3Tera

3tera-logo Provisioning and deployment of  scalable clustered applications from anywhere in the world.

3Tera’s  AppLogic enables:

  • Deployment of scaleble applications in hours without even changing code
  • Provision, monitor and manage operations with just a browser
  • Scale from a fraction of a server to hundreds of CPUs in days

AppLogic is a grid operating system which enables cloud computing for running and scaling web applications.  AppLogic is vendor-neutral. It uses advanced virtualization technologies to be completely compatible with existing operating systems, middleware and web applications. With AppLogic you can package an entire N-tier application or service into a logical entity and manage it as a single system.

Utility computing can be used in different ways depending on your business:

  • Package applications for on-demand delivery
  • Deploy your applications on prepackaged infrastructure
  • Scale your online service without building a multi-tenant system
  • Develop new web applications
  • Build custom N-tier application infrastructure

Package applications for on-demand delivery

AppLogic allows you to run many instances of one or more prepackaged web applications. This enables selling access to high-value on demand applications such as CRM, E-mail, VoIP PBX and many others.  AppLogic makes it easy to create a copy of the desired application for each customer, configure it with an IP address and hardware resources, and have it running within minutes – without operator involvement.

Deploy your applications on prepackaged infrastructure

Pick a standard infrastructure assembly from the catalog, copy your HTML files, scripts code and database onto the logical volumes and start your application. The catalog assemblies are built by IT experts and ready for production deployment.


Scale your online service without building a multi-tenant system
 

Not only is this a great way to scale your service (and, therefore, your business!), but the resulting system is much more resilient than a large, complex multi-tenant application. In AppLogic each application instance carries it’s own infrastructure, such as databases and application servers so a failure affects only a single customer.

Build custom N-tier application infrastructure

Using the AppLogic visual infrastructure editor and the catalog of virtual appliances, you can assemble, configure and troubleshoot your system visually. Integrations that took weeks can be done in hours.

 Managed hosting providers

Companies with expertise operating data centers can use AppLogic to expand existing hosting offerings with pre-packed complex environments. Plus, AppLogic’s ability to scale applications easily provides low entry prices and easy upsell for new services. 

Software-as-a-service (SaaS) companies

Software firms developing new web applications can minimize their go-to-market cost using AppLogic’s ability to copy, deploy and maintain hundreds of instances of their application. 

AppLogic – User Interface

To achieve true utility computing, operators must have as much (or more) control of applications running in their virtual private datacenter as they have today in colo or in their own facilities:

Application Monitoring

Trying to monitor the operation of distributed applications has been an art in itself. To make operations as transparent as possible, AppLogic includes an integrated monitoring system that makes hundreds of counters available for building custom dashboards.

 Hardware Configuration

An AppLogic grid consists of two or more commodity servers connected via an Ethernet network. Each server has two Ethernet ports, a gigabit port which is connected to a network that forms the grid backbone, and a second port connected to the rest of the datacenter and/or the public Internet. The backbone network is private, secure and provides non-blocking gigabit connectivity between any two servers. A standard AppLogic software image is installed on each server before adding it to the grid. One of the servers is designated as a grid controller and runs the management portion of the system. The operator manages the grid by accessing the controller through a secure browser connection.

Cloudware – Cloud Computing Without Compromise

The Web has succeeded by allowing individuals and companies to add their own unique capabilities to The Net. Cloud Computing should develop the same way. Developers shouldn’t be forced to compromise on the selection of development platforms, software, or security. Cloudware is an architecture intended to provide an open framework allowing the development of a cloud computing environment that’s rigorous enough to take on any web or enterprise application.

cloud-computing

Cloudware incorporates the fundamental building blocks used in developing today’s most popular applications; storage and computing, software catalog, definition and control, plus how they all relate to each other. More importantly, the architecture is vendor agnostic so that third party vendors, not just 3tera, can participate in the system. The Cloudware architecture supports the most popular operating systems – Linux, Solaris and Windows – and is targeted toward clients who want to explore the extreme scale and flexibility of cloud computing infrastructures quickly and easily..

Utility computing

Utility computing has sparked imaginations with visions of pay-as-you-go billing, and dynamic resources for years. The concept is simple; rather than operating servers, businesses subscribe to a utility computing service and pay for the resources they actually use. Despite significant R&D investments, though, most vendor offerings fall far short of these ideals.

Bringing Open Source Online

The rapid adoption of software as a service creates a huge opportunity for open source software, and utility computing can be a tremendous enabler for this market shift. Online users are willing to pay for service, whether the code is open source or proprietary. A growing set of companies is addressing this market for hosted applications like Asterisk, SugarCRM, vtiger, Drupal and Zimbra.

