Monday Feb 28, 2011

Shoal 1.5.29 released - GlassFish 3.1's runtime dynamic clustering service

As part of the tumultuous release of GlassFish 3.1 today which comes with clustering, centralized administration, high availability, improved automated delegated transaction recovery and a host of other features on top of the Java EE 6 platform,  I am delighted to announce the release of  Shoal 1.5.29 - the latest version of the Runtime Dynamic Clustering Framework library that is the underlying runtime clustering engine for GlassFish 3.1.

GMS is employed by many GlassFish modules for group communications and group lifecycle event notifications. GlassFish modules that use GMS include the HA (in-memory replication) module, the transaction service module, the IIOP Failover Loadbalancer, and EJB Timer Service (for timer migrations). 

The In-memory Replication module (also a part of Project Shoal ) is a caching backing store module built on top of Shoal GMS. The replication module is used in GlassFish for HTTPSession, EJB Stateful Session Beans state replication, and Single Sign-On state replication, and in addition, is also employed by Project Metro Web Services for making Reliable Messaging and Secure Conversations highly available in GlassFish 3.1 release. 

In this Shoal GMS release, we have a major change incorporated and that is the default transport provider for Shoal has changed from JXTA to Grizzly - specifically this release uses Grizzly version 1.9.28 as the transport provider. Grizzly gives us better performance with its NIO based transport - GlassFish 3.1 HA is about 34% improved over GlassFish 2.x in our internal benchmarks partly due to the move to use Grizzly as the transport under GMS with the HA module using GMS messaging APIs for its replication logic. Moreover,  the developers of Grizzly are co-located with and part of the GlassFish team allowing for faster support within the team. The JXTA 2.5 transport is still available via a source code build, however, since it is not tested as part of the extensive GlassFish 3.1 HA and GMS testing, it is not included in the pre-built shoal-gms jar. 

Additional features in this release include a new notification of the Master Change Event when the group master changes to another member when an existing group master fails or is shut down administratively. Another new feature is the REJOIN sub event as part of the JoinNotificationSignal and JoinedAndReadyNotificationSignal to symbolize a  use case where a member failed and restarted much before GMS's failure detection algo confirmed the failure - in such cases, a failure notification of the restarted member is confusing and hence a REJOIN sub event is sent in as part of the member's JoinNotificationSignal and JoinedAndReadyNotificationSignal. 

We hope and look forward to the community to continue giving its valuable feedback for improvements in the Shoal modules  - Please download Shoal as a library for use in your projects and give us your valuable feedback and RFEs for improvements. We welcome your feedback at users AT

You can download Shoal 1.5.29 library from here :

Thursday Oct 21, 2010

How To Configure & Test High Availability with GlassFish Server 3.1 Using A Single Machine

Update 02/28/2011 : GlassFish 3.1 shipped today with clustering, centralized administration, high availability and a host of new features providing these features on the Java EE 6 platform.  Get the download here.

The Shoal runtime clustering (Shoal GMS) and HA (Shoal Cache) team has been busy working on bringing GMS and In-memory replication capabilities to GlassFish Server 3.1 which is the release-in-development at the time of writing this entry. 

In this entry, I will describe steps to configure and test High Availability with GlassFish Server 3.1 and trust this will help the community and customers to run their own Java EE 5 or Java EE 6 apps with HA and give us feedback. 

Single Machine Step-by-Step instructions to setup cluster and HA 

So here are the steps doing the same on a single machine:

  • Download GlassFish 3.1 final build from here. Pick up either the full Java EE distro or web distro. Use either the zip distribution or the executable installer.  As a convenience, the latest promoted build is also aliased as latest-glassfish-<platform>.(sh/exe) or for the full Java EE distro while it is aliased as latest-web-<platform>.(sh/exe) or for the web distro.
    • <install_dir>/glassfish/bin
  • Ensure you have multicast enabled on your network and Shoal GMS and Cache can work in this environment. Run this on two terminals : 
    • ./asadmin validate-multicast 
    • This should show messages being sent and received between the two terminals and ensure that basic multicast support exists on your network.
    • Your messages would look like this in one of the terminals :
      • Will use port 2,048
      • Will use address
      • Will use bind interface null
      • Will use wait period 2,000 (in milliseconds)
      • Listening for data...
      • Sending message with content "" every 2,000 milliseconds
      • Received data from (loopback)
      • Received data from
      • Exiting after 20 seconds. To change this timeout, use the --timeout command line option.
      • Command validate-multicast executed successfully.
  • Run the command to start the domain : 
    • ./asadmin start-domain 
  • Next create a cluster using the command line interface : 
    • ./asadmin create-cluster <cluster-name>  
    • In the above step, the multicast address and port that Shoal GMS/Cache would use will be auto generated for you. If you want to set a specific multicast address and port of your choice for Shoal GMS to use then do this : 
    • ./asadmin create-cluster --multicastaddress 229.x.x.x --multicastport yyyyy 
      • where x is any integer between 0 and 254 and y is any integer over 1024 (if not a super user) for an available port  you choose. 
  • Next, create a couple or more instances belonging to this cluster : 
    • ./asadmin create-local-instance --cluster <clustername> <instancename>

      Note down the HTTP Port of each instance as you create them - you will need it when testing out failover. 

  • Next, start the cluster : ./asadmin start-cluster <clustername>
  • Check if the cluster started fine : ./asadmin get-health <clustername>  The get-health command reports data based on GMS's auto-discovery of the instances in the cluster as the cluster started up. You should see output similar to the following :
    • inst1 started since Thu Oct 21 14:45:10 PDT 2010
    • inst2 started since Thu Oct 21 14:45:19 PDT 2010
  • You can also use ./asadmin list-instances command to see if the clustered instances are running. 
  • Now you are ready to deploy an application and try out HA using the port-hopping technique to test failover without an LB. 
    • Note that you can do port hopping only when you are on single physical machine or when both the instances are on the virtual machine instance.  If going beyond a single machine, then you will need to front the cluster with an LB capable of sticky sessions and round robin 
  • Deploy the ClusterJSP application first, before you try your app, as it will help set a baseline with a GlassFish supplied ear file that is tested to establish a baseline that basic HA functionality is working. The clusterjsp file is here (will be part of samples soon) : 
    • ./asadmin deploy --availabilityenabled=true --target <clustername> <path-to>/clusterjsp.ear
    • The availabilityenabled flag is the only requirement in the deploy command to HA enable your application. Besides that, for a web application, you do need to add the <distributable/> element to the web.xml packaged with the application. This tells the web container that the application is ready to be used in a distributed system such as a cluster.
  • Access the first instance's URL on your favorite browser : 
    • http://<host>:<first instance port>/clusterjsp
  • The clusterjsp browser window should look like the following :

Note in the image above, the "Served from Server Instance : inst1" meta information that tells you that this page was served from the first instance "inst1" being the first instance's name.

Also note, that under the section "Data retrieved from the HttpSession:" there is an entry stating jreplicaLocation=inst2. This is a HttpSession Cookie that is sent back by the ShoalCache layer to the web container that forwards it to the browser that an LB could potentially use - that this session's replica instance is inst2. An LB capable of handling such information such as the latest upcoming version of GlassFish LB Plugin that works with the Oracle iPlanet WebServer, can failover to the exact replica instance on failure of a primary, thereby saving broadcast type network calls in the replication layer to find out which instance has a particular session to be resumed on this failover instance.  This is very useful particularly in larger clusters. 

  • Add some session data as a key and a value, Name of Session Attribute: John and Value:  Doe. 
The above page shows that first instance has saved the session data to the second instance and has it in the first instance web container's active cache. 
  • Now to simulate failover, you can port hop to the next instance or any random instance in your cluster, say second instance 
    • http://<host>:<second instance port>/clusterjsp
    • Before doing the above, you can optionally, stop the instance that served the first request i.e the first instance,  using 
      • ./asadmin stop-instance <instance name> command or 
      • find the process id of first instance  by using jps -mlvV | grep <instancename> and terminate the process using kill -9 <pid>
      • Run ./asadmin get-health command again to see the status of the cluster. You should see output similar to the following if you killed the instance :
      • inst1 failed since Thu Oct 21 15:17:47 PDT 2010
      • inst2 started since Thu Oct 21 14:45:19 PDT 2010
    • On the second instance's page you will see that the session data written on the first instance was saved in the cluster and retrieved when the page was loaded on second instance. The session was resumed on second instance. Your page would look similar to the following : 

Note above that the second instance served the page and the session data written by the first instance was retrieved from the replica cache by the replication module in second instance. Also note that the second instance has the first instance as its replica in this two instance cluster, but we know that instance does not exist any more as it was killed or stopped. 

