Enabling Cloud Computing for Enterprise Web Applications:

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1 : Leveraging Virtualization to Revolutionize Application Management

2 Introduction Cloud computing is no longer a nebulous term without tangible benefits. It s a real strategy and a market that s expected to grow to nearly $160 Billion by 2012, according to a recent Merrill Lynch report. Based on its research, IDC estimates that IT spending on cloud services will hit $42 Billion by the same year. Even more astonishing is IDC s forecast that the corporate spending on the cloud computing model will grow at 27 percent CAGR over five times the growth rate of traditional, on-premise IT between now and Why? Because cloud computing delivers on the key requirements IT departments need today: computing power that s easier and more flexible to deploy, use and maintain at a vastly reduced cost. Fast ROI with webappvm Over the first year of ownership, the tangible benefits can include: Deploy applications 50 to 70 percent faster Reduce the time to find and fix problems by 70 percent Reduce the cost of purchasing agent-based application management by 80 percent A handful of companies have begun to offer affordable, hosted cloud infrastructure services, enabling enterprises to easily take advantage of the benefits of cloud computing, including flexibility, portability and reduced costs. What s more, many enterprises are building their own private cloud infrastructures or creating hybrid infrastructures, combining private and public resources based on specific requirements and reaping the benefits of this new model. But widespread adoption of cloud-computing strategies is hitting a wall in terms of return on investment (ROI) because companies are unable to effectively manage applications in a cloud environment. Unless there is the same level of visibility into, security for and control over applications in the cloud environment as there is in internal data centers, IT teams will be limited in their ability to take advantage of the benefits of cloud computing. It s clear that traditional application management solutions are falling short in meeting the modern, cloud-enabled enterprise s needs. Here s why: First, traditional agent-based solutions are inherently inflexible. Deploying agent-based solutions in a cloud-based environment, which is, by definition, highly flexible, is like trying to fit a square peg in a round hole. In agent-based solutions, hard-coded agents are installed on every machine to monitor the application. If a change to the application configuration occurs such as the IT department adds a node or upgrades a component the agents must be updated as well. Second, existing management and monitoring solutions are not portable, because each agent and management server must be configured separately. When every change to an environment requires installation of multiple agents on each server and configuration of multiple management servers, it becomes a Herculean task to move an application from a traditional infrastructure to the cloud, or from one cloud infrastructure to another: private to public, public to hybrid or hybrid to private. Finally, whether in the cloud or in physical environments, traditional application management solutions are expensive to maintain effectively cancelling out the cost benefits of migrating to cloud computing. When an organization factors in the time and money spent installing agents on every machine and reconfiguring and upgrading agents on an ongoing basis, it often finds that the cost of monitoring the application s performance outweighs the benefits. 2

3 In physical environments, corporate IT has had no choice. They require enterprise application management capabilities for visibility, security and control. However, in virtual environments, there are now options. There is an obvious need for application management and monitoring solutions built specifically to take advantage of cloud-computing environments. What s required is a new approach that moves application management from agents installed above the application stack into an underlying platform layer that leverages virtualization to deliver agentless management. This new approach will enable organizations to have confidence when taking advantage of the flexibility, portability and reduced administrative costs of cloud computing for enterprise applications. How to Achieve Cloud-ready Applications with Enterprise Application Management Enterprises need a new approach to managing applications and cloud environments deliver the technology to make this happen. To take advantage of cloud computing s benefits, an application monitoring solution must: Leverage agentless technology to eliminate the overhead of managing agents and configuring management servers in constantly changing environments; Enable drag-and-drop on-boarding and seamless portability between clouds to minimize the risk of moving applications to the cloud; Deliver an integrated, end-to-end solution for application management through the entire development and deployment lifecycle, to increase application quality and simplifying ongoing management. Let s delve into each of these three (3) requirements of a cloud-ready application management solution in more detail: Agentless Technology With agentless application management functionality, complexity is no longer an issue. There are no agents to deploy, upgrade and maintain, no management servers to configure and install, and no endless upgrades to the management environment each time the application changes. The end result: The ongoing total cost of ownership (TCO) of application management approaches zero. Agents Above Application Layer vs. Agentless in Virtual Layer Application Management In Traditional Datacenter webappvm in the Cloud Application Code Application Server Performance Management Agent Log Management Agent Change Management Agent Deployment Management Agent OS Metal Agent-Based Management Application Code Load Balancer Configuration Application Server Web Server Dependencies Application Capsule webappvm Platform Built-In Deployment, Performance, Log, and Change Management Compute Cloud Agentless Management 3

