Cloud Computing

Is your organization looking for an easier option for delivery of scalable and highly secure cloud based solutions for your end users or customers?

Cloud Computing

Cloud Computing

Is your organization looking for an easier option for delivery of scalable and highly secure cloud based solutions for your end users or customers? Or how about enabling self service delivery of complex applications in a repeatable, manageable, and billable fashion? CA AppLogic can help you design, test, and deploy complex cloud solutions for your end users or for external customers in less time than build from scratch cloud solutions.

The CA AppLogic platform is a turnkey cloud computing platform for composing, running and scaling distributed applications. It uses advanced virtualization technologies allowing you to deploy solutions based on your existing operating systems, middleware and web applications. In fact, there are billions of lines of tried and true infrastructure software, middleware and application code that can be used unaltered with CA AppLogic.

With CA AppLogic as your cloud platform you can easily add a catalog front end, and then orchestration software like CA Process Automation to deliver true hands free and repeatable cloud based services. Your end users or customers will have access to self-service cloud based computing resources, core computing power, storage, operating systems, and applications. And all of this functionality and more is securely delivered by CA AppLogic running on commodity server and infrastructure hardware.

Typical Use Cases

Package applications for on-demand delivery

CA AppLogic allows you to run many instances of one or more prepackaged web applications. This enables delivering access to internal users, or selling access to high-value on demand applications such as CRM, Email, VoIP PBX and many others. CA AppLogic makes it easy to create a copy of the desired application for each customer, configure it with a unique IP address and hardware resources, and have it running within minutes – without operator involvement. The whole process can be automated and driven by your customers as part of the ordering page on your website. Users can subscribe inexpensively, starting their application with just a fraction of a server, and then scale-out whenever their needs increase and they’re ready to pay for it.

Deploy your applications on prepackaged infrastructure

If you are a software developer and don’t enjoy configuring servers and infrastructure, CA AppLogic makes it extremely easy to deploy scalable web applications without dedicated IT personnel. Assuming your application code handles concurrency correctly (e.g., uses database transactions where necessary), deploying a 2-tier or 3-tier application on CA AppLogic is easy. Pick a standard infrastructure assembly from the catalog, copy your HTML files, scripts code and database onto the logical volumes and start your application.

The catalog assemblies are built by IT experts and ready for production deployment. They’ve been carefully instrumented so that you can use the CA AppLogic monitoring system as a visual debugging tool that shows you what’s happening throughout the application. By writing a script or two, you can easily integrate deployment with your build process, so that changes you make to the code or the user interface are deployed automatically on the CA AppLogic grid every time you rebuild your code.

Scale your online service without building a multi-tenant system

Many SaaS applications are similar to CRM and e-mail systems in that while they do share significant amount of state among users who belong to the same organization or customer, sharing between different customers is not required, and is often explicitly discouraged. If your application falls into this category, CA AppLogic can make it extremely easy to scale your online service without spending money on complex IT infrastructure and people to manage it. Simply deploy your application with CA AppLogic and automate the system to create an instance of the application for each new customer you sign.

Not only is this a great way to scale your service (and, therefore, your business!), but the resulting system is much more resilient than a large, complex multi-tenant application. In CA AppLogic each application instance carries its own infrastructure, such as databases and application servers so a failure affects only a single customer.

Develop new web applications

If you’re developer starting a new application project, CA AppLogic can save time and aggravation by allowing you to build and test your application with the exact middleware and system configuration it’ll have in production. Simply copy and start one of the “developer’s workbench” applications that come with CA AppLogic; in minutes, you’ll have a private N-tier application setup fully integrated with your development environment and tools. Run it in “sandbox” mode to fit even the largest application on a single server, or use a larger grid to test your code under real-world loads at any time.

