Tuesday Apr 28, 2009

Which Application Server to use with MySQL?

At the MySQL User Conference last week I had a number of attendees come up to me to ask which application server they should be using with MySQL. They were looking for something that was fast, lightweight and compatible. To me the choice was obvious -- GlassFish

So why GlassFish?

Project GlassFish, was launched when Sun open-sourced its application server and the Java EE Reference Implementation, was Sun's first step toward open-sourcing the entire Java platform. Less than a year after the initial launch, the GlassFish community delivered the first release of the GlassFish Application Server, a production-quality, Java EE-compliant application server, followed by a second release in 2007. Today, GlassFish is the leading open-source and open community platform for building and deploying next-generation applications and services. The GlassFish application server has been downloaded more than 18 million times since 2006.

Another choice might be Red Hat's JBoss application server that was released in 2006. Although JBoss has had some success in the past, I would caution that there are some issues around  backward compatibility and features that are not supported in the commercial release of the product. In addition it seems to be pretty far behind as far as latest features around JavaEE are concerned.

In contrast, the GlassFish application server is backward-compatible; features released today will be supported in future freely available versions as well as future Sun-supported commercial versions of GlassFish Enterprise Server. Additionally, the freely available GlassFish application server is ready for production right out of the box. For these reasons, I recommend GlassFish application server over JBoss!

Tomcat application server is extremely popular with Java developers who only want to only use servlets, but it doesn't support the full Java EE stack. So why use only a bit of Java when you can use the full reference implementation?

Wednesday Apr 15, 2009

GlassFish, LAMP and Weblogic.

Just received notification about an exciting new webinar on GlassFish and LAMP is scheduled for May 13th. (Yes we like the 13th.. lucky for some). There are many developers using LAMP out there, but I also hear from enterprises that the issue soon becomes how to support and handle the integration issues around the LAMP components. For a view of how we have solved this issue be sure to sign up here.

While you are waiting for the webinar, you might be interested in this white paper on how GlassFish can be a great alternative to WebLogic. Give it a read especially if you are looking on how to migrate your non-ERP type applications to way lower TCO offering.


Monday Apr 13, 2009

Saving Over Oracle with GlassFish ESB -- A real case study

I just spent some time reviewing what Pretium Telecom did with GlassFish ESB and their business results. Pretium Telecom is a large provider of fixed telephony in the Netherlands. The company’s 130 employees provide traditional, low-cost services to over 200,000 customers.

So what were their business benefits of using GlassFish over Oracle?

  • Accelerated development cycles by 40%–50%
  • Cut the total cost of ownership by approximately 50%
  • Gained the ability to launch a new VoIP offering three months earlier than projected
These are amazing results, but I can't say we were too shocked. Our TCO calculator might give you some insight into what you can save. On a 20 socket machine supporting 5,000 employees Oracle cost about $8M, whereas GlassFish ESB comes in at $2M.

Perhaps you are in the same place as Pertium and want to save millions, but are not sure about whether Open Source and GlassFish ESB is ready for prime time. I recommend you download GlassFish ESB and give it a try and hopefully you can be our next success story. I think Ruud de Greef, Chief Information Officer, at Pretium Telecom, says it the best:
“ In the past, we were suspicious of open source for business deployments, but there has been a big change in open-source technologies over the last couple of years. Products like GlassFish ESB and GlassFish Enterprise Server deliver a professional and reliable environment to base your business processes on. ”

Read more on Pretium Telecom here.

Friday Apr 10, 2009

Gartner's View on GlassFish from Jess Thompson

Just wanted to give you a pointer to a great article by Jess Thompson from Gartner on GlassFish Portfolio. This article does a great job of setting up the case on why enterprises should look at open source (and why they shouldn't) and how GlassFish helps address these issues...

Give it a read and let me know what you think.

If you want more details on GlassFish check out http://www.sun.com/glassfish.

Wednesday Apr 08, 2009

GlassFish ESB Saving Lives?

As a technology vendor, it is always interesting to see what our customers are using our technology to solve. Some projects are interesting, others border on the mundane, and yet others really have the potential to change the world. The Nationwide Health Information Network (NHIN) project is one of those that will have a dramatic and positive impact to millions of people. 

Imagine the possibilies and lives that will be saved by having health care records being shared between providers. Suddenly going on vacation and having to go to a strange hospital will be much safer: the doctors there will know about your ailments, drug interactions, even if you can't communicate with them. Deaths due to drugs being prescribed to patients that are alergic to them will hopefully decrease because the drug allergy information will be shared across providers. Naturally this is a complex problem to solve with many issues around privacy and security, but I am very happy to know that GlassFish ESB is at the heart of the solution.

Need more details:

Friday Apr 03, 2009

Open Source and the Enterprise

I keep hearing from customers that I visit that cost is becoming (or has become) THE issue to deal with in 2009. More and more of these customers (and they are the large enterprises) are opening the dialog with "How do we save by using Open Source?" It is amazing that just 3-6 months ago open source was a hit and miss topic, but now it seems to be firmly in the mainstream. 

