By Jack Vaughan
The role of development in cloud computing has been bumpy through the few years that cloud architecture has been discussed. Most attention has been on the runtime and the data center, rather than the development side of the equation. That may be changing as some new Platform as a Service (PaaS) offerings come online.
By some estimates, continuous integration may be the fulcrum for PaaS. If development teams are going to work on the cloud and ultimately develop for the cloud, they are likely to do their work based around an open source continuous integration engine residing on the cloud, or so the thinking goes. Take as an example CloudBees.
CloudBees offers the Jenkins open source continuous integration server as a cloud service. The company claims exceptional continuous integration expertise, based particularly on the reputation of Elite Developer and Architect Kohsuke Kawaguchi, its ”Elite Developer and Architect.” Kawaguchi was primer driver behind Hudson. His firm, InfraDNA, formed after the somewhat acrimonious fork of Hudson and Jenkins in the wake of Oracle’s purchase of Sun Microsystems, was acquired by CloudBees in November of 2010.
CloudBees founder and CTO Sacha Labourey says CloudBees goal is to handle the operations tasks needed to get an application from development to deployment, noting how many of those non-development tasks are arduous for developers.
“Today, developers end up maintaining Jenkins, and maintaining the machines it runs on,” said Labourey. ”It can get cumbersome.”
”For PaaS to take off, it has to be more than a runtime, it has to be a development stage too. It needs to cover the entire application lifecycle,” he said.
The open source continuous integration engine as core to a cloud platform service bears watching. As CloudBees’ s Labourey says, a certain class of cloud may come from the bottom up to the top on the back of open source software.
[Postscript: In early 2011, with Oracle's possible trademark control of "Hudson" among the issues of contention, the formal open source Jenkins project was created. The fractious split between the Hudson and Jenkins software camps reached a new stage earlier this month when Oracle proposed that the Eclipse Foundation create a Hudson project in Eclipse that included Hudson core code contributed by Oracle.]
Do you trust outside software developers more than in-house software developers? Such may often be the case according to a recent survey conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of software tester Coverity. The news is a bit unsettling. Continued »
On SearchSOA.com, recent topics ranged from the venerable mainframe to the upstart cloud architecture. Experts in the field shared their views. Let’s take a quick look at some of those opinions.
Forrester analyst Phil Murphy pointed out that one size does not fit all when it comes to mainframe legacy modernization. Some mainframe code is not so old that it does not have some flavor of object-oriented software. Some code is in good shape, and thus, given your overall strategy and compute horse power, it may be an economical candidate for re-hosting. The question to consider is whether you have a well-structured application, noted Murphy. Read ”Modernize? Consider the MIPS” on our site.
Why does the corporation look so favorably on cloud computing? It seems to smell like cost reduction. But ROI studies do not always confirm the cloud savings. Are IT departments doing thorough ROI studies on cloud? Fewer than you might expect, according to Chris Harding of The Open Group. ROI should be measured, and the variability of your processing load is a matter to consider as you do those measurements, said Harding. Read about ”Cloud computing myths and the developer’s role” on SearchSOA.com.
“If you have a fairly steady processing load, cloud doesn’t make much sense, but if you have a variable load it can be appealing,” he says. However, Harding theorizes that respondents from larger organizations may see enough variability within business units and departments, for example, that the overall load balances out – making an ideal environment for private cloud. “That will probably be cheaper than going to an external cloud supplier,” he adds.
We spoke as well with analyst Judith Hurwitz. The topic again was cloud computing. She urged users to consider that some of this is new, and some is not. As teams move their middleware work to the cloud, they find the fundamental rules apply – that building out application servers remains part of the job. It is, in fact, sometimes a most tedious part. “Even though it is on a cloud, the issues of enterprise development are still there,” said Hurwitz, pointing to configuration and metadata handling as examples of such issues. Read ”Middleware in transit” on the site.
By Alan Earls
Traditionally, enterprise system bus (ESB) developers could laboriously hand code or they could adopt tools from vendors that could speed up the process but at a cost – the tools could themselves be complicated and they tended to obscure access to underlying code, limiting the nuances a developer could apply.
MuleSoft, a Bay Area software company has announced a new design product called Mule Studio, an Eclipse-based graphical design tool, which is said to support ESB design ”round-trip editing.” That means developers can design and edit the ESB application interchangeably in either the graphical tool or in XML.