The challenge is scaling

  • A team to support users, provides bug fixes and build new features
  • IT infrastructure and systems (billing, ticketing) for delivering the app
  • A sales and marketing team to sign up customers
  • A low entry price per user
  • Improved performance to high-end customers

Most open source applications are not multi-tenant, meaning each user has a separate copy of the application that must be provisioned and managed individually. This can hinder hosting providers from offering a low entry price. Many applications also don’t scale beyond a single server, which makes it difficult to attract business customers.

Utility computing scales existing open source applications

AppLogic makes it easy to package existing open source applications and run them on grids. This removes the need to make the application multi-tenant and enables hosting providers to price it on a pay-as-you-go basis. Hosting providers can fully automate the deployment of thousands of instances of an application and AppLogic will actually maintain all of them. Plus, each instance can be scaled from a fraction of a CPU to dozens with a single command, enabling upselling of customers as their needs grow.

Opportunity to build a scalable open source business

AppLogic makes getting applications online easy for both the development team and hosting providers. For the team, this expands the available market 20x by reaching the 95% of potential users who don’t have the skills to set up applications. Ultimately, this means the ability to generate incremental, ongoing revenue from every user of the application.

Utility Computing for Software-as-a-Service

Although much of the attention focuses on the low entry cost for users and subscription revenue stream for providers, the viability of SaaS really stems from the fact users simply prefer SaaS applications. Operating the application themselves, allows SaaS providers to focus on the user experience rather than on the IT team who installs and maintains the application. Salesforce.com and Webex have proven SaaS is a viable business model and inspired a wave of change in the software industry.

 

AppLogic Technology in a Nutshell

AppLogic is a grid operating system for scalable web applications and services. AppLogic runs distributed transactional and streaming applications on grids of commodity hardware. It does not require a SAN or other expensive shared storage, and is open and vendor-neutral. What’s more, AppLogic is completely compatible with existing web applications. AppLogic is the first grid operating system that is designed for web applications and is optimized for transactional and I/O intensive workloads.

tech-overview

 

 The system runs on a hardware grid assembled from commodity servers connected via Gigabit Ethernet interconnect. Some (or all) of the servers are expected to have directly attached storage – inexpensive IDE/ATA/SATA hard drives which AppLogic uses to provide a distributed storage pool for applications. AppLogic includes three major subsystems:

  • Distributed Kernel – abstracts and virtualizes the grid hardware, and provides core system services
  • Disposable Infrastructure Manager – handles the infrastructure for each AppLogic application
  • Grid Controller – provides a central point for managing and monitoring the grid.

Together, these three subsystems provide the foundation for executing and scaling existing web applications on grids of commodity servers.

The architecture of AppLogic is unique in four important aspects:

1.   AppLogic makes Linux and Windows an integral part of the infrastructure: The conventional approach requires every new OS to implement a set of API to which applications must then be written or ported. AppLogic uses virtualization to enable each disposable infrastructure component to run on its own copy of Linux or Windows and focuses on providing the abstractions and services needed at the distributed application level.

2.   AppLogic makes infrastructure an integral part of each application: Traditionally, you have to build a common infrastructure from firewalls, load balancers, web servers, application servers, database servers, etc. and then deploy multiple applications on it. The use of disposable infrastructure enables AppLogic to reverse this process and include the infrastructure required to run a given application within the application.

3.   AppLogic treats distributed applications as first-class objects: AppLogic treats the entire N-tier application as a single logical entity that can be copied, instantiated, configured, started, stopped, cloned, exported, imported, etc. As a result, once the application has been integrated and tested, it can be manipulated with remarkable ease.

4.   AppLogic is a grid operating system for web applications: These capabilities enable AppLogic to provide the core set of functions that are essential for running mainstream web applications. Those include:

  • Ability to aggregate commodity servers into a single scalable grid
  • Native support for transactional and I/O intensive workloads
  • Allowing an unmodified application to run on different grids
  • Concurrent execution of multiple unrelated applications each with its own resource quota
  • Scaling applications from a fraction of a server up to the full resources of the grid
  • Supporting hardware, middleware and applications from a variety of vendors

In addition, AppLogic implements a number of key services that enable the building of real-world utility computing systems. These include:

  • Resource Metering System – enables pay-per-use models
  • Catalog Delivery System – handles the global distribution and sharing of infrastructure, prepackaged applications and software updates
  • Grid Management System – manages a datacenter as a single system

