Tuesday Dec 16, 2008

When you hit them and they smile, you know you did something right

I love to watch boxing. Big. Fan.  That's why when I read Sacha's post on open source business models - which questioned Sun's business model around GlassFish -  the first thing that came to mind was a boxing analogy. When you hit someone hard and they smile as if to say "You didn't hurt me", well, you've hurt them.

Sticking with the boxing analogy, Sacha's watched one fight tape in a GlassFish career that is racking up many wins. His post reflects having incomplete information. It's true, by the way, that Sun offers unlimited deployments of GlassFish for $25,000 - or should I say starting at $25,000 for organizations under 1000 employees.  When replaying the rest of the tapes, one can see that we have a tiered approach not all that different from the Java Enterprise System. The primary differences are that we group employees into tiers (to align with MySQL Enterprise Unlimited), and that the offering is for a single product instead of a multitude of products. Of course, GlassFish & MySQL Enterprise Unlimited makes a nice one-two punch. As for software infrastructure @ Sun, it's grown year over year.

Based on competitive intelligence, I know that JBoss offers site licenses as well, but it's unclear to me if JBoss/Red Hat has part numbers and dollar figures committed for an all-you-can-eat subscription. I can say that Sun puts a stake in the ground and assign a part number and dollar figure to an unlimited subscription - a commitment to the customer up front. How much are \*you\* paying for a JBoss Enterprise Application Platform site license?

Now to address Sacha's free training point, and to extend the boxing analogy well beyond its usefulness and probably effectiveness - Don King. One of the roles of a fight promoter is to drive attendance and revenue.  Regarding free training, it's a marketing promotion. Marketing has a budget, and we spend it as wisely as possible to drive maximum awareness and product adoption. Sporting events often take this approach to drive attendance.  When I attended a Chivas game recently, I wasn't too concerned about their long term viability when I got a free hat. Delivering free online training in a promotional context isn't going to break the bank. The content had already been created, after all. In fact, thanks Sacha for linking to our free glassfish training offer. As for any revenue "lost" to free training, we don't think quite that two-dimensionally. We're more than making it up when customers learn of the the strong value proposition of running GlassFish Enterprise Server on CoolThreads servers (a billion dollar business in-and-of-itself), and backed by the newly introduced Sun StorEdge 7000 Unified Storage system.

GlassFish adoption is through the roof, both in downloads and registrations. I personally like to take a look at the GlassFish GeoMap upon occasion as a reward for all the hard work that has been put forth by Sun and the GlassFish community.  I can emphatically say that this success is being followed up with a rapidly growing number of GlassFish Enterprise Server subscribers who value the support and service Sun provides.

To sum it up, when I see a blog post ending with "Sun being desperate" and "hail mary", I see a competitor trying to instill Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt - FUD.  That means the competition is smiling (errr, smarting) after they've been hit pretty good.  Me? I stay away from FUD and prefer to stick to the facts.

Saturday Dec 06, 2008

GlassFish Clustering in Under 10 Minutes

As we add features to GlassFish over time, one characteristic we do not want to compromise is ease-of-use. With this screencast I wanted to show how easy it is to set up a GlassFish high availability cluster.  While other clustering screencasts exist, I wanted to take a different approach. How long would it take, from download to deploying an app, to get a GlassFish high availability cluster up and running? This screencast does just that. While I could have gone faster - faster connection, eliminate narration, etc - I wanted to make it more typical and meaningful for viewers. Here's a summary of the timing:

  • Download: 2 minutes and 30 seconds. I cover this time by describing bringing up a slide and describing the clustering architecture
  • Installation and cluster setup: 4 minutes, 30 seconds.
  • Verifying and testing cluster by deploying a sample application: 3 minutes

Note, the embedded video is via the Sun Learning Exchange. This video is also posted to YouTube.

Update: You can play these video's in full screen. On YouTube there is a "Watch in High Quality" link just under the video (to the right) as well.

