SpringSource Plus Hyperic Unifies Application Lifecycle From Developer to Data Center

Engineering | Rod Johnson | May 04, 2009 | ...

A few weeks ago, I laid out SpringSource's vision for creating a unified enterprise Java solution that spans the application lifecycle. Today, we announce a significant advance in realizing that vision: SpringSource's acquisition of Hyperic, which greatly strengthens our capabilities for the management of modern applications and infrastructure.

As SpringSource has grown, like the Spring open source projects, the company has taken on a wider range of problems. Today's announcement is the logical continuation of our push into the server space, and offers the potential to further simplify the lives of our users and customers.

What problem are we solving?

At one level, the rationale is obvious enough. Hyperic HQ underpins the management and monitoring capabilities of our most important products: our servers and SpringSource Enterprise (our enterprise distribution of Spring projects, which offers detailed information about the runtime behavior of Spring applications). The acquisition will enable us to improve those products by allowing a deeper integration between Spring, our servers and the management framework.Important as this motivation is, however, what we are doing here is much more strategic. There is an even more important reason why SpringSource is acquiring IP in the management space and industry-leading domain knowledge.

I've emphasized the problems that flow from a lack of joined up thinking. One common gap in communication and coherent strategy falls between developers and operations. Typically, developers and operations staff lack not only a common tool set, but a common language to enable them to cooperate the achieve the best possible result. Developers don't take operational concerns into account when designing applications; operations staff lack the tools to understand modern applications; both groups feel that the other is bent on frustrating them. At best, the result is inefficiency; often, it leads to unnecessary downtime.

Through unifying SpringSource and Hyperic technologies, we can change this experience. We can make it easy for developers to develop applications that are inherently manageable; we can make it easy for operational staff to understand the applications produced by developers; and we can help both developers and operations make sense of the management requirements of modern applications, which span multiple technologies. Through combining not merely the IP but the deep knowledge in our respective teams, we can achieve a breakthrough experience.

In Context

This is a great year for SpringSource. We have major initiatives in each part of the application lifecycle that offer real benefit to our users and customers. It's useful to explain how today's announcement fits into the overall picture.

On the Build side, we've recently had a wealth of announcements that have excited the Spring community: that SpringSource Tool Suite (STS) is going to be free, the appearance of the new Spring Roo open source project for enhanced Java productivity, and our commitment to provide quality free Eclipse tooling for Groovy and Grails. Meanwhile the underpinning technologies continue to advance. With the Spring Framework 3.0 major release, we're building on the work of Spring 2.5 to reduce and eliminate the need for Spring configuration, as well as introducing important new capabilities.

At run time, the recent GA release of tc Server is an important step forward for us and our customers. Tomcat is a clear #1 in production deployment among Java servers. With the release of tc Server, which offers enterprise grade management of tens, hundreds or even thousands of nodes, Tomcat can take its place confidently in any data center.

The core of the tc Server value proposition is its management capabilities. Future versions of SpringSource dm Server will build on the same management fabric, which will also span other SpringSource-supported technologies such as ActiveMQ.

Management is core to enterprise middleware. While too often middleware vendors have provided barely adequate solutions, we believe the market demands far more. We are excited to be able to offer a solution that helps to unify the application lifecycle and helps customers make sense of the disparate technologies in their data center.

The Companies

SpringSource and Hyperic, the companies, are compatible in important ways.

Like SpringSource, Hyperic is an open source business, offering a subscription to enterprise customers including 24x7 support as well as premium software. We believe this is the future of the software industry.

Like SpringSource, Hyperic offers “lean” software that is far easier to roll out than traditional competitors and has a smaller footprint.

Like SpringSource, Hyperic has been growing strongly, having just completed by far the best quarter in its history. We look forward to continuing the growth of the Hyperic business within SpringSource, as well as continuing to invest in the Hyperic product set. Our new colleagues at Hyperic are excited about the potential to change the market through joining forces.

We are excited by the synergies between the teams. SpringSource and Hyperic have been working closely together for almost 2 years, with Hyperic HQ used as the basis of both SpringSource AMS and tc Server. This has led us not merely to the conclusion that through combining the companies we will be able to move to a deeper level of technical integration, but that the teams are compatible and share a vision to drive significant industry change.

Where Next?

Due to broader industry trends, management issues are becoming increasingly important, even to developers. In a not-too-distant future, cloud technologies will enable developers to put many applications into production without the mediation of operations—forcing developers to consider the management implications, not just of their own areas of expertise, but even of technologies they don't control. For example, a Java developer may suddenly find that the management of a database and virtual machines (in conjunction with the management of an application he or she has written) is a pressing concern.

The rise of cloud makes it even more important to bridge the conceptual gap between development and operations. We believe that our middleware is perfectly suited as the basis of Java cloud technology, and the SpringSource/Hyperic combination will allow us to bridge the gap between development and operations in a unique way.

Hyperic has strong technology—in both its released products and development pipeline--to address the needs of modern cloud deployment. Unlike older management products, Hyperic HQ is well adapted to cloud and virtualized deployments, not being limited to a management model predicated on physical machines. Hyperic management products are also highly extensible, allowing for the kind of customization required in cloud deployment.

We believe this acquisition is both compelling today and puts us a step ahead of the competition as we face the challenges of tomorrow. Most of all, we're excited about the ability this provides to change the experience of our customers for the better.

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