Aiming to justify a claim to its "world's leading provider of open source solutions" tagline this week is Red Hat with its developer and user summit being staged in Boston. The event sees news of the now generally available JBoss Enterprise Application Platform 6.
As companies like Red Hat refine their cloud automation tools, we are seeing an increasing emphasis on cloud-ready architectures being presented from the start of the development process. As such, the latest JBoss iteration comes with the ever-present "management and usability" marketing message, which, at a more granular level, we can take to actually refer to the platform's ability to allow programmers to move their application development and deployment to the cloud without the need to "re-skill or diverge" from open industry standards.
NOTE: JBoss Enterprise Application Platform 6 is the runtime engine that drives Java workloads in Red Hat OpenShift, the firm's Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) offering.
So how should software engineers now look to cloud development and deployment?
Red Hat says that JBoss Enterprise Application Platform 6 is "architecture expansive" (not an expression that the company has officially coined, but you never know) in that can be easily deployed in on-premise, private, and public clouds. There is, of course, every argument to say that while many industry commentators argue that hybrid cloud is the way forward, applications may evolve across different cloud structures as time goes on, so building this openness in now is arguably a good idea.
So what else do programmers want from a modern cloud platform? Red Hat says that they want "pluggability" and "lightweight-ness" (if you will excuse the clunky terminology) — creating a programming platform and environment that is based upon a modular set of services that are dynamically allocated based upon the needs of the deployed applications in any given scenario.
NOTE: The theory is that this provides application isolation and helps prevent issues with classes and dependencies commonly associated with older application server architectures.
Red Hat's middleware VP Craig Muzilla argues that there is constant pressure to view the cloud as the key enabling vector by which we may deliver applications faster — but the caveat is that enterprises will only want to do this if they can approach the cloud "on their own terms".
Red Hat's Most Ambitious Release, Ever
Jay Lyman, senior analyst for enterprise software at 451 Research is clearly impressed: "The JBoss Enterprise Application Platform 6 update lives up to its billing as Red Hat's most ambitious release of the software ever, with capabilities and features in cloud computing, mobile software, and big data — all of which are key strategic areas of enterprise deployment."
Red Hat could probably be said to be delivering much of this functionality before the version 6 iteration of this platform, but the company asserts that this offering brings old tools and new together in a much leaner package.
"JBoss Enterprise Application Platform 6 offers developers the ability to programmatically manage applications and automate application deployment processes whether used standalone or integrated with their own management tools, including private clouds. This lets IT groups focus on building new capabilities instead of investing resources in supporting existing applications," said the company.
JBoss Enterprise Application Platform 6 is optimized for multi-core as well as virtualized environments. This feature results in a low-memory footprint and faster start-up times. The solution also offers enhanced resource utilization and port management, which simplifies the effort behind deploying JBoss Enterprise Application Platform 6 into virtualized environments.
In addition to Java EE 6 support, JBoss Enterprise Application Platform 6 supports a range of Java Virtual Machine (JVM)-based frameworks, including Spring, Struts, and Google Web Toolkit, as well as a variety of open source development tools.