AppLogic System Services

The AppLogic Distributed Kernel provides a set of system services required to implement the distributed infrastructure and application model of AppLogic. The three most important system services include:

  • Global Volume Store (GVS)
    GVS implements a new type of distributed storage subsystem that combines the advantages of a global file system with an object store. The key object supported by GVS is a virtual volume. Virtual volumes exist in a hierarchical name space, can be created, destroyed and cloned on demand, and are mirrored on multiple servers for read performance and availability.
  • Distributed Virtual Machine Manager (DVMM)
    The AppLogic distributed virtual machine manager is built on top of the Xen hypervisor, the leading open source server virtualization technology. DVMM extends Xen to grids, providing ability to create a virtual machine anywhere on the grid, guarantee hardware resource assignment for each VM, and schedule sets of virtual machines across the grid.
  • Logical Connection Manager (LCM)
    The logical connection manager implements a key service that abstracts intercomponent communications. It enables AppLogic to define all interactions between components of an application in terms of point-to-point logical connections between virtual appliances. The interactions are controlled and tunneled across physical networks, allowing AppLogic to enforce interaction protocols, detect security breaches and migrate live TCP connections from one IP network to another transparently. 

What others say about 3Tera:

  1. http://www.readwriteweb.com 3Tera, a company based in California, has announced what it calls a breakthrough technology – “disposable infrastructure”. This technology is the foundation of their product AppLogic, which they say is the “first grid operating system that runs and scales existing web applications.” It almost takes a Comp Sci PhD from Stanford to read 3Tera’s press release, but in a nutshell what AppLogic does is allow Web companies to manage – and scale – all their applications, servers and storage with just a browser.  The term for this is ‘utility computing’, aka ‘on-demand computing’. It means that a service provider makes available computer resources to their clients and charges them for the usage rather than the hardware. Kind of like a public utility such as your electricity company. Read/WriteWeb contributer Alex Iskold called this ‘Compute Services’ in his recent Web Platform Primer post.  >> Read More
  2. http://gigaom.com  Virtualization holds lots of promise: Move your physical machines to virtual ones, and you’ll reclaim capacity at the same time that you make operations easier. But applications seldom run on one machine; instead they’re a combination of servers, switches and routers. 3Tera’s recently announced product road map may let companies provision whole data centers atop cloud grids like Amazon’s EC2. Call it a Virtual Data Center.    “Most large-scale systems, in order to move up the ladder and serve more customers, require more and more resources,” said Bert Armijo, 3Tera’s VP of product and marketing. “If you manage them as individual virtual machines, the problem is that the human load — the ability to actually remember what’s running where and to manipulate it all — becomes overwhelming. At some point, somebody makes a very small mistake that results in a very large outage.” 3Tera’s Applogic makes software that runs on a grid of hardware: A flat array of commodity servers, Gigabit Ethernet and direct-attached storage. The software turns this into a resource pool that can be provisioned to users. A graphical front-end, called an infrastructure editor, lets administrators drag and drop data center components like firewalls and load balancers. >> Read More
  3. http://www.theregister.co.uk When 3Tera was launched back in 2004, one of the big buzzwords was utility computing, which had just trumped grid computing as the hot new thing. Today, we have cloud computing, and that’s the word so many companies – including 3Tera – are wrapping their marketing efforts around. But 3Tera and its AppLogic virtual infrastructure management tool keep doing what they’ve always done, even as the buzzwords change. The AppLogic tool is used to virtualize Linux and Solaris instances on x64 iron and manage the processor, memory, network, and storage capacities of the underlying hardware as a giant pool of computing. The processor and memory virtualization is done through the use of the open source variant of the Xen hypervisor, and 3Tera invented its own I/O and network virtualization software because back in 2004, there weren’t any commercial alternatives for x64 servers. (Some say, there still aren’t, but Xsigo has some neat I/O virtualization going on). >> Read More
  4.  http://blogs.zdnet.com 3Tera, which provides utility computing services and applications to provision, manage and monitor infrastructure via a browser, will announce Wednesday plans to lay the groundwork for a new architecture for the cloud.3Tera will outline its vision at the Web 2.0 conference in San Francisco…. Bert Armijo, co-founder and senior vice president of sales, marketing and product management at 3Tera, says Cloudware is an attempt to create a “cloud computing delivery network” that would allow various computing efforts–from the likes of Salesforce.com, 3Tera, Amazon Web Services, HP and Google to name a few–co-mingle. >> Read More
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