Do you spend too much time sifting through Google results to find answers to your Apache Tomcat Questions? Now is your chance to learn undocumented secrets of Apache Tomcat. If you are using or considering using Apache Tomcat and would like to improve your knowledge, join Apache experts and committers Mark Thomas and Filip Hanik as they outline the top Tips and Tricks to make management and administration of Apache Tomcat easier, faster and more productive.
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2010 has been an exciting year for the Tomcat Expert community site. Created by the Apache Tomcat Experts at SpringSource, Tomcat Expert was launched in March to improve the adoption, performance and value of Apache Tomcat for enterprise users. After almost ten months of operation, we’ve been able to provide you with content from Tomcat Expert Contributors weighing in on top Apache Tomcat news and topics, including several relating to June's release of Tomcat 7.0.0 Beta, the first Tomcat 7 release. As the year winds down, we've put together a list of the most popular blog posts of the year. Additionally, we're asking you to tell us what topics you'd like to see covered more in 2011 with a content request form below.
We've been discussing the various support options, including community support, available for Apache Tomcat, and contrasting those to Commercial JEE Application Server Support options. In this final blog in the series, we're focusing on the remaining two Tomcat Options, Self Support and Vendor Support agreements.
The second option is supporting Tomcat within the IT organization. In this case, the IT organization must have significant Tomcat expertise on staff and they provide much/all of the support to the various users within the organization. Both the level of expertise required and the challenges of providing that for 24x7x365 mission critical applications are neither simple nor inexpensive.
Less understood is that server infrastructure software is inherently different from application software. It’s a specialty within the software industry; relatively few programmers have the skills and expertise to deal with the kinds of problems found within operating systems and application containers. Realistically, it takes a substantial scale of operations to make this option viable, but for very large organizations, the cost savings and ability to control the process may make self support worthwhile.
In prior entries, we’ve discussed Commercial JEE Application Server Support, the reasons this support is so costly, and began discussions focusing on the support differences between Tomcat and commercial JEE Application Servers. Now we’ll explore the three general types of Tomcat support that are available and dig into the most common choice, Community Support.
Tomcat users have three options available for support:
In this webinar, Apache Tomcat committers Mark Thomas and Filip Hanik discuss performance tuning Apache Tomcat for your production environment. This webinar focuses on Tuning Tomcat and the JVM to correctly handle your application including usage patterns, hardware and network topology. You’ll learn when and how to apply the different tuning and configuration options as well as understanding load balancers and how they can impact your configuration settings. Also discussed: the impact of clustering and replication on your environment.
The major JEE Application Server vendors offer sophisticated, feature rich, products sold under vendor licenses, together with providing annual maintenance support agreements. While