Build custom N-tier application infrastructure

For designing, building and replicating complex distributed infrastructures; CA AppLogic is the ultimate power trip. Using the CA AppLogic visual infrastructure editor and the catalog of virtual appliances, you can assemble, configure and troubleshoot your system visually. Integrations that took weeks can be done in hours. What’s more, CA AppLogic makes it easy to pre-assemble frequently used subsystems, such as clustered databases, web tiers, application server clusters, and many others, and reuse these assemblies in many applications, or in several places within the same application.

Debugging your system is easy as well. CA AppLogic’s monitoring system makes it easy to visualize what’s happening in the application under load, so troubleshooting and performance tuning are easier than ever before. Plus, you can easily save a “known good” state of the application for rollback. You can also SSH into any of the appliances to see what’s happening inside them or to fix a problem. When you are done, you can literally check your application into a version control system such as CVS or Subversion, and have complete visibility into all changes made to its infrastructure, configuration or code from this point forward, plus the ability to roll them back and to restore prior versions of the application.

Who is using CA AppLogic

What’s common among utility computing users is that online services are their main business. The scalability and costs of their infrastructure directly affects their gross margins and ability to grow. CA AppLogic provides a cost effective yet scalable path for rapid cloud delivery for a broad variety of organizations.

IT outsourcers focused on SaaS and online services

Firms focusing on enabling ISVs to offer online application can leverage their expertise in IT infrastructure with CA AppLogic. By simplifying routine operations, CA AppLogic lets you engage smaller customers and focus on providing online services based on integrating scalable applications and managing them.

Managed hosting providers

Companies with expertise operating data centers can use CA AppLogic to expand existing hosting offerings with pre-packed complex environments. Plus, CA AppLogic’s ability to scale applications easily provides low entry prices and easy upsell for new services.

Software-as-a-service (SaaS) companies

Software firms developing new web applications can minimize their go-to-market cost using CA AppLogic’s ability to copy, deploy and maintain hundreds of instances of their application.

Web 2.0 companies

Companies building online services that exploit a network effect can deploy with utility computing to ensure they can scale while still minimizing upfront costs.

AppLogic – Usage Examples

Enterprise IT – Flexible, scalable, secure SASS

Scalable infrastructure, high availability, reduced costs and less downtime

Enterprise IT environments demand flexible and scalable infrastructure, high availability, reduced costs and less downtime. Enterprise IT staff needs to provide faster provisioning of standardized application stacks, and new business services. Many enterprises are turning to a virtual private data center (private cloud) to maximize efficiency and reduce downtime.

The primary challenge

The primary challenge that Enterprise IT faces is the complexity of modern online applications. Application deployment must be drastically simplified for enterprise IT to have the flexibility to offer these services.

CA AppLogic delivers Cloud computing infrastructure

CA AppLogic is designed to eliminate the interlocking bindings between the actual hardware and software in an application to simplify application composition and deployment. This enables application owners to easily build their own cloud services while leveraging their existing code, skills and commodity hardware.

CA AppLogic is a turnkey cloud computing platform that includes a cloud fabric, IP SAN, intuitive user interface, full application stacks, and catalogs of infrastructure components. End-users can reduce or eliminate the need for additional SANs, firewalls, load balancers, and other expensive hardware.

CA AppLogic packages comprehensive applications into portable self-contained entities. By embedding hardware, software, application code and data into a self-contained, portable entity, CA AppLogic enables enterprise IT to quickly compose, deploy, scale, migrate and manage complex online applications for their multiple internal customers.

Enterprises can Increase Efficiency

With CA AppLogic enterprises can increases efficiency by removing the intensive process of application configuration, thus enabling application developers to quickly develop, test, and deliver new IT services to the enterprise.

With CA AppLogic, enterprise developers can dramatically reduce the time it takes to deploy new services from months to hours and manage, move and scale them quickly and easily. Enterprise IT gains the flexibility to make the right business decisions and respond to new market opportunities, while increasing the efficiency of their resources and operations.

