Stacey Schneider is focused on helping evangelize how cloud technologies are transforming application development and delivery for VMware. Prior to its acquisition, Stacey led marketing and community management for application management software provider Hyperic, now a part of VMware’s management portfolio. Before her work in the cloud, she also held various technical leadership positions at CRM software pioneer Siebel Systems, including Director of Technology Product Marketing, managing the Technology Competency in Europe, and the Globalization professional services practice. She was also a part of Siebel’s Nexus project, which focused on building portable web applications that could be deployed across java application servers as well as .NET. Stacey is also the managing principal of SiliconSpark, a consulting agency that has helped over 12 software companies go to market on the web and across the cloud over the past 4 years. Stacey has posted 39 posts at DZone. You can read more from them at their website. View Full User Profile

Field Report VMworld Europe Day 3

10.10.2012
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As noted in the Field Report from Day 2, we greatly appreciate the opportunity to listen and learn from our VMworld Europe customers, prospects, and partners! VMworld this year has not dissapointed. We’ve met with hundreds of partners, thousands of customers and spun up tens of thousands of virtual machines in our hands on labs. Over 37,000 in fact at the start of Wednesday, with two more full days to go! An impressive event all around.

Not surprisingly after the keynote yesterday, customer discussions have continued on Application Director, with many stating explicitly that they are going to use this as the cornerstone opportunity to build out a self-service infrastructure, just like VMware’s own IT did.

Beyond that, a few other key themes have emerged:

Significant vFabric Interest from VMware Partners
Monday was a partner day, and there is a lot of interest in vFabric from partners.  They are looking to VMware to learn and improve how they are building apps for their customers in cloud environments. For one of our presentations on Monday, we had a packed house with over 100 people in the audience.

>> Back by Popular Demand!! APP-CAP2682 – Build Your First Mobile Application on Cloud Foundry in 60 Minutes will hold another session at VMworld Barcelona on Thursday, October 11 at NOON!

Expensive and Wasteful Java Memory Utilization
Customers struggle with massive VMs running Java that can contain up to 90 GB of memory, and are looking for ways to make them smaller. Often these massive VMs are the result of Java developers who recommend their app servers be configured with large amounts of memory to run their application. But since this memory is allocated inside the JVM, customers have no visibility into how much of this memory is actually used. Usually there is a lot of waste. As a result, they really like vFabric Elastic Memory for Java’s ability to find VMs and Java heaps that are sized too large and can be shrunk down with no negative impact on performance. This helps to pack more java applications onto a single machine. In fact, smaller Java heaps can lead to *better* application performance, since garbage collection takes less time because it has to search over a smaller memory area. As a result, customers are really excited about EM4J. Here is an example screenshot showing the configured virtual memory size for the VM compared to the heap size, EM4J balloon, and more.

Need to Connect vFabric with Microsoft’s .Net Stack

Customers need to connect vFabric with components from Microsoft’s .NET stack. We understand that heterogeneity often exists in our customers’ application and datacenters, and for this reason, vFabric can connect with a wide range of Microsoft technologies. For example:

  • vFabric RabbitMQ has a .NET/C# client, enabling it to integrate two C# applications, or a C# app with a Java app.
  • vFabric SQLFire supports ADO.net, and thus can serve as an in-memory cache for Microsoft SQL Server, to speed up both database reads and writes. This is because main memory access – which SQLFire leverages – is 100x faster than the disk-based access that Microsoft SQL Server typically uses. Because SQLFire can shard (partition) data across many instances, it can hold a massive amount of SQL Server data in memory, which dramatically increases the likelihood of a cache hit. And if there’s a cache miss, it will automatically read-through from SQL Server. SQLFire can also do synchronous or asynchronous writes from its in-memory cache to SQL Server.
  • As we announced this week, vFabric Application Director now supports PowerShell scripts, enabling it automatically provision Windows machines.
  • vFabric Hyperic monitors 8 different Microsoft technologies out-of-the-box, including the OS, .NET runtime, Exchange, MSMQ, SQL Server, Active Directory, Terminal Services and Windows Services. Additionally, since Hyperic has open APIs, plugins can be customized and extended to a myriad of other services making it an ideal web monitoring choice for hybrid technology environments that have the Microsoft stack as part of the building blocks.

The Importance of Simplicity
Customers tell us that they’re getting tired of overly complex application infrastructure products from our competitors. They feel that these products provide a wide range of functionality that they simply don’t need and only serve to slow down the process of application development and deployment. They like vFabric’s ability to scale and provide reliability, while still remaining lightweight and simple. This feedback is actually strikingly similar to what we heard last week at JavaOne: JavaOne Architect Viewpoint: The Inexorable March Toward Simplicity.

More Feedback Please!
We love hearing from customers on how we can further improve our products. For example, just yesterday we got some feature requests on RabbitMQ that have already made their way to the product team.  If you are at VMworld, please come find us today or tomorrow on the showfloor at V108 or in Hall 6 for one of our hands on labs. If you aren’t lucky enough to be in Spain, just leave a comment here.

>> For more information on products mentioned in the article above:

About the Author: Al Sargent leads vFabric Suite product marketing at VMware. A VMware employee since 2010, Al has helped make the vFabric Cloud Application Platform become one of the fastest-growing application infrastructure suites in the industry. Prior to joining VMware, Al was co-founder of cloud computing startup Sauce Labs, a software testing platform as a service (PaaS). Previously, Al held product roles at Oracle, Mercury Interactive (acquired by HP) and Wily Technology (acquired by CA), and holds one patent (#7730193). He holds a B.S. Symbolic Systems from Stanford University, and an MBA from UCLA Anderson.
Published at DZone with permission of its author, Stacey Schneider. (source)

(Note: Opinions expressed in this article and its replies are the opinions of their respective authors and not those of DZone, Inc.)