4 With agentless technology, application management functionality that was previously provided by agent-based solutions is now built into the underlying platform. Enterprise-level application management is deployed along with the application automatically scaling or migrating with the application when changes occur without additional maintenance effort. Drag-and-drop on-boarding and portability Moving applications from today s traditional environments into a cloud environment can be tricky. Every application runs on an infrastructure web server, application server, data services, operating system and more all of which are required to keep the application functioning properly. But configuring this infrastructure correctly, and in a completely new environment, is a difficult, tedious and error-prone task. It is nearly impossible to simply move an application as-is to a cloud environment. Rather, moving an application to a cloud environment can require breaking apart the application into layers, significantly recoding some components, and reconfiguring others a manual effort that becomes both expensive and time-consuming. What s more, some technology providers actually require enterprises to use their proprietary components (e.g., web server or application server) in order to on-board an application into their cloud environment. However, most companies would rather stay with components in which they have already invested and in which they trust knowing that these existing technologies meet their stability, scalability, quality and security requirements. This makes any forced migration unrealistic. To easily and correctly move applications into a cloud environment, organizations need an enterprise application management solution that enables drag-and-drop on-boarding of applications into any cloud environment. With a tool that automatically detects and preserves the existing software configurations and uses built-in best practices to optimize the application for the cloud environment, enterprises can quickly and simply move an application to the cloud environment without a tremendous manual, trial-and-error effort and gain peace of mind that the application with work in the new environment as-is, without additional coding, re-coding, changing components or being locked into the cloud provider s components. Then, once an application has been on-boarded to a cloud environment, enterprises need the flexibility to move the application or portions of the application to any number or type of cloud environments, based on the organization s specific requirements. For example, one cloud may have fully automated backup and twice the bandwidth of another. Or, perhaps the CIO has implemented a new policy that all applications of a certain type be moved to a public cloud run by a certain vendor. With the ability to take any application and immediately move it between clouds from private to public, public to hybrid or hybrid to private enterprises gain tremendous flexibility and future-proof their organizations, positioning themselves to make the best business and technology decisions in the future as changing requirements dictate. 4

5 Integrated application management throughout the application lifecycle Many times, using agent-based technologies are so intrusive, complex and expensive that enterprises forgo using them in the early stages of application development and testing which is, ironically, when they can be most useful. Why? Because it is during the development and testing process that many application logjams or performance problems are discovered; application management tools are critical in locating and rectifying these problems. By moving application management to the underlying platform layer, there is no additional overhead, complexity or cost to using enterprise application management at all points in the application lifecycle from development to test to staging to production. Using a consistent tool that automatically moves from stage to stage without additional effort enables enterprises to dramatically improve both application quality and performance levels, while fixing critical problems earlier in the lifecycle when costs are lower. Integration is also important. Today, enterprises must separately purchase, install, configure and maintain solutions for performance management, change management, log management, and deployment. Not only must companies consider the purchase cost, but also the deployment and maintenance costs associated with each solution and the cost to ensure they work together. With multiple agents installed on each server, the overhead costs in terms of computing resources are high. Plus, the onus is on the user to integrate the data between agents, which can require logging and drilling down into multiple, separate management consoles and manually comparing results, another tedious and error-prone process. In contrast, with an agentless, integrated application management solution, everything is built into the platform infrastructure. A single product delivers performance monitoring, change management and log management, deployed throughout the lifecycle. All monitoring information is reported into a single console. And the cost to purchase and maintain is dramatically reduced. The webappvm Solution webappvm is a self-managing web application capsule that provides agentless, easy-to-use application management for cloud and virtual environments. With integrated cloud control, lifecycle management, performance monitoring and log management, webappvm uniquely meets all three (3) criteria for an enterprise web application management solution built for cloud computing: webappvm is agentless Because application management is built into the underlying webappvm platform, there are no agents to deploy and no management servers to install. Built using agentless technology, webappvm enables enterprises to reduce complexity and save money because it requires no integration and does not need to be reconfigured when adding, scaling or moving applications. 5