Friday Aug 08, 2008

GlassFish at Americas Sales Meeting

I've been in the Washington D.C. area the past few days extolling the virtues of GlassFish to the America's sales force. The good news is that the GlassFish session, an 8:00am affair, was packed. I must say that I was pretty darn surprised. Sales reps have \*dozens\* of products they can focus on, yet GlassFish drove a full house (60-70). Here's why:

  • Customer pain.  These days we often hear the phrase "pain at the pump" to describe how we feel about rising fuel prices. It's no different for how customers feel about how much they are paying for license fees at a time when the economy is in question. Now is not the time to raise prices, it's time to be more responsive to customer pain.
  • MySQL synergy. The business momentum behind the MySQL acquisition (inside and outside of Sun) is quite amazing. When you have a database, something needs to CRUD the data (I didn't know CRUD could be a verb either). When you have an application server, data needs to go somewhere. GlassFish and MySQL provide quite the one-two punch, without hitting below the financial belt.
  • Open Source - as in Freedom. Not just financial freedom, but the elimination of vendor lock-in. Customers feel beholden to closed-source products.  Customers do not feel beholden to open source communities. Buy only when you need to. Eliminate vendor lock-in. Sales now realizes that open source is a facilitator, not a competitor, because customers still want 24x7 support to reduce risk and downtime.
  • Transparency - Transparency facilitates trust. The GlassFish community is about as transparent as I've seen a community be. Sales enters an environment where a we have already established some level of trust and credibility. Their role is to extend that trust into a win-win business relationship.

Friday Jun 27, 2008

Save big bucks with GlassFish & MySQL Unlimited

While other vendors are raising their prices, Sun decided to do just the opposite. We decided to save the customer money. In fact, not only can customers save money now, going forward they can scale their business without having to scale their budget. Introducing GlassFish & MySQL Unlimited, an offering that combines two fast, reliable, and very popular products, based on open source, into a single subcription offering.

Starting at $65,000, a customer can deploy as much GlassFish Enterprise Server and MySQL Enterprise Server as needed to meet business requirements. No counting CPUs. No counting cores. No audits or true-ups. No counting servers. And you don't have to "go back to the well" and ask for more money.

Do the Oracle math. Don't forget to double the price-per-socket for quad-core x86 servers and for 8-core Niagara servers. And add support.

Do the Sun math. For organizations up to 1,000 employees, it's a $65,000/year for unlimited use. If you want 24x7x365 support for GlassFish Enterprise Server (for a more fair comparison), it's $80,000/year. No worries, the MySQL component already includes 24x7x365 support among other things. The offering extends beyond 1,000 employees, but you get the point.

Do the math using your budget. Just think of what you can do with what you save! If you can't think of what you can do with the savings, rumor has it that Java CAPS 6 is a great deal :-)

Note: Mark has some math as well.

Sunday May 11, 2008

GlassFish in review @ JavaOne 2008

It's been nearly 5 months since I've last blogs. Clearly I'm in the realm of the non-blogging heathen. No excuses. Mea culpa.

The good news is that the GlassFish community has been plugging away at GlassFish with substantial progress.  There have been hiccups along the way and surely there are more to come, but overall GlassFish is forging ahead nicely.  Here's a summary of GlassFish happenings at JavaOne 2008.

  •  Product name change. "Sun Java System Application Server" was renamed to "Sun GlassFish Enterprise Server".  The new name inherently describes the relationship between open source product and the Sun product. Simply stated, Sun offers support of GlassFish through the Sun GlassFish Enterprise Server.
  • GlassFish Enterprise Server Unlimited. Deploy as much GlassFish Enterprise Server as you want, starting at $25K. That's less than deploying some competitive application servers to a single T5140. I don't have the web page up for the Unlimited offering yet. This is one of those afore-mentioned hiccups.
  • Partner Initiative for Sun Partner Advantage program. Over 40 GlassFish partners! Check out the partner showcase. Want to become a GlassFish partner? Here's how.
  • GlassFish v3 Technology Preview 2. You may recall Technology Preview 1 (TP1) at last year's JavaOne. Since then we have been busy delivering multiple releases of GlassFish v2. Not resting on our GlassFish v3 laurels, Technology Preview 2 delivers the following over last year's Technology Preview 1. I'm sure I'm forgetting something but I'll chalk it up to being way past my bedtime :-)
    • Support for OSGi
    • Dynamically extend GlassFish v3 by adding modules to the lib directory.
    • Java Persistence API, JDBC Connection Pooling
    • File & JDBC Realm support, SSL support
    • Complete asadmin command line interface support.
    • NetBeans support, with GlassFish v3 available in NetBeans update center
    • Update Center support with Solaris IPS packaging. The following components are available using the update center:
      • Web administration console (subset of GlassFish v2 console)
      • Partial EJB 3.1 support (stateless session beans w/local interface)
      • EclipseLink
      • jMaki, JSF, Woodstock
      • JRuby runtime, Grails support
      • Project Jersey REST apis (JAX-RS)
      • Metro Web Services stack
  • Project WebSynergy. Bringing together the best of LifeRay and OpenPortal with GlassFish. Check out The Aquarium writeup.
  • GlassFish ESB. Read all about it.
  • Sun GlassFish Communications Server. Sun's SIP-enabled application server based on Project SailFin. SailFin, in turn, is based on GlassFish.
  • GlassFish Unconference. Arrived late due to a delayed flight. However, I had the pleasure to lead the "Production & Performance" discussion. Learned a lot about how folks are deploying GlassFish. Looks like we can improve NetBeans integration by addressing a bug or two. The good news is that we received multiple kudos for GlassFish ease-of-use and for call flow monitoring.
  • GlassFish Party. I can neither confirm nor deny I over-consumed alcoholic beverages. Hiccup (unrelated to afore-mentioned hiccups).
  • GlassFish BOF. Picked up some good feedback at the BOF on how to improve GlassFish.
Believe it or not, I only had the chance to attend one session the entire conference - the opening general session. Had to go back to UStream to watch GlassFish v3 start global thermonuclear war during Bob Brewin's afternoon keynote. The rest of the time was dedicated to talking to partners, customers and long-time friends.

