AppLogic: A New Grid Operating System from 3Tera

Virtualization is big and it seems like the whole enterprise world is adopting virtualized systems. But there's a big difference between virtualized servers and virtualized infrastructure. A virtualized server is manageable only as a "lump." This means that if you want to manage a Web service or a database on that server you have to use different management tools than those that you use for managing the virtualized server itself. Virtualized infrastructure is different: It makes all the components of complete Web application systems visible and manageable through a single tool and makes the host operating systems that these components run on invisible -- the infrastructure is a space populated by interconnected appliances. This is what a new grid operating system called AppLogic from 3Tera provides.

Considering provisioning several Web servers and front ending them with a load balancer and backending them with a database. Deploying this configuration on virtual servers is more-or-less like deploying it on regular servers. The benefit is greater flexibility and better resource usage but management of the individual service components is not really improved. With Applogic you are presented with a completely Web-based GUI through which you open an "Application" and populate its "space" with appliances such as Web servers, application servers, gateways and so on. You then configure them setting up attributes such as the data storage they are to use. You then connect the appliances' inputs and outputs -- for example, the log out of a Web server might be connected to a database -- and you can set the application's overall attributes such as minimum and maximum number of CPUs, RAM, and bandwidth to use or simply the numbers of servers. When you're ready, you start your application and AppLogic hides all of the messy details of allocating resources and handling the underlying server infrastructure which makes application system provisioning incredibly flexible and simple (see 3Tera's technology overview). Currently only Linux is supported but Windows is planned for later this year. Pricing of Applogic is very interesting: 3Tera charges $0.07 per gigabytes hours, that is seven cents per gigabyte of memory used per hour. I'll be reviewing AppLogic in Gearhead in a few weeks until then check out their 10 minute demo which gives you a good feel for AppLogic's organization and how its used.

Here's AppLogic's Latest press release: 3Tera Announces AppLogic, the Industry's First Grid Operating System for Utility Computing AppLogic Enables Hosting Providers to Offer True Utility Computing Services; Allows Web 2.0 and SaaS Companies to Cost-effectively Speed Web Applications to Market Aliso Viejo, Calif., September 18, 2006, 3Tera, Inc., the innovator of grid and utility computing solutions for online services, today announced the release of AppLogic 1.2, the industry's first grid operating system designed to enable utility computing for transactional Web applications. AppLogic allows hosting providers to offer the first true utility computing services by converting commodity servers into fully scalable shared grids that are easy to manage. The system enables existing software to be packaged into completely self-contained, portable applications that can be easily deployed and scaled to dozens of servers on demand on any AppLogic grid, anywhere in the world. As a result, open source developers, Web 2.0 and SaaS companies can rapidly deploy Web applications without owning and operating hardware infrastructure, and pay only for the resources they actually use. "AppLogic allows hosting providers to move to a utility model by enabling them to host transactional and streaming Web applications on a grid. The applications become highly available and scalable for the first time, giving both hosting providers and developers a significant competitive advantage and dramatically simplifying operations," said Bert Armijo, vice president, Marketing, 3Tera, Inc. "AppLogic gives anyone with a browser and basic IT skills the ability to visually assemble, deploy, manage and scale N-tier Web applications in minutes, effectively removing the time, cost and complexity barriers associated with bringing Internet-scale services to market." Key to the capabilities AppLogic provides is leveraging the company's breakthrough disposable infrastructure technology. Disposable infrastructure enables traditional appliances such as firewalls, load balancers, application servers and storage to become an integral part of the Web application. Users visually assemble the infrastructure required to deploy and scale their applications. When an application starts, all required infrastructure is created automatically on the grid, maintained while needed, and disposed of when the application is stopped. As a result, each application includes everything required to run on a grid of commodity servers. This enables applications to be replicated complete with their data and content, scaled from a fraction of a server up to the whole grid, and even migrated to another grid, anywhere in the world, in minutes. The system handles server and storage failures without loss of data, permits hardware resources to be added or removed dynamically, and allows the grid and all applications to be managed remotely through an interactive Web interface. "Unlike existing virtualized IT service delivery platforms that are cobbled together using disparate software and hardware solutions, AppLogic is a single system that enables us to host N-tier applications without adding new infrastructure or IT staff," said John Keagy, president & CEO, UtilityServe. "AppLogic allowed us to provide new utility services to our customers within 30 days, and they are assured of a high availability solution that enables them to effortlessly and cost-effectively scale their applications as usage grows." "Our Web 2.0 and SaaS customers want to focus on developing their services and growing their business, rather than on operating and maintaining IT infrastructure," said Todd Abrams, president, Layered Technologies. "AppLogic enables our customers to deploy new releases easily, scale instantly to meet business demands, and pay only for the memory resources their running applications use, providing them with remarkable agility and making unused capacity and over-provisioning a thing of the past." About the AppLogic Grid Operating System AppLogic is the first and only grid operating system designed to run and scale existing transactional Web applications. The system enables hosting providers to offer the industry's first true utility computing services. AppLogic is based on scalable grid architecture, advanced virtualization technologies and 3Tera's ground-breaking disposable infrastructure. AppLogic converts existing commodity servers into scalable shared grids that are easy to manage. Disposable infrastructure packages applications and the infrastructure required to run them into self-contained and portable entities. As a result, AppLogic enables users to easily deploy existing Web applications on a grid, instantiate and scale them without modification, and without requiring a SAN or other shared storage. By completely separating software from the hardware infrastructure traditionally needed to run it, AppLogic is enabling the first true utility services to be offered. AppLogic provides an AJAX-based visual interface and a scriptable shell, allowing users to deploy, scale and manage applications with ease. The system includes ready to deploy applications such as SugarCRM, Bugzilla, TWiki and SiteKreator, as well as a catalog of pre-packaged and supported disposable infrastructure components that make it easy to build, deploy, and monitor N-tier applications, all from a single interface. Availability 3Tera's AppLogic grid operating system is available now for existing customers to download, and prospective users can sign up for a free 30 day evaluation at http://www.3tera.com. Enabling a true utility services model, the AppLogic operating system meters the memory resources used by running applications, with pricing starting at $0.07 per Gigabyte/hour. Customers can start from a single server, and can add servers to the grid as they need more resources. Basic support, catalog updates and software upgrades are included.

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