6 webappvm enables drag-and-drop on-boarding and portability of public, private and hybrid clouds webappvm automatically detects the underlying pieces of the application that are required to move in a cloud environment and, with a click of a button, moves the application in its entirety including all the underlying components and configuration without guesswork, manual recoding or other labor-intensive effort. All that s required is copying the code and configuration files into the webappvm capsule and selecting from a menu of common application infrastructure components. Not only does webappvm reduce the time-to-cloud for applications, it also reduces the risk of moving to a new environment. Because webappvm is vendor-independent, enterprises can continue to use the application infrastructure components that they trust. There s no need to change application servers or web servers in order to on-board an application to a cloud environment. Then, once an application is already in a cloud environment, webappvm allows enterprises to simply and seamlessly move it between public private and hybrid clouds. The webappvm application capsule containing the application code and configuration files can be pulled from one cloud environment and placed in another, with the push of a button. webappvm delivers integrated management throughout application lifecycle webappvm integrates cloud control, performance monitoring, lifecycle management and log management in a single product, with a single, integrated management console. Every stakeholder in the application lifecycle from development to testing to QA to production can use the same solution to gain a comprehensive view of the application from all perspectives, reducing testing and migration headaches. With webappvm, the applications and configurations as well as management capabilities for performance monitoring, change management, log management and deployment management move together from one phase to the next with the same benchmarks and thresholds. When companies use application management consistently throughout the application lifecycle, they can detect bottlenecks and other performance problems earlier, resulting in better long-term application quality. Developers and QA engineers can no longer use the excuse that the application management is too expensive or too complex. Over the first year of ownership, the tangible benefits can include: Deploy applications 50 to 70 percent faster Reduce the time to find and fix problems by 70 percent Reduce the cost of purchasing agent-based application management by 80 percent 6

7 Consider the following real-life ROI analysis: Cost to Purchase Application Management Deployment Time Problem Resolution Time Quality Management Portability Traditional Agent-based Application Management webappvm Benefit $35K to purchase a perpetual license $7K/year software license maintenance = $55K over three years File ticket, coordinate with operations team six-week time to provision and port Problem resolution requires operations to send data; can take more than two hours No management in development/test Application management must be re-worked for every datacenter $1500/year for everything = $4500 over three years Self-service deployment of application to cloud Immediate access to data Application management in all phases of the product lifecycle Automatically moves between datacenters Savings: $51.5K Savings: Six weeks off deployment schedule Savings: Two hours less to fix critical problem Savings: Higher quality products upon deployment reduce costs of fixing bugs in production Savings: 5 FTE for 2 months to migrate datacenters Conclusion The rise of the cloud computing paradigm is revolutionizing the technology industry. Reduced costs, increased flexibility and ease of deployment and maintenance are driving the adoption of cloud computing throughout enterprises. And companies are moving applications to this new model in record numbers. However, to-date, application management has not caught up with the new paradigm, forcing enterprises to use outdated, agent-based methods in the new world of virtualization. This is keeping companies from realizing the full benefits of running applications in a cloud environment. With a new, agentless approach to application management, webappvm helps companies realize the benefits of cloud computing. By moving application management to the platform layer, managing applications becomes less complex and more cost-effective. Using the drag-and-drop onboarding capabilities of webappvm, enterprises can move applications to any cloud environment, simply and easily. Even moving between cloud environments is easy with webappvm, because all the application logic is stored in the webappvm application capsule. And thanks to its integrated cloud control, performance monitoring, lifecycle management and log management, every stage in the application lifecycle can use the same solution to develop, test and maintain cloud applications. Copyright 2009, OSS-1701, Inc. All rights reserved. All trademarks, trade names, service marks and logos referenced herein belong to their respective companies Broadway St., Redwood City, CA

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