  • At this point, any session data written from this page on second instance would not be highly available if you have a two instance cluster as the first instance is no longer around. 
  • Go the terminal window and restart the first instance ./asadmin start-instance <firstinstancename> 
  • Go back to the browser that has the page served from second instance and add some session data, ex. Name of Session Attribute : Jane, Value of Session Attribute: Doe. Your page should look like the following:

Note that session parameters Jane = Doe has been added to the session but the session should now be highly available as you have restarted the first instance and then written the session parameters on the second instance. 

  • At this time, simulate a second failover by porthopping to the first instance  http://<host>:<first instance port>/clusterjsp/HaJsp.jsp
  • Your page should look like the following : 

As you see above, inst1 retrieved all the session parameters and this shows the high availability of sessions in the two instance cluster. 

If all goes well as above, you now have a baseline with which to compare your experience when you deploy your own application to try out GlassFish 3.1 High Availability for sessions.

You can also try a cluster with 3 or more instances to see High Availability in action. You will also see that for each new session, the replication module chooses a different replica instance - this is a change from the buddy replication based mechanism with GlassFish v2.x High Availability feature. We will have a more detailed blog entry on this new approach later. 

With the above instructions, you should now be able to deploy your own application and if you see issues there and not with clusterjsp, this will give you a reason to investigate what is different with your application behavior that could contribute to the issue. Most often, the issue would be a non-Serializable object in your session that was working fine when you deployed to a non clustered single instance as there was no need to ship session objects to another replica instance. When the non-Serializable was involved in a distributed systems setup as in a cluster, issues start to show up. So look out for those situations. Start with scouring the server log for these indications. 

If you do see issues that you believe belong in GlassFish HA component, please send us feedback on the user list : users at glassfish dot dev dot java dot net 

You can also file issues at the GlassFish issue tracker  here.  GlassFish HA issues are filed under the "failover" subcomponent.

Wednesday Oct 28, 2009

GlassFish v2.1.1 and Sailfin 2.0 (Sun GlassFish Communications Server 2.0 ) released!

Great news out today that both the GlassFish v2.1.1 (Sun GlassFish Enterprise Server 2.1.1) and Sailfin 2.0 (Sun GlassFish Communications Server 2.0 ) have been released today. 

GlassFish v2.1.1 has over 200 bug fixes and improvements. On the high availability side, we have refined the replication module further and on the fault tolerance side, Shoal GMS Clustering (version 1.1) now leverages the GlassFish Node Agent's ability to detect process losses quickly to inform Shoal GMS Members about failures. This improved our software failure detection timeout from around 9-12 seconds to around 4-5 seconds - an important improvement in supporting failover and other recovery oriented computing components.  

Sailfin 2.0 introduces High Availability for SIP and Converged applications and uses an enhanced predictive replication algorithm supporting high traffic and large number of active sessions in addition to supporting Rolling Upgrade with session states retained. With many improvements in Shoal's clustering core along with support network traffic specification to specific network interfaces, and improved health state transitions, this makes for added reliability and scalability in the clustering capabilities of Sailfin. 

Congratulations to the entire Sailfin and GlassFish developer community for splendid work in successfully releasing these products. 


Friday Sep 25, 2009

How Does Sailfin (Sun GlassFish Communications Server) SIP Session Replication Module Select Replica Instances?

For scalable deployments of middleware with high availability, employing a session state persistence approach to persist session state to all instances in the cluster could be a sub-optimal solution. Replicating sessions to all instances in the cluster would result in significantly higher network traffic just for replicating state reducing bandwidth for growing application user requests. This approach of sharing sessions across all instances perhaps is suited for small clusters with limited number of concurrent requests.

One of the better approaches to use to secure scaling advantages is the approach of buddy replication. In this approach, each instance selects one (or more) other instance(s) in the cluster to replicate any and all of its sessions. This is a superior approach and in fact, works for fairly large deployments. There are factors to consider here, in terms of the overhead the replication subsystem will need to handle at the cost of performance particularly when large number of concurrent sessions are being processed and later expired. An overhead to consider is the need for instances to form ring-like replica partnerships based on a certain order in which buddies would be available and selected. When a buddy instance fails, there is the cost of re-adjusting and forming new buddy relationship with another surviving instance, and when the original buddy recovers, to re-adjust again to use this upcoming instance as a replica partner by one of the instances in the cluster. Think of this as a chain based ring with its links randomly being removed but with the consistent goal of retaining a connected chain ring with the overhead of relinking each time a link is removed or added or a new one added to the chain.

There is also cost to be considered (if such were the design approach), each time the cluster shape changes for dynamically changing/updating any cookie information pertaining to replica locations that could be sent back as part of the response headers to the LB - typically that cost should also be avoided through more efficient means.

In the case of GlassFish, we have fairly successfully used buddy replication with each instance having a single replica buddy. We use the approach of locating sessions in the cluster when a request is directed by the LB to any random instance when a failure of an instance that was processing requests occurs. This has worked well for reasonably large mission critical environments where the scalability and availability requirements are within the boundaries of this approach.

In Sailfin 2.0, scaling and reliability needs for telco applications is typically very high and we needed a scalable approach to ensure Sip Session Replication overhead sustained good performance with the added reliability and availability. We, therefore, used a consistent hashing algorithm to dynamically assign a replica instance for each new session. This we did by leveraging the consistent hashing mechanism that the Sailfin Converged Load Balancer (CLB) uses for proxying requests to a target instance using a BEKey. In the case of replication, the same logic of using a hashed key for the target instance assignment is taken a bit further.

For replica selection, for each new session, we pre-calculate the most likely target instance that the CLB would failover to, if the current target primary instance that would serve the session, were to fail in future. This gives us the instance to which, the current primary instance, should replicate to. This gave us significant benefits in that there were no client cookie updates required to include replica partner information dynamically. There was no readjustment of replica partnerships needed when a particular instance failed as the hashing algorithm would provide another instance to replicate to with just an API call. When the failed instance comes back into the cluster, the sessions that were owned by it in its prior incarnation that are unexpired, would migrate back to it to maintain a balanced set of sessions across the cluster. And the replica selection algorithm would assign the original failover instance for this primary, as the replication partner.

Since this is based on a hashed selection algorithm with predetermined failover target, replica selection is dynamic, and does not need the knowledge of a particular order of instances being ready in the cluster to point all sessions from another instance as a replication partner. And more importantly, as the failover occurs to the specifc instance where replica data is located, there is significantly less network overhead to locate any particular session in the cluster when a particular request within the session scope is sent to the CLB. This allows for more bandwidth being available for a larger number of user sessions to be served. This approach is thus superior to the buddy replication approach and helped us scale to higher throughput and sustain a larger number of long running sessions.

It must be emphasized here that system level, and application server level tuning, and sizing are essential to ensure sustained performance, scalability and reliability in addition to the improvements provided with the SSR replication scheme and other parts of the Sailfin v2 server (aka Sun GlassFish Communications Server 2.0) .

As always, we welcome your feedback and encourage you to try Sailfin and send us any inputs and questions you may have in this respect.

Sailfin Promoted Builds are available here : Sailfin Downloads

Thursday Sep 17, 2009

Project Shoal releases Shoal 1.1 Final Release

Project Shoal is announcing the release of Shoal 1.1 FCS today.  This is the third release after Shoal 1.0 and 1.0 Update Release. 

During the long time we have been working on this release, the Shoal team has accomplished many new features, and fixed many bugs providing significantly higher stability and reliability with the clustering core. A majority of the features and bug fixes were driven by the intense requirements coming out of the Telco grade application server from Project Sailfin (Sun GlassFish Communications Server) and Project GlassFish (Sun GlassFish Enterprise Server). 

Some of the highlights of this release are :

  • New event notification signal for JoinedAndReady members - applications using Shoal can call an API to report to other members that at the application level, the member is ready to begin operations - this distinguishes the member joining the group from the actual readiness of the application to start operations. 
  • New event notification signal for Group Leader changes - anytime a group leader leaves or fails, another group leader is selected and this signal allows Shoal GMS clients to be notified of this change to take any remedial actions. 
  • New health states Ready and AliveAndReady in the HealthMonitor member lifecycle state transitions to make it more closer to the finite state machine
  • Introduce capability to distinguish between group startup and individual instance startup in JOIN and JOINEDANDREADY notifications. Applications may benefit knowing whether only a single GMS member is starting vs all GMS members of the GROUP are starting at once.
  • Support for notifying failure within a specific threshold time when the failure is due to a network issue or a hardware end point failure. Blocking TCP health check connections would timeout in (default) 10 secs allowing for quicker detection of failure compared to default system settings for TCP Retransmission timeouts.
  • A new GMS Watchdog Failure Notification API to be used by external service management frameworks (i.e. like GlassFish NodeAgent) - This allows external monitoring processes to notify GMS when these external process detects a member process failure faster than GMS heartbeat based detection can assign failures. This feature allows for faster failure detection notifications than the heartbeat based unreachability algorithm can determine failure. The feature was driven by the fact that the GlassFish Node Agent would detect a member process loss faster than Shoal could detect through its heartbeats and restart the failed process, resulting in no failure notifications from Shoal GMS to its clients.  Full write up at document. Glassfish Issue 8308

This version of Shoal is already integrated into GlassFish v2.1.1 and Sailfin v2 both of which are upcoming releases slated for October 2009 end.  

Details of the release announcement are here :

You can download Shoal 1.1 binaries and sources with Javadocs here :

As always, we owe it to you all in the community and thank you for all the feedback and issues you have raised to help us improve. 

Thanks very much and hope to see your feedback continuing !

Tuesday Sep 08, 2009

Sun GlassFish Communications Server (Sailfin) adds High Availability Feature

Project Sailfin is building version 2.0 of the JSR 289 compliant application server. The Sailfin 2.0 release also known as Sun GlassFish Communications Server 2.0 will have a notable new feature with the addition of Sip Session Replication component. Sailfin 2.0 will provide High Availability of Sip artifacts providing resilience and availability of conversational state to Telco deployments.  Sailfin 2.0 is targeted for release around end of October/early November 2009. 

High availability through Sip Session Replication component (aka SSR component) allows for replication of SIP artifacts such as SIP Application Sessions, SIP Sessions, Timers, and Dialog Fragments in addition to Converged Sessions. Combined with existing GlassFish replication support for HTTP sessions, deployments can now be highly available covering both SIP protocol-only applications  and converged (SIP and HTTP ) applications.  To support the large scale load that can typically expected with Telco applications, the HA team employed a dynamic replica selection algorithm for each SIP artifact based on a consistent hashing algorithm thus obviating the need for buddy based replication where one would need to react to cluster shape changes and re-partner with another instance when a failure occurs - an expensive operation during high load conditions.   (see this blog entry for more details )

The SSR component along with all of Sailfin is undergoing intensive quality testing including 24x7 longevity, scalability, reliability and fault tolerance testing at this time and we are making progress every day. 

Turning on SSR in Sailfin 2.0 builds is extremely easy similar to how it is with GlassFish. You only need to deploy your SIP (JSR 289 compliant) or Converged Application with the availability-enabled option checked in the Admin GUI console or use the --availabilityenabled=true switch with the asadmin deploy command when deploy your SIP Archive sar file. 

Here's your call to action : Go ahead and download the latest promoted build of Sailfin v2, deploy your SAR archive with availablity-enabled set to true (SSR enabled) and provide us feedback. 

Sunday Jun 21, 2009

GlassFish Clustering: Meaning and impact of configuring attributes of group-management-service element ?

Based on a query from one of our field colleagues, I added an FAQ entry on the meaning of the group-management-service element attributes  and impact of changing the default values as this is not yet covered by our official documentation (it will be updated with this information soon).

These configurational attributes determine Shoal GMS's behavior with respect to Discovery and Health Monitoring of cluster instances in a GlassFish cluster. It is very useful and important to understand these underpinnings of GlassFish's runtime clustering engine.

Here's the FAQ entry :

Tuesday Feb 10, 2009

Performance Monitor enters Sun's GlassFish offerings

Sun today announced an array of commercial offerings based around the successful open source GlassFish project's application server. As part of these offerings is an enterprise management enabler tool aptly called Enterprise Manager :)

The Enterprise Manager is a collection of utilities designed to enhance your production deployment experience with Sun GlassFish Enterprise Server v2.1

The Enterprise Manager comprises of three components :

  • Performance Advisor
  • SNMP Monitoring support
  • Performance Monitor

The Enterprise Manager is included when you purchase a support subscription for Sun GlassFish Enterprise Server v2.1. For more details on the Enterprise Manager look here.  For more details on the Sun GlassFish Portfolio subscription plans, look here.

Of the above Enterprise Manager components, the Performance Advisor, and SNMP Monitoring support components are covered in a few other blogs. In this entry, I'll introduce you to the Performance Monitor.

The Performance Monitor is a closed source product from Sun built on top of VisualVM 1.1, and Netbeans 6.5 Platform. It is a  monitoring tool that provides dynamic visualization of GlassFish Server as it runs your applications.

Some of its key features include :

  • Monitoring local and remote Java processes
  • Trendline representation through charts for JVM monitoring artifacts such as Heap, CPU utilization, threads, classes, etc much like JConsole.
  • Data collection, processing and charting for GlassFish monitoring artifacts. There are extensive charts that leverage the GlassFish JMX based APIs and provide views into monitoring the health of your GlassFish deployment. 

The Performance Monitor is designed with easy-to-use features including:

  • Easy connectivity
    • Local or remote GlassFish servers    
    • Choice of SSL/TLS based secure, or plain JMX connections
  • Logical fine-grained views of GlassFish servers, clusters, node agents, deployed artifacts and services
  • Embellishments such as
    • tool tips explaining what the chart is about and current numbers,
    • ability to hide certain chart lines from a chart,
    • hide/unhide charts from the page view
    • drag top level tab to the side or bottom of page for a lateral or stacked view of the charts.
  • Detailed charts covering telemetry data for common, critical services and resources in production systems based on feedback from existing customers on the need for charting these monitoring artifacts
    • these include Http Services including per listener views, Web services, Pools such as thread pools, JDBC and other connection pool statistics, etc.

Here are some screenshots for your reference :

A collective view of a few web tier monitoring data:   

A view of the Http Service graphs :

Perf Monitor Http Listener View

A View of the Node Agent Page with status of instances the Node Agent is managing:

Perf Monitor Node Agent View

The Performance Monitor tool is immensely helpful in diagnosing problems before they turn into production bottlenecks and show stoppers. We hope that this offering along with GlassFish support subscription will help our customers be successful with their GlassFish deployments.

Friday Oct 24, 2008

New Shoal Update : Shoal 1.1 bits updated to promoted build 10212008

Shoal 1.1 bits on the Shoal download site have been updated to reflect the promoted build dated 10/21/2008.  We are getting close to releasing Shoal 1.1 sometime in late November.

Get the latest promoted build here.

We have also added a buildable Source and Javadocs zip distribution corresponding to this promoted build on the download page based on a community user request.

A number of fixes went into Shoal during this time (from the prior promoted build of 08202008). Read the announcement here for changes that went in.

Project Shoal benefited not only from the Shoal user community feedback but also the intensive testing that is ongoing for the upcoming Sailfin v1 release in December. As a Telco appserver, Sailfin provides the ideal testing ground for intensive clustering features. Truly where the rubber hits the road.

Thanks very much to Sheetal, Joseph Fialli, Mohamed Abdelaziz, Bongjae Chang, Sailfin and GlassFish Quality Engineers Kazem, Sony and Varun, and most of all the Shoal community members.

As always, we value your feedback so please do continue sending us feedback to help improve Shoal and to address your needs with Shoal clustering. 

Tuesday Oct 21, 2008

Economic woes resulting in slashed tech budgets? Sun's GlassFish+MySQL makes perfect sense

With signs of a global economic turmoil underway, the financial system is under severe stress with credits vanishing, and Government Departments, small and medium businesses, and large corporations are faced with potential budget cuts for technology spending. Case in point :

With Sun's open source "stack" and cost-effective support subscriptions, affected sectors of the economy can take advantage of standards based, high quality, open source software with the low cost support services from Sun. This is a good time to consider moving away from expensive proprietary software stacks to Sun's open source software.