Service Providers – Rapid Cloud Delivery

Solutions for Service Providers

Despite rapid growth in the hosting business, success is a constant challenge. Fierce competition, customer churn, and lack of differentiation leave many providers with growth capped by their ability to finance server purchases.

To break this cycle, hosting providers need to attract new customers by offering differentiated services at low entry prices and sell additional resources and services to existing customers when their needs grow. Large numbers of entry-level accounts mean providers have to manage tens of thousands of customers cost-efficiently. At the same time, they need to support their best customers with large numbers of servers and tools that make managing their systems easier. All while controlling labor costs.

Infrastructure hasn’t been designed for hosting

Maintaining margins while offering low entry prices means customers need to self-serve. Users pick a configuration on the web, select customization options, enter a credit card and have a system ready in minutes. When the user needs more memory, CPU, disk space or bandwidth, they should be able to simply add them online without operator intervention, service disruption or reinstallation of software. Backup and restore, reboots, monitoring and software upgrades should also be self-serve.

Creating self-serve systems for users isn’t simply a matter of writing scripts, because this becomes yet another requirement demanding constant maintenance. Rather, the number of systems a provider actively maintains must be reduced. Ideally, all services, including shared hosting, virtual private servers, value-added applications, and even large distributed applications should be delivered from a single scalable platform. In this way all servers, storage and users could be managed from a single point.

Some aggressive hosting providers have tried to achieve this by investing in enterprise technologies like blade servers, SAN, and server virtualization. They’ve tied it all together with thousands of lines of scripts. Unfortunately, enterprise systems can’t deliver what hosting providers need because they were designed with different usage in mind. As a result, despite significant investment in equipment, software and labor using these kinds of systems may actually increase the cost of integration, management and maintenance.

CA AppLogic delivers Cloud computing infrastructure

CA AppLogic converts a grid of commodity servers into a scalable shared resource for running online applications. In the cloud, a control panel, a virtual private server, a clustered database, or even a social networking system are all just applications. This enables providers to deliver shared hosting, virtual private servers (VPS), complex hosting environments and advanced applications from the same cloud. All without new equipment or people.

Cloud computing enables hosting providers to easily automate the deployment of customizable services. Hardware resources usage is flexible and each user can be scaled with a single command, without affecting other customers. CA AppLogic applications aren’t limited to a single server so a single user can scale to multiple servers, making it easy manage multi-server configurations.

Cloud computing greatly simplifies managing resources and users. Because applications run in the cloud rather than individual specific servers, resources can be added or subtracted without affecting users. Even server failures are handled automatically by CA AppLogic without data loss.

Opportunity to improve margins and differentiate

Shifting from managing individual servers and software images to operating a cloud service or a shared scalable grid allows hosting providers to efficiently scale existing lines of business and branch into new high margin services like offering cloud computing. All while providing customers low prices and scalability, which reduces churn, cost and time.

Cloud Computing for Software-as-a-Service

Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) is among the fastest growing segments of the technology industry. Although much of the attention focuses on the low entry cost for users and subscription revenue stream for providers, the viability of SaaS really stems from the fact users simply prefer SaaS applications. Operating the application themselves, allows SaaS providers to focus on the user experience rather than on the IT team who installs and maintains the application. and Webex have proven SaaS is a viable business model and inspired a wave of change in the software industry. However, typical ISVs face a significant challenge in adopting the SaaS model; architecting multi-tenant applications.

The Challenge

Multi-tenant applications are a single software instance which is shared among all customers. When all users share a common database, such as a search engine, sharing the application offers few challenges to the developer. On the other hand, sharing applications in which users access only their own data, such as CRM, requires securing data from inappropriate use. The added security wouldn’t be needed if each user had their own dedicated application and database. Unfortunately, hosting individual applications for each customer hasn’t been feasible due to the economics of IT operations. The manpower involved in deploying and maintaining hundreds of copies of a complex application would make the cost of the resulting service unappealing to users. Therefore, to reduce operating costs the provider must share a single application among all users.