Most enterprises that are considering open-source software typically want the best product from the different categories to make up a complete Web application platform: a Web server (like Apache), an application server (like GlassFish or JBoss), scripting (like PHP and Ruby), an Enterprise Service Bus (like OpenESB or MuleSource) and a portal (like LifeRay). Adopting this approach has some significant benefits but also presents its own challenges:

  • Cost/time to integrate the disparate projects together
  • Ability to effectively patch and maintain the disparate projects
  • Support of the product if/when problems arise and who can provide a fix for the product to address business critical issues

I would love to year how you are trying to handle these challenges. I know my colleges working with the proprietary vendors have decided to declare open source more expensive than proprietary, but I find that argument nonsensical. 

I promise to publish any results here as well as how we are trying to solve this at Sun. Our approach might surprise you.. more to come...

Friday Jun 27, 2008

How to save $2.76 Million USD

We have been working really hard at creating a compelling offering for customers that want to be freed from proprietary database and application server vendors that are arbitrarily raising their prices. We have just announced a New GlassFish and MySQL Offering that gives unlimited usage based on the number of employees in an organization. If you have not heard the news listen to a recap here, or read the full press release here.

For a typical customer with under 1,000 employees running application servers on 20 dual-CPU, dual-core x86 servers and running database servers on 10 dual-CPU, dual-core x86 servers, the three year total cost of ownership (TCO) for proprietary software will exceed $3 million USD. The three year TCO for GlassFish and MySQL Unlimited for this same configuration is just $240,000 USD – a savings of over $2.76 million USD. For details on the comparison see http://www.sun.com/mysql/glassfish

At last a solution that doesn't require you call your software vendor if you decide to add database instances, or deploy on more machines, or change hardware configuration, or ...

Check out the site and let me know how much your company will save.

Monday Mar 10, 2008


I have just returned after spending 3 fantastic days at our Customer Advisory Council, in Florida. Let me start by saying how humbled I was that very senior executives would take 3 days out of their excruciating schedule to be away from family and their jobs to meet with us. Thanks just doesn't do justice to the gratitude and respect we at Sun have for these invaluable customers.

We covered a lot in these 3 days, from product roadmaps and tactical plans to strategic directions and portfolio gaps. We had some really frank discussions that cannot be captured in this blog, but I thought it might be interesting to discuss the trends I saw at this meeting...

  • Open Source -- Every customer is committed to open source, not because of any religious zeal, but rather that this is the way that adoption occurs. They see, like Sun does, that open source is a means to an end. By open sourcing products it increases their adoption by users, partners and perhaps more significantly for this audience by service providers that will be doing more and more coding. It really is about building a robust and thriving community that will increase adoption and knowledge of the product. For the customer this is key to them finding resources that know and can use the product.
  • Paying for Open Source -- every customer at the CAC without exception wanted to pay for the open source offering for support. Not for simple "brake-fix" support, but for patch support and indemnification. They saw Sun standing behind the product and being there 24x7 to help them with any problem they had as a huge value add.   This was additional proof that the open source strategy that we at Sun have embarked upon is the winning strategy. Those vendors who ignore the open source trend will be left behind polishing that proverbial proprietary apple till it is rotten inside.
  • Offshore Development -- another interested trend. Most of the customers used offshore development for coding. They either used Sun's, another service provider or their own skilled resources as architects for their product, but they used or wanted to use "cheaper" resources for coding.
  • Information Risk Management -- every customer had either already deployed or where in the process of deploying an identity solution. The acquisition that we just did of Vaau was particularly interesting on how that bolsters Sun's leadership position in the Governance Risk and Compliance Arena.
  • Consolidation -- most of the customers were in the process of consolidating data centers to simplify operations and reduce costs. Sun's new xVM strategy was very interesting since it allows not just consolidation but increased utilization.
  • Service Oriented Architecture -- All customers had embarked down a SOA route, but few viewed this as a technology issue. They really viewed it as a new way of development (or perhaps a new discipline that created reusable services) The hype of SOA had not influenced their development, indeed some of them had not even implemented an Enterprise Service Bus (like OpenESB) but were ensuring that point to point SOA integration occurred. Others had gone further down the SOA route, but only when there was distinct business benefit.
  • Buying Stacks not Point Products -- Another interesting trend that again validates Sun's strategy is that most of these customers were sold on Sun's products to fix a particular problem, be it Single Sign-on, Identity Management, Single Customer View and the like, but they bought into Sun's application infrastructure they purchased Java Enterprise System (JES). The JES model and philosophy of simple pricing, the sum is greater than the parts, and complete stack is what made the deal.
  • Vendor Assessment=Replacement! -- Some vendors go into their customers and make them spend endless hours and resources documenting where software is being used and how many licenses they are bough. They are really like vultures hoping that they can extract a few more dollars from their customer base. Luckily at Sun we don't do this, and it was this exact practice that inspired the JES model of simple subscription pricing. What was enlightening is that as soon as a vendor starts this assessment the customer looks for ways to replace them. Why waste time with a "vulture vendor"

There was much more that we learned from this invaluable event, but unfortunately a lot of it cannot be shared on a public blog, but rest assured that the advice and direction given will find it into our products and our strategy... Thanks again to our customers for giving us the opportunity to listen.

Musings from Mark Herring at Sun...


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