Friday Dec 21, 2007

lzPack GlassFish installer on the Mac

First off, I'd like to give a big thanks to Julien Ponge for the GlassFish V2UR1 lzPack powered installer. Impressive. Works like a charm. I thought I'd blog about the Mac installer. The installer defaults to installation in the /Applications directory. If you choose to do this, odds are you will run into problems with not being able to create the domain directory during the configuration step due to a lack of permissions to write to the /Applications/GlassFish directory.

There are a couple of options.


  1. Continue installation in /Applications directory. The setup fails to create the domain, but you can create the domain after the fact and point to a user-writable directory as follows:

    # /Applications/GlassFish/bin/asadmin create-domain --domaindir /Users/jclingan/domains --adminport 4848 mydomain
    # /Applications/GlassFish/bin/asadmin start-domain --domaindir /Users/jclingan/domains

    Note /Users/jclingan/domains is a top-level directory for GlassFish domains, so a mydomain subdirectory will be placed under that directory. Most folks don't know about the --domaindir option so I thought this option might be useful to cover.

  2. Select a different install directory. Simply choose a subdirectory off of your home directory, such as /Users/jclingan/GlassFish. This is similar to what you would do with the jar installer and the permissions issue goes away entirely, resulting in a clean install.

Thanks, Julien, for the effort. A very welcome addition!

Wednesday Dec 19, 2007

GlassFish V2 Update Release 1 Released

Three months after the release of GlassFish V2, we already have an update release. Alexis has a good writeup of what's in this release. I'd like to point out a few items in a bit more detail.

First, the Update Center is getting more visibility. It's a great GlassFish feature that many developers do not even know exists! A growing number packages are available and plug right into GlassFish. We are also trying to grow the number of packages as well, both with community input or by the community itself. Example: Open ESB is right there, click, click, restart. Your ready. Or Try jMaki (no restart required).




Next, the support center offers up-to-date information of all kinds, aggregating a ton of information into one convenient location. In particular, I like the feed showing the list of bugs fixed. It should be noted that this feature does require product registration. On a related note,  many bugs have been fixed. For those of you waiting for an update release before you deploy, well, here it is.






Thursday Sep 27, 2007

BEA taking notice of GlassFish

Looks like BEA is taking notice of GlassFish. Bill Roth offered some counter-arguments to our "10% better performance than BEA WebLogic 9.x" comparison, which is both expected and an appropriate thing to do. Bill asked some open-ended questions which I addressed for the benefit of the BEA community. I also offered some clarification around some of the points that Bill made so the WebLogic community has a better understanding of the GlassFish community. Bill's a busy guy (moderated comments) and the blogosphere is a moving window of conversation. In fear of missing the that window, here is a copy of the comment I submitted to Bill's blog.

Update: Alexis has a view on subject as well.
Update: Thorleif chose GlassFish over WebLogic (2nd comment) for the very reasons stated below.
Update: Hmmm, Bill never published my original comment to his blog, only the courtesy FYI ...
Update: Bill's SPAM catcher got in the way (see comments). No worries Bill, my email filter occasionally junk-mails my own emails :-)


Bill, GlassFish V2 and the Sun Java System Application Server 9.1 are essentially the same, with the latter applying the Sun brand, indemnification and support.  Sun benchmarked the Sun Java System Application Server 9.1 instead of GlassFish V2 because SPEC rules require a supported product. I highly recommend that instead of asking open-ended questions, you engage the GlassFish community via the user forums or the mailing lists where these and future questions can be easily addressed. To be completely transparent, I've updated the GlassFish User FAQ with the differences (GUI installer, 3rd party JDBC drivers, HADB) between GlassFish and the Sun Java System Application Server. These are not "significant differences" in our view.

