Stacey Schneider is focused on helping evangelize how cloud technologies are transforming application development and delivery for VMware. Prior to its acquisition, Stacey led marketing and community management for application management software provider Hyperic, now a part of VMware’s management portfolio. Before her work in the cloud, she also held various technical leadership positions at CRM software pioneer Siebel Systems, including Director of Technology Product Marketing, managing the Technology Competency in Europe, and the Globalization professional services practice. She was also a part of Siebel’s Nexus project, which focused on building portable web applications that could be deployed across java application servers as well as .NET. Stacey is also the managing principal of SiliconSpark, a consulting agency that has helped over 12 software companies go to market on the web and across the cloud over the past 4 years. Stacey has posted 39 posts at DZone. You can read more from them at their website. View Full User Profile

3 Insightful vFabric Implementations to Learn From

09.25.2012
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At VMworld in San Francisco, several partners shared success stories at the vFabric partner panel.  As moderator for this session, I worked extensively with the three vFabric Partners prior to the event and uncovered a common theme – these experts are top notch at what they do and enjoy doing it.  Each Partner had a unique vFabric story about successful implementations.  Partners on the panel included Nancy Turbe with EMC consulting, Jeff Reed with Logicalis and Juan Garcia from Williams and Garcia. Their stories covered: 

  1. Products and services represented across the three stories ran the entire length of the vFabric stack including tc ServerEM4JSQLFireGemFireData DirectorApplication DirectorRabbitMQApplication Performance Manager, and more. Below, I’ve included a short overview and some compelling insights from each panelist at the session.A low-cost, high performance financial trading platform for the cloud based on vFabric Nanotrader,
  2. A fast, scalable software architecture deployed in the cloud for a loyalty card program, and
  3. An elastic data management solution for reloadable payment cards.

Panelist: Nancy Turbe, Capital Markets Practice Lead for EMC Consulting
Topic: A financial trading platform for the cloud based on Nanotrader vFabric Reference Architecture
Success Story: As every investor knows, financial trading is a fast-paced, split-second, massive data environment.   With the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) processing as much as $1.3 billion dollars in average monthly transactions for 2012 (August 2012, www.nyxdata.com, NYSE Technologies Market Data), EMC Consulting knew that a fast, big, global data environment had to be part of a future growth and productivity strategy for the financial giant.  A cloud application platform was needed to enable high performance developer services, rapid-fire trading, and real-time pricing for NYSE members and partners.  Challenges included sluggish member acceptance of the current cloud platform which required at least a 30% improvement in adoption rates to help make the new program successful.  Because members lacked a desire for innovation and had little confidence in a virtualized cloud environment, they needed to see at least a 20% reduction in operating expenditures to be convinced the new program was worth the effort.  Working with NYSE Technologies, the solution from EMC Consulting was based on Nanotrader, a vFabric Cloud Application Platform reference architecture from VMware.  With the Nanotrader platform, NYSE members received a low cost, high performance, automated trading engine with streaming quotes and real-time data and trade execution.  The new program included a working cloud application platform which accelerated application deployment by 40% over the previous environment.  vFabric SQLFire was used to access essential pricing, quoting, and related data, and trading efficiency increased by approximately 50%.  Integration with NYSE Open Mama (Middleware Agnostic Messaging Application) and Xhub (Transaction Hub content management and publishing platform), made real-time pricing and trading a new reality.  Ultimately, the vFabric solution increased NYSE’s ability to grow cloud-related revenue.
Panelist Quote: “vFabric combines multiple aspects of what is most compelling to development communities today – Open Source components which are well understood and mature alongside high performance, best of breed data capabilities like GemFire and SQLFire. The [vFabric] offering enables innovators in Financial Services and other industries to quickly implement next generation, highly differentiated solutions.”
What the audience asked about: One partner asked how Nanotrader could be combined with a sales strategy for Vblock.  For Nancy, this was great validation that partners were thinking beyond virtualization the basics and applying use cases for Nanotrader to areas outside of financial trading.

