GigaSpaces is an application virtualization platform provider, specializing in end-to-end scalability and cloud onboarding solutions for mission-critical application environments.
To help customers move mission-critical Java-based applications to the cloud, GigaSpaces worked with Microsoft to developCloudify, a solution that simplifies the deployment of enterprise
Java applications toWindows Azure.
GigaSpaces Technologies specializes in providing application infrastructure and other IT solutions for large enterprises. The company addresses enterprise activities as diverse as high-volume
trading and reconciliation, e-commerce, healthcare, and online gaming.
Founded in 2001, GigaSpaces has grown by providing traditional, on-premises applications for a global base of customers such as Dow Jones, the New York Stock Exchange, Morgan Stanley, Telefonica, and Reuters. Its solutions include the GigaSpaces eXtreme
Application Platform (XAP), which helps organizations manage and scale very large mission-critical applications.
More recently, the company has focused on cloud solutions, such as a collaboration with Citrix Systems for scaling enterprise applications, putting the GigaSpaces platform on the CA Technologies Cloud Commons, and integration with the Cisco Unified Computing
System, which supports streamlined platform-as-a-service for large-memory applications. These and other initiatives led GigaSpaces to recognize a potential business opportunity: helping customers deploy existing enterprise Java applications to run on
“Windows Azure is always discussed as a leading contender for an enterprise cloud platform among our customers," says Adi Paz, Executive Vice President for Marketing and Business Development at GigaSpaces. "Given the promising foundation of Windows Azure,
we saw an opportunity to provide a cloud deployment and monitoring experience for our customers' existing Java-based enterprise applications with a solution that would be optimized for ease of use and efficiency."
The company worked with Microsoft to create GigaSpaces
Cloudify for Azure Edition, a platform-as-a-service middleware offering that simplifies the process of moving Java-based enterprise applications to Windows Azure.
||The strong focus on platform-as-a-service by Microsoft is key for enterprise customers who have mission-critical applications. It helped make Cloudify possible and opens up a new, large base of customers that can include Windows Azure
as a strategic part of moving enterprise Java applications to the cloud
| Adi Paz
Executive Vice President for Marketing and Business Development,
Cloudify lets large organizations move complex Java applications—for example, risk analysis software for financial services, e-commerce, and trade reconciliation—to Windows Azure without requiring any code changes. The solution provides intuitive application
"recipes," or blueprints that provide Cloudify with the details needed to run an application, such as what middleware services to run, the dependencies that exist between services, and how to monitor individual services. It also supports continuous delivery
from the development environment to the cloud, shortening overall development time by up to 70 percent. Additionally, Cloudify supports hybrid cloud deployments that give organizations the flexibility to run testing on public Azure instances and production
on private clouds.
Cloudify, which went live at the end of 2011, includes other features that streamline the deployment of Java applications to Windows Azure. These include the ability to deploy any middleware stack, regardless of whether a relational or non-relational data
store is used. Cloudify includes an Open Cloud Driver plugin that uses and extends the open-source Jclouds framework. It also includes cloud platform integration specifications, and provides full access to the underlying infrastructure resources such as language
choice and monitoring tools.
Communities of Java and open source developers historically had only limited options to deploy applications to the cloud due to the data-heavy, latency-sensitive nature of complex, multi-tier applications. Cloudify for Windows Azure addressed this issue,
delivering a solution for enterprises that lets them take full advantage of the platform-as-a-service capabilities of Windows Azure. Cloudify supports the migration of mission-critical Java-based applications while delivering reliability and reliability and
security for mission-critical applications. During development of the solution, GigaSpaces benefitted from its partnership with Microsoft because of the sharing of information and vital development resources.
Implementing Platform-as-a-Service on Windows Azure
The Microsoft commitment to providing platform-as-a-service capabilities on Windows Azure helped drive the creation of Cloudify, which in turn is helping GigaSpaces customers move more Java-based applications to the cloud. "The strong focus on platform-as-a-service
by Microsoft is key for enterprise customers who have mission-critical applications," says Paz. "It helped us provide a cloud solution that keeps data near the application, ensures minimal downtime, and helps the customer maintain full control of their Java
Providing Enhanced Reliability, Security for Critical Applications
A strong focus on reliability and security in Windows Azure was critical for the viability of Cloudify. "The fact that Microsoft is investing a lot of resources in ensuring the reliability of access and security of data on Windows Azure is very, very important
to our customers," says Guy Korland, Vice President for Research and Development with GigaSpaces. "It's critical if they lose any data, and the fact that Windows Azure is designed to be enterprise-ready makes it easier to sell Cloudify."
Benefitting From a Strong Partnership
Korland says the Microsoft focus on sharing information with partners was critical in helping GigaSpaces develop Cloudify. "The Microsoft openness to its partners is critical to a project such as Cloudify," says Korland. "The willingness to share development
insights and the technology roadmap for Windows Azure enabled us to make sure that the Cloudify solution would work as planned for our customers, and allowed us to streamline our development cycle."
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