Regarding our JVM, we don't need to be "pressed", simply asked (refer to the previous comment on user forum and mailing list). Yes, there are performance improvements between Java SE 5 and Java SE 6. However, since neither BEA WebLogic 9 nor BEA WebLogic 10 support Java SE 6, WebLogic customers cannot benefit from these performance improvements. It is good to hear that BEA has improved WebLogic tuning since the last submission since that benefits the larger Java community. The GlassFish community has made significant performance improvements between GlassFish V1 and GlassFish V2. The GlassFish community continues to actively work to improve performance across the board in a variety of areas.

I'll concede that benchmarking is a game of leapfrog. The main point is that GlassFish is performance competitive and extremely feature/price competitive at $4,500 for 4 sockets, which is why Gartner, Forrester, and Current Analysis are taking notice.


John Clingan
Sun Application Server Product Manager

Monday Sep 17, 2007

GlassFish V2 released with cost-efficient annual subscriptions

There is a good reason for the rather long pause at The Clingan Zone. As mentioned previously, I moved out of the field and into corporate as the GlassFish Group Product Manager. In that role, I have been working in the background doing my part to help move GlassFish V2 towards the goal line. As of today, we've crossed that line. GlassFish V2 is formally released!!

GlassFish V1, the first Java EE 5 application server available, focused on developers with Java EE 5 ease-of-development features, low resource consumption, dynamic resource configuration, etc.  GlassFish V2 adds out-of-the-box enterprise features. In particular:

  • Clustering - Cluster for scalability high-availability. New to GlassFish V2 is in-memory session replication for high availability; robust and easy to set up. For 5 9's of availability Sun continues to offer HADB.
  • Advanced administration - From a centralized GUI console (or  CLI) users can manage and monitor the clusters and applications. Clusters can be created and grown dynamically to meet user demand.
  • Best-in-class performance - GlassFish V2 offers great performance and is the fastest open source application server available. In fact, GlassFish V2 is 10% faster than BEA WebLogic 9.x on the same hardware (compare here and here).
  • Microsoft .NET 3.0 Web services Interoperability - At it's core,  Project Metro offers industry-leading web services performance with JAX-WS. In addition, Sun (through Project Metro) and Microsoft have worked together to ensure secure, reliable, transactional and high performance web services interoperability between Java EE and Microsoft .NET 3.0.

Enterprise features do not compromise ease-of-use. To date the feedback we have received on ease-of-use has been overwhelmingly positive, especially for clustered deployments. Ease-of-use will be a top-level theme for GlassFish V3 (more on that in a later post).

Sun's commercially available counterpart to GlassFish V2, the Sun Java System Application Server 9.1, is offered with new annual subscriptions for support, including live transfer for issues impacting production availability. In fact, we have dropped prices by up to 75% to be in line with other open source offerings. Yep, you can buy online. Note, GlassFish V2 is at feature parity with the Sun Java System Application Server 9.1 - we're not penalizing the open source community for committing to open source bits.  However, if production support is required to reduce the impact of production issues, we have your back. With great out-of-the-box enterprise features and cost-efficient pricing, the Sun Java System Application Server 9.1 offer a great value proposition whether you are an enterprise looking to drive down costs or a startup looking for a low barrier to entry.

Download GlassFish V2 or Sun's commercialized counterpart, the Sun Java System Application Server 9.1. Take it for a spin. Have questions? Check the documentation or the FAQ on how to get help.

Wednesday Jun 13, 2007

Blog about GlassFish and enter to win a 52" LCD HD TV

Arun has the details on the offer - and hurry! Only 2 days left. It will take less time to post an entry on the topic than it will to go pick up a Lotto ticket. While the offer doesn't compare to Lotto winnings, the odds are significantly more in your favor ;-)

You may be wondering if you have to say something nice about GlassFish to win. Nope. Be honest (and professional :-) ). Honest feedback goes a long way. We hope that others learn something important about GlassFish from what you post. However, I think that it is equally important that we - the GlassFish team - learn something. We may learn ...