Panelist: Jeff Reed, Prior CTO and Executive with Logicalis
Topic: A scalable, cloud-based loyalty card program
Success Story: When venture capitalists (VC) provide startup funding to new companies, they have requirements which help reduce risk and promote small business success.  With this in mind, Logicalis Consulting welcomed the challenge of designing a VC-required, cloud application platform with a scalable data tier for a new technology company.   The new company allowed consumers to carry one loyalty card which aggregated multiple merchant loyalty programs onto a single card, instead of carrying multiple cards for numerous merchants.  Merchants would provide convenience to their end customers through the consolidated loyalty program.  Linear software scaling was a VC funding requirement to ensure the new business could quickly and easily grow without stopping to make fundamental, expensive changes to their infrastructure.  Logicalis’ customer needed a 99.999% uptime capability with active-active geo-redundancy.  The solution was based on GemFire and provided  a distributed, in-memory, schema-less data architecture. The approach was nimble, linearly scalable, elastic, performant, and appealed to the VCs.  The total data solution also included SQLFireData Director, and Application Director.  This approach provided positive results for all the players – 40% faster transactions than a relational database management system and the ability to scale with business growth and instantly add GemFire nodes as new loyalty card merchants are signed on.  Disaster Recovery was likewise part of the winning formula at no additional cost.  The outcome allowed the new company to completely meet VC requirements to quickly scale and respond to changing market demands with no downtime.  
Panelist Quote: Jeff indicated he finds big value in vFabric, particularly when it comes to “modernizing applications into new high-scale architectures and leveraging GemFire/SQLFire or Hadoop in an entirely virtualized IaaS.”
What the audience asked about: Jeff received a question from the audience asking how his solution leveraged EM4J (Elastic Memory for Java). One of the many benefits Jeff’s client received from his delivery of vFabric technologies was instant scalability and the ability to give back capacity when it’s not needed.

Panelist: Juan Garcia, CEO of Williams and Garcia Consulting
Topic: An elastic data management solution for reloadable payment cards
Success Story: Paying for purchases with plastic is the preferred option for many consumers, especially since plastic payment alternatives aren’t just credit card oriented.  For Williams and Garcia Consulting (W&G), their client in the payment solutions industry was looking for a technology program that would enable a different type of plastic payment – a reloadable payment solution.  When reloading additional value to a payment option such as a plastic card, demand can be extremely dynamic, making an elastic data management solution imperative.  The challenge for W&G’s client was multi-faceted with their business expanding at a compounded annual growth rate of 40%, an essential high availability requirement, the need to integrate partners and suppliers into the solution, and performance issues with the legacy environment.  The vFabric Cloud Application Platform provided by W&G included vFabric GemFire and vFabric Postgres as the basis for elastic data management. W&G built a scalable and secure data grid to provide capacity on-demand while reducing unit costs for their payment provider client.  W&G’s phased-in delivery approach provided ongoing expertise to their client through an assessment, plan, design, and implementation of the complete elastic data management solution.  Once the vFabric data management solution was in place, the client realized a 20% reduction in costs and accelerated their time to market by 25%.  The new GemFire and Postgres data management platform enabled business expansion with a more efficient, consumption-based cost model, increased performance, no-downtime maintenance, and reduced transaction times by up to 67%.
Panelist Quote: “vFabric products allow Williams and Garcia to deliver disruptive capabilities with meaningful impact to our customers’ business. It allows us to dig deep into their business and look at strategic solutions that help them move forward and, more importantly, execute on that strategy by truly aligning IT to business capabilities.”
What the audience asked about: An audience member wanted to know who had to sponsor the cloud application platform project and how the sponsor was convinced to make the investment.  We learned from Juan the conversation with their customer was not about cost, but about capabilities. Specifically, this customer needed to accelerate their time to market for new products and services.

Thanks for reading about these successes! I’ve captured a few powerful points from this session, and we’re looking forward to more partner dialogues at VMworld Barcelona, Oct 9 – 11, where session PAR 1896 will provide ways to grow revenue and undercut the competition with vFabric products and services.

About the Author: With over 20 years experience in leadership and management roles in the transportation, telecom, consulting and technology industries, Mary Elston is currently the vFabric Senior Solution Product Manager at VMWare. Mary previously served in Senior Manager, Group Manager and Director roles at Oracle, Sun, StorageTek and Bearing Point Consulting. Elston’s background includes building multi-million dollar Professional Services and marketing portfolios from the ground up as well as previously winning a U.S. Patent. Elston has been with VMware for nearly two years and has served as a speaker at several VMware training and conference events as well as spoke at a recent TSIA (Technology Services Industry Association) conference.
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