Networks Generation

Jun 3 2009   2:59PM GMT

Rising Above The Clouds

Steve Broadhead Steve Broadhead Profile: Steve Broadhead

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Ofcom

Sometimes it makes a refreshing change to get away from the plumbing that works the Internet and folks’ networks, and get stuck into some application stuff instead.

After all, without apps, what’s the plumbing for (other than keeping a few of us in jobs)? So, I welcomed an invite from TIBCO to attend a virtual launch of a new product, TIBCO Silver, defined as a “rapid application delivery platform which has been specifically designed for building and deploying cloud applications inside Global 2000 environments.”

Well, it makes a change from Ethernet switches. First, the “venue”. These virtual exhibitions crack me up  – I love the little people wandering around the halls – I even thought I recognised one or two of them. And it seems to work – apparently there were 1500 registered attendees.

You could also “wander around” and get info on all areas of the TIBCO offering. Just no scantily clad girls or beer, otherwise it’s a perfect replacement for the old Networks shows at the NEC (oh, and the lack of Balti’s in the evening – that is a sad loss).

So, onto the presentation. While obviously pre-recorded and therefore not exactly interactive, the content itself was genuinely interesting. Basically it delivers for me on two premises – 1: it removes the virtuality from the “Cloud” and makes real Enterprise apps available in that fluffy environment and 2: it massively reduces deployment time. ‘Months to minutes’ is the mantra (enough “M”s) and it’s one I’m all for, following what we call the “Thingamy” path, me being a big fan of said Enterprise software start-up which offers the same short-cuts to success, as indeed does my recently blogged Sunrise Sostenuto ITSM. Looks like the ISVs are coming out of the dark ages at last and realising there is more to life than developing products that are so complex that they never actually work properly. I don’t need to name names…

TIBCO SVP of Engineering, Matt Quinn said, in his presentation, that he’d built and deployed an entire application in a weekend using TIBCO Silver (imagine if the company was called HiHo) which is proof of sorts but it’d be even better if we could see it in the flesh, so to speak.  He used the phrase “changing the question from not how but when?” which is a nice summation of what TIBCO Silver is looking to achieve.

All very promising though and good to see the “Cloud” being harnessed for real use. Issues such as availability, security, integration, governance and scalability are all part of the framework and deployment extends to high availability, fully redundant configs etc – proper business applications in other words, however cloudy the environment.

And we got a new TLA – TIBCO’s Complex Event Processing (CEP) technology which is designed to “build in ‘self aware’ elasticity” – in other words it automates as much as possible, so we can all go down the pub instead. Applications can resize themselves on demand, automatically – now that IS scalability.

Note: TIBCO has partnered with Amazon for external facing applications and the first public beta of TIBCO Silver will be available on the 30th June 2009 so check out their website for more progress on this. Sensibly, TIBCO has also partnered with VMware to move this stuff forward.

You might also want to check out my old mate Den Howlett’s blog on the company:

http://blogs.zdnet.com/Howlett/?p=941

Well, all this virtual chasing around the virtual halls has tired me out – time for a bit of refreshment. Sadly, the office doesn’t have its own bar, but it does have a kettle and tea bags (even in Andorra)…


 

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