Cassatt Corp, which offers a form of server consolidation and virtualization software, is adding capabilities to optimize J2EE.
Cassatt’s product, Collage, automates the provisioning of Linux and UNIX server resources so they can be shared and utilized more efficiently. It treats server resources as a virtual pool that can be assigned or reassigned to different applications or processes as demand dictates.
The new release adds capabilities to manage J2EE resources more granularly. Until now, J2EE was treated as a single resource, or black box. The new capabilities can peer under the hood to introspect actual instances.
It can judge the number of J2EE appserver instances are deployed on each server, and it can drill down further to track consumption of resources like Java Server Pages (JSPs) or enterprise Java Beans (EJBs).
Cassatt views IBM’s Tivoli Intelligent Orchestrator as its primary rival. It claims that its offering is a product that can be installed from a CD, rather than a set of tools. It also claims to differ from Tivoli in that it doesn’t require that scripts be written to specific software applications or middleware to enable redeployment.
Cassatt also claims that you don’t have to write specific deployment scenarios. Instead, software is redeployed across servers using rules and policies that are set in advance.
The company’s lineage, founded by former BEA chairman Bill Coleman, is rich in platform experience. The staff includes the former chief architect of Solaris, the former head of Sun’s Java software unit, the head of BEA field operations, and a team from Cray computer that optimized high performance computing in distributed environments.
Collage provides a closed-loop system that automatically redeploys server resources when capacity is stretched by expected or unexpected traffic spikes. It does so with a control engine that is housed on an Intel server, access to a repository of system and software images that are retained in a storage network, and passive sensing that picks up standard data from sources such as SNMP, Java Management Extensions (JMX), and from the OS itself.
When capacity thresholds are reached, Cassatt’s engine doesn’t reach for a library of prescribed actions. Instead, it dynamically optimizes demand for resources and deploys accordingly. They claim that their approach can ramp new servers into production with provisioned software in minutes without human intervention.
Our knowledge of system design is what allows us to build this goal-seeking engine, explained Richard Green, vice president of marketing, who was previously served in similar roles at Sun heading the Solaris and Java units.
For now, Cassatt’s J2EE web automation enhancements to Collage are available now for BEA WebLogic only. On the horizon, it will add other popular J2EE platforms such as IBM WebSphere and JBoss JEMS. And later on, it plans to tackle hypervisors such as VMWare.