentation a foundation for their release processes, allowing them to try out major feature releases and redesigns within smaller groups before making them broadly available. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Brian Lucas, Senior Staff Engineer at Optimizely, will discuss how by using...
In this strange new world where more and more power is drawn from business technology, companies are effectively straddling two paths on the road to innovation and transformation into digital enterprises. The first path is the heritage trail – with “legacy” technology forming the background. Here, extant technologies are transformed by core IT teams to provide more API-driven approaches. Legacy systems can restrict companies that are transitioning into digital enterprises. To truly become a lead...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Daiya Industry will exhibit at the Japanese Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Ruby Development Inc. builds new services in short period of time and provides a continuous support of those services based on Ruby on Rails. For more information, please visit https://github.com/RubyDevInc.
As businesses evolve, they need technology that is simple to help them succeed today and flexible enough to help them build for tomorrow. Chrome is fit for the workplace of the future — providing a secure, consistent user experience across a range of devices that can be used anywhere. In her session at 21st Cloud Expo, Vidya Nagarajan, a Senior Product Manager at Google, will take a look at various options as to how ChromeOS can be leveraged to interact with people on the devices, and formats th...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Yuasa System will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Yuasa System is introducing a multi-purpose endurance testing system for flexible displays, OLED devices, flexible substrates, flat cables, and films in smartphones, wearables, automobiles, and healthcare.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Taica will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Taica manufacturers Alpha-GEL brand silicone components and materials, which maintain outstanding performance over a wide temperature range -40C to +200C. For more information, visit http://www.taica.co.jp/english/.
Organizations do not need a Big Data strategy; they need a business strategy that incorporates Big Data. Most organizations lack a road map for using Big Data to optimize key business processes, deliver a differentiated customer experience, or uncover new business opportunities. They do not understand what’s possible with respect to integrating Big Data into the business model.
Recently, REAN Cloud built a digital concierge for a North Carolina hospital that had observed that most patient call button questions were repetitive. In addition, the paper-based process used to measure patient health metrics was laborious, not in real-time and sometimes error-prone. In their session at 21st Cloud Expo, Sean Finnerty, Executive Director, Practice Lead, Health Care & Life Science at REAN Cloud, and Dr. S.P.T. Krishnan, Principal Architect at REAN Cloud, will discuss how they b...
Enterprises have taken advantage of IoT to achieve important revenue and cost advantages. What is less apparent is how incumbent enterprises operating at scale have, following success with IoT, built analytic, operations management and software development capabilities – ranging from autonomous vehicles to manageable robotics installations. They have embraced these capabilities as if they were Silicon Valley startups. As a result, many firms employ new business models that place enormous impor...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Dasher Technologies will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Dasher Technologies, Inc. ® is a premier IT solution provider that delivers expert technical resources along with trusted account executives to architect and deliver complete IT solutions and services to help our clients execute their goals, plans and objectives. Since 1999, we'v...
SYS-CON Events announced today that MIRAI Inc. will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. MIRAI Inc. are IT consultants from the public sector whose mission is to solve social issues by technology and innovation and to create a meaningful future for people.
SYS-CON Events announced today that TidalScale, a leading provider of systems and services, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. TidalScale has been involved in shaping the computing landscape. They've designed, developed and deployed some of the most important and successful systems and services in the history of the computing industry - internet, Ethernet, operating s...
SYS-CON Events announced today that TidalScale will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. TidalScale is the leading provider of Software-Defined Servers that bring flexibility to modern data centers by right-sizing servers on the fly to fit any data set or workload. TidalScale’s award-winning inverse hypervisor technology combines multiple commodity servers (including their ass...
SYS-CON Events announced today that IBM has been named “Diamond Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st Cloud Expo, which will take place on October 31 through November 2nd 2017 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, California.
Infoblox delivers Actionable Network Intelligence to enterprise, government, and service provider customers around the world. They are the industry leader in DNS, DHCP, and IP address management, the category known as DDI. We empower thousands of organizations to control and secure their networks from the core-enabling them to increase efficiency and visibility, improve customer service, and meet compliance requirements.