Building a multi-tenant application has its own costs. Architecting systems for multi-tenancy requires scarce skills. Additional engineers are required and development and test cycles are longer. In addition, when all subscribers share the same application, upgrades and outages affect the entire user base, creating spikes in support needs. Therefore, designing for multi-tenancy is a tradeoff; increasing engineering expense and time-to-market in order to lower the cost of service.

The Cloud Computing Solution

CA AppLogic changes the economic assumptions that drive the need for multi-tenancy by eliminating most of manpower required in typical IT operations. Instead of provisioning servers and installing software, CA AppLogic applications are built with virtual appliances, essentially disposable infrastructure that becomes part of the application. When an application runs, the infrastructure required is created dynamically, maintained while the copy runs, and then disposed of when it stops. In this way, utility computing allows operators to maintain a simple grid of commodity servers, and not the complex infrastructure used by the applications. CA AppLogic enables copying and deploying complete applications for subscribers without operator intervention. The provider can automate the entire process starting with the user’s click on a browser to subscribe and ending with the user logged into a private copy of the application.

Solution Benefits

Enabling SaaS providers to deploy individual copies of applications for their subscribers eliminates the need for multi-tenancy in most applications. Therefore applications can be brought to market quicker with smaller staffs.

Utility Computing for Web 2.0

Tim O’Reilly, who coined the term Web 2.0, noted that a defining characteristic of Web 2.0 firms is a core competency in operations. “So fundamental is the shift from software as artifact to software as service that the software will cease to perform unless it is maintained on a daily basis.” However, operations competence in Web 2.0 firms varies considerably from the practice in traditional enterprise IT.

The Challenge

Web 2.0 operations embrace a dizzying pace of change. Two-week release cycles are common and daily releases aren’t unheard of. This pace invalidates traditional release planning. Deployments must be immediate, and roll-backs must be automatic. Amidst the rapid product changes, Web 2.0 firms simultaneously face an unprecedented demand for scale. MySpace, for example, grew from a simple two-tier deployment three years ago to operating 3 data centers, 2,682 web servers, 90 Cache servers, 450 Dart Servers, 60 database servers, 150 media servers, and a 1,000 disk SAN. Growth on this scale, requires being able to add resources to the application without downtime and preferably without operator assistance. Achieving this means the deployment mechanism must either be an integral part of the infrastructure or be built directly into the application.

CA AppLogic’s Solution

Grid technology addresses these operational issues. CA AppLogic’s grid operating system separates the provisioning of hardware resources from application deployment. Rather than installing software on servers, applications on CA AppLogic are assembled from virtual appliances. Each appliance is a completely virtualized runtime environment and software stack that essentially becomes disposable infrastructure. The application is packaged with all the required appliances, so when it’s run, the appliances are instantiated, maintained while needed, and disposed of when the application exits.

Separating the application from the underlying resources means instead of dedicating servers to applications, servers can be built into a flat array, a grid, on which multiple applications will be run. Servers and storage can be added and removed at any time, without affecting running applications in any way. New resources are discovered automatically, merged into the grid and placed into service.

Solution Benefits

With CA AppLogic scaling becomes dynamic, rollouts become immediate and failed resources can be routed around automatically. Well designed applications can be scaled 10X to 20X without code changes or reintegration. And there’s no complex integration or capital expense for adoption.

CA AppLogic operates on the logical structure of the application, enabling you to package an entire N-tier application into a logical entity and manage it as a single system. This approach also makes it very easy to assemble, deploy, monitor, control and troubleshoot applications visually in a browser.