Mateo Almenta-Reca, Director of Product Management at MuleSoft claims vendors such as TIBCO and IBM have provided tools that made it easier to get started but made long-term maintenance more difficult. He suggests the MuleSoft tools allow developers to do a deep dive if they want, and make changes in the code.
Red Hat’s JBoss World 2011 in Boston last week presented a unique view on some of the issues that press upon CTOs, software architects and development managers today. Of course, you would expect a unique view, given the company’s distinctive open source software lineage. Continued »
Video: When Site Editor Jack Vaughan got back from Red Hat’s JBoss World, he filed a brief on a caching grid, something Red Hat looks to bring to the fore. In fact, the company is chasing others – big and small – in the data cache quest. Will JBoss succeed in positioning this technology as a standard?
Vaughan discusses this issue…
The Red Hat Summit / JBoss World 2011 was this young reporter’s first experience with an event of such size. Seeing so many open source vendors, users, experts, and enthusiasts all in one place was truly impressive. Not to mention the lavish refreshments (which I probably shouldn’t).
The event kicked off on Tuesday afternoon with General Hugh Shelton, chairman of the Red Hat board of directors, who kept his speech short and sweet. Shelton assured listeners that although “We’re not there yet, and we won’t be there until we eliminate our fiercest competitors […] the open source army will continue to march on because it is the right thing to do.” He finished his speech by extolling virtues such as openness, sharing, and evolutionary thinking.
Jim Whitehurst, president and CEO at Red Hat, picked up where General Shelton left off, connecting advances in information technology with advances in social reform. He cited recent revolutions of oppressed peoples whose greatest tool was the ability to exchange information. Whitehurst asserted that the principals that drive these revolutions—collaboration, openness, and most of all freedom of choice—are the same principles that drive cloud evolution. According to Whitehurst, we are coming to a fork in the road in the development of new cloud technologies where we, as the IT industry, must ask ourselves “Are we just choosing the next Microsoft?” In other words, will the cloud be dominated by one massive platform provider with whom everyone else will have to deal?
Last up in the opening keynote was Paul Daugherty, chief technology architect at Accenture, who kept the revolution/evolution ball running by saying “If you look at where the innovation is happening, it’s around open source.” According to Daugherty the open source players are inundating the IT world with disruptive innovation. Daugherty sited social networking as an area where the biggest challenge can be dealing with the sheer volume of data and it’s ever increasing rate of increase.
I’m writing about the opening keynote speeches because I think they set a really good tone for the whole show. It got me fired up and excited about learning what the open source folks are doing to build a better tomorrow. The company announced OpenShift, Cloud Form, the early access release JBoss Enterprise Application Platform 6, and more. I picked up a bushel of useful tips about database management, HTML 5, Java stuff, cloud application integration, RESTful programming, and more. I’m looking forward to a long stretch of writing stories for SearchSOA.com and for our sister site TheServerSide.com. Stay tuned.
At Red Hat JBoss World this week Red Hat, Inc. disclosed a controlled beta of JBoss Enterprise Data Grid 6. In recent years, commercial data grids – or data caches – have come into use in high-performance, cloud computing and some Web commerce applications. Is there room for another? Probably, yes.
Though late to the party by some estimates, Red Hat claims its JBoss Enterprise Data Grid, which grows out of the ongoing Infinispan open source software project, brings new traits to this class of software – traits aimed at today’s caching data needs. The data grid offering will complement Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) and contemporary shared-services architectures, the company said.
Red Hat execs told us they are proposing the Infinispan work for inclusion in a Java Community Process standard. There, they will encounter IBM and Oracle, who have their own Java-enabled data caching products. No problem, Red Hat says - they would just like to “start the process” on some new caching standards for Java.
In the midst of economic disruption, application infrastructure and middleware software revenue has continued to thrive, posting 7.3% growth in 2010, according to Gartner. Developing areas are driving most of the growth in application infrastructure and middleware; Asia/Pacific is leading the charge.
Cloud computing caught some flak last week as Amazon’s Elastic Cloud snapped. Customer Netflix seemed to have dodged the blackout. Why not? Its boss Reed Hastings has true technology roots. Continued »