  • ... something new on how GlassFish is used in practice
  • ... that some part of GlassFish needs to be improved
  • ... that you have got a framework running on GlassFish and are the first to blog about it.
  • ... why you chose to use GlassFish with sssoooo many options available
  • ... that you just wanted a 52" LCD HD TV and would do anything to get it :-)
Unfortunately Sun employees are not eligible. Hrumph.


Saturday Jun 09, 2007

Tired of your dead-end job?

"Tired of your dead end job? Why not work from home and live the lifestyle you've always dreamed about!  Make $50,000 per month with our Real Income Plan and the complete business affiliate guide."

Given how much I plaster my email address across the blogosphere, I'm surprised I don't get more SPAM like this. We must have \*very\* good SPAM filters. I get about 10 a day in my email. That's about 3% of my daily email. Not bad.

This particular SPAM caught my eye given I've been in the role of GlassFish Group Product Manager for roughly 2 months. I'm currently looking at what seems to be an endless list of things to do and learn in this role. That doesn't leave much time for Solaris or Zones tinkering. Not much time for coding either. Not much time for lunch (seriously).

On the other hand, I'm picking up a whole new set of skills, which is great. Building a new set of relationships - inside and outside of Sun - while leveraging many of the relationships I already have. What came as second nature before is not second nature now. It takes much longer to do things as I have to navigate a whole new set of contacts and processes. The good news is that I've got one hell of a team to work with as I learn the ropes. Skilled. Motivated. Professional. Fun.

Let's just say I'm far from a dead end job. I'd say its more like a new beginning.

Thursday May 10, 2007

GlassFish interest & adoption @ JavaOne

Working the JavaOne GlassFish booth has been extremely rewarding. First, the message about GlassFish is getting out. The booth has been very busy. In some cases, folks are already using GlassFish and the rest want to learn more.

Walking around the floor yesterday confirmed my thoughts regarding the breadth of GlassFish adoption already happening. For example, the folks at the Joyent booth had a laptop screen with "GlassFish Hosting Here". I had no idea but me-thinks I have Ben Rockwood to thank for that :-) In addition, the TeleLogic folks were using GlassFish to demonstrate their enterprise architecture tools. The first three booths I hit yesterday were using GlassFish. Ericsson was the 3rd, but I knew that going in.

Monday May 07, 2007


I'll be roaming around CommunityOne  day. The only issue I have is that there is too much great content shoved in to too short a time period. I'd sure love to cross tracks into the OpenSolaris, NetBeans and Redmonk unConference tracks. I'm 100% committed to the GlassFish track, where where we expect both GlassFish veterans and a host of new users.

Here's the GlassFish track agenda:

  • 10:00: General session (all tracks) 
  • 11:00:  Getting Starting / What's new
  • 12:10:  Lunch w/Jonathan Schwartz & Rich Green
  • 1:15:  GlassFish in real life (Use Cass)
  • 2:20: GlassFish partner ecosystem
  • 5:00: GlassFish Futures w/V3

My goal at CommunityOne is to meet new GlassFish users, where I hope to learn about deployments, where GlassFish excels, and where it needs improvement.

Unfortunately I need to cut this post short. Time to head to the Moscone Center to sign up. 

Saturday Apr 21, 2007

Glassfish on Ubuntu on Qemu on Solaris on ...

While others describe Ubuntu on Parallels on Mac, that simply doesn't work for me.  I run Solaris on X86 (Nevada build 60 on a Tecra M2 to be precise). Thanks to Qemu for Solaris, I can test it out. During the Glassfish install & run I took a couple of screen snapshots. The image on the right shows Glassfish in the Synaptic package manager. The brown-ish square is Ubuntu running on Qemu. The image below shows Firefox on Ubuntu displaying the Glassfish console. The browser in the background and the task bar at the bottom are both running on  Solaris. You may be asking why the display shows the Sun Java System Application Server. As posted at The Aquarium, The Sun Java System Application Server is Sun's name for our distribution of Glassfish. The only difference between the two is the installer.

FYI, Ubuntu integrates more than Glassfish, it includes the Sun Java SE 6 JDK, Java DB and NetBeans 5.5.

So you may be asking yourself, why the heck run Glassfish on Ubuntu on Qemu on Solaris on X86 when it runs just fine directly on Solaris on X86? One answer is "because I can". Another is that it makes an interesting blog post - or at least I think it does :-) Most importantly, it lets me stay on top of the Glassfish user experience on the most popular desktop Linux distribution. The overall experience was simple and uneventful, which is just the way I like my installs to go.


Friday Apr 20, 2007

Meeting the Glassfish team @ Sun

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John Clingan-Oracle


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