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vFabric Hyperic plugin surfaces for Cloud Foundry

A new plugin has been developed that connects part of VMware’s vFabric middleware to its Cloud Foundry Platform as a Service (PaaS) offering, according to a post last week on the SpringSource Hyperic blog.

vFabric Hyperic, which monitors performance in custom Web applications, can now be integrated through the plugin into Cloud Foundry’s VMC command-line interface to monitor applications running on the PaaS platform. Features include auto-discovery, event tracking and metrics collection on Cloud Foundry system and account usage, as well as Cloud Foundry provisioned services. The new integration will also allow for starting, stopping and restarting Cloud Foundry applications, updating reserved memory, and scaling up or down by one application instance to meet performance demands.

Meanwhile, Hyperic is just one part of vFabric; other components include the Apache Tomcat-based tc Server; RabbitMQ messaging; GemFire distributed data management; and the vFabric Enterprise Ready Server for Web server load balancing. There have been hints from VMware that RabbitMQ will also make its way onto the Cloud Foundry platform — the Hyperic blog post refers to RabbitMQ, “once available,” as a provisioned service the Hyperic plugin will be able to manage.

But there have been hints about RabbitMQ since the launch of Cloud Foundry, and actual integration has yet to see the light of day. GemFire is another application that could lend itself to cloud-based deployment and development, and broadly, VMware says it would be the ‘natural evolution’ for such offerings to become services offered on the Cloud Foundry platform. But the devil’s in the details, and a detailed strategy for integration between the overall vFabric and Cloud Foundry platforms has yet to be publicly voiced by VMware.

Instead, with the latest release of vFabric, version 5, VMware deepened integration between vFabric and the vSphere hypervisor, rather than with Cloud Foundry — users can now change the ‘identity’ of VMs running different components of vFabric within a given block of vSphere licenses according to demand, and vSphere’s dynamic memory feature has been added to tc Server.

In the spirit of true open source, which Cloud Foundry aims to be, it would be helpful if VMware published a roadmap for integration plans, which would give confidence to developers interested in using the platform. Instead, as it stands today, Cloud Foundry has an experimental air –- in Paul Maritz’s words at the Structure conference last month, it’s a “calculated risk” at this point — and VMware could at least theoretically pull the plug on it at any time.

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