Take the case of Sun's commercially supported GlassFish + MySQL offering, both rock solid products that come with features only available in high cost closed-source products. This offering provides you the opportunity to seamlessly move from expensive licenses to an annual support subscription based offering that will reduce your cost of ownership. For example, Unlimited deployment of GlassFish + MySQL starts at $65,000. GlassFish + MySQL constitutes a very compelling offering that will help you justify the move both on features and costs.

Contact Sun to find out how you can save significantly with this offering.

For more on the value proposition, read Arun's blog entry here.

Tuesday Aug 26, 2008

Shoal 1.1 bits updated for a new promoted build

The Shoal team has been busy addressing the needs of major projects such as Sailfin for a while now. It had been a while since we updated our promoted build for download with the latest and greatest fixes.

We have now promoted a new build for Shoal 1.1 and download bits are available here :

The announcement has more details on what went into this promoted build : 08202008 Promoted Build Announcement

We would welcome your feedback, issue reports and enhancement requests to make Shoal more useful for you.

Do send us your feedback at the Shoal user mailing list.

Tuesday Jun 03, 2008

Eclipse IDE GlassFish Plugin : Give us your feedback

Did you know that GlassFish community provides an Eclipse plugin for developers using Eclipse as their primary development tool ?

The plugin has been developed for a while providing basic integration with GlassFish. We now would like to make this integration more effective and useful to you to enhance your productivity when using GlassFish.

We would like to hear from developers on your experience (both positive and constructive) so that we can prioritize on making improvements. Our goal is to make life a lot easier for developers when using Eclipse with GlassFish. Community feedback is the best way we can learn how to make improvements. Of course, we also very much welcome any contributions from you to make improvements.

The plugin is available at the GlassFish Plugins Project Page.
Please send us your feedback and/or contributions at either the GlassFish users mailing list or at the GlassFish Plugins users mailing list.

Friday May 09, 2008

JavaOne2008: Shoal Mini Talk at Java.Net Community Corner

At the JavaOne pavilion, had set up a community corner where mini talks were given by various interested project leads. I gave a short talk on Introducing Shoal clustering framework. 

The audience was \*very\* small  but I had quality questions from one very interested participant who wanted to use Shoal as a Distributed Test Harness engine. Very unique use case I thought and yes, Shoal would fit that bill.

Here's the short slide deck of the mini talk: Shoal Mini Talk JavaOne 2008


JavaOne 08: JavaU Bonus course on GlassFish Application Server

As part of JavaU courses offered this JavaOne, a GlassFish Application Server bonus training course was offered for free as part of a multi course deal. 

Many attended this course on Monday, May 05, 08. Arun Gupta and I  presented at this course. We are pleasantly surprised by the turn out of around 180 given that it was in the evening (6 - 9 pm), 3 hours long, and JavaOne had not yet started! :) That was surely a boost of positive energy for me.

The most interesting part of the course for me was the number of questions from the greatly interactive audience right from the get go. We answered most of the questions, even picked up an NB issue from an audience member in the web services area, and the feedback we received was mostly that the course was very helpful for the audience to understand how the product features and capabilities stacked up with their experience with other app servers such as WebLogic and JBoss.

We finished around 9.45 pm. :)

Since the printed slide deck was only a portion of the total at the time it went to print, I promised the audience that I would make this available through my blog.

So here it is. JavaU Bonus Course on GlassFish Application Server Java One 2008

So for those who find the material useful, please download GlassFish and let us know what you think. Send us your comments and questions through the GlassFish User mailing list.  

Friday Apr 18, 2008

New Shoal Clustering Download Page

With a view to helping our users choose the right download, we have organized the Shoal downloads page on the lines of the GlassFish download page. The new download page is located here :

This should make it easier for users to find Shoal bits and use them in their clustering applications.We are seeing increasing interest from users with different types of questions in the Shoal user mailing list ranging from newbie questions to very advanced ones. Keep'em coming folks.

We will be posting new promoted downloads  and releases through this download page. Let us know if you need specific improvements to be made.



Shreedhar Ganapathy


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