CA AppLogic – Technical Details

CA AppLogic – Features

Virtual appliances
CA AppLogic replaces expensive and difficult to integrate IT infrastructure such as firewalls, load balancers, servers and SANs with pre-integrated and pre-tested virtual appliances. Each appliance runs in its own virtual environment that boots it’s own Linux OS and appears as a separate physical server to the software that runs inside the appliance.CA AppLogic’s catalog appliances are built using leading open-source infrastructure like Fedora Linux, Apache, MySQL, JBoss and many others. Users can modify catalog appliances or build their own appliances from scratch.
Disposable infrastructure
Infrastructure is assembled visually and stored as part of the application in CA AppLogic. The infrastructure is essentially disposable; it’s instantiated on the grid when the application is run, maintained while needed, and disposed of when the application exits.
Packaged distributed applications
CA AppLogic packages all code, data and infrastructure required to run a scalable web application into a single logical entity that can be started, stopped, managed, copied or even exported to another grid without modifications. By managing all interdependencies within the application, CA AppLogic leaves the user with a single logical entity that is easier to manage than most desktop applications. CA AppLogic includes several popular open-source applications such as Bugzilla, Twiki, SugarCRM and Zimbra. These applications are pre-integrated and ready to run.
Single point of management
CA AppLogic aggregates commodity servers into a scalable grid that is managed as a single system using a browser or secure shell. You can add or remove servers on the fly, as the gird is running, monitor the hardware, manage user credentials, reboot servers, install software, build virtual appliances, backup the system, repair damaged storage volumes, inspect logs and perform all other management tasks from a single point of control, all while the system is running. With CA AppLogic, managing a 48-server grid and a 2-server grid takes approximately the same effort.
Application scaling
CA AppLogic applications are fully virtualized and can be scaled easily from a fraction of a server to many servers. For example, the SugarCRM application included with the system scales from 30% of a CPU and 380MB of RAM to 7 CPUs and over 5GB of RAM without modifications. When starting an instance of an application, the user specifies the amount of system resources to be assigned to the particular instance within the limits set by the application integrator. Depending on the amount of resources specified, multiple instances of an application may run on a single server, while another instance of the same application may span multiple servers.
Operations monitoring
CA AppLogic includes a sophisticated monitoring system that provides unprecedented visibility into the operation of the web applications running on the grid. The system combines runtime information from the hardware, the virtual infrastructure and the applications themselves and makes this data available to the operator through an intuitive visual interface. You can monitor the use of system resources per application, virtual appliance or server, plus network traffic on each logical connection, as well as many software parameters from popular packages such as Apache, MySQL and others. You can also create and monitor custom counters that are computed from a 12 | P a g e combination of other counters, as well as set alarms on each counter.
High availability
CA AppLogic implements many features that improve availability of the system and the applications that run on it. These range from storage mirroring across multiple servers which ensures that a server failure never results in data loss, to the ability to recover from a failure of the grid controller, to high-availability features built into the catalog appliances. The ability to easily run two identical instances of the application on the same grid, or in different datacenters, provide the ultimate approach to high availability, in which a hot standby of your entire application is always available to take on the user load, should the primary instance of the application fail.
Resource metering
CA AppLogic has a built-in system for metering the resources used by each application. The system tracks and reports all significant events in the application lifecycle at which hardware resource use can increase or decrease, and the exact amount of memory, CPU and bandwidth assigned to the application on each of those events. The metering system is intended to serve as a foundation for sophisticated utility computing billing systems that make it easy to bill users for the exact amount of resources they consume.
Automation and integration
CA AppLogic comes with a powerful command-line interface that is fully scriptable and easy to integrate with datacenter management systems. In addition to scripts that control the operation of CA AppLogic, the interface makes it easy to intercept logical events such as server failure or reboot, start and stop of an application or appliance, failure of an appliance, intrusion detection and many others. Whenever such an event occurs, CA AppLogic runs a user-defined script that can take corrective actions and/or report the event to an external management system. For example, it is easy to write a script that restarts a failed appliance, or, alternatively, redirects the Internet traffic to a hot standby copy of the application and sends e-mail to the operator.
Run existing applications
Almost any existing multi-tier Linux application can run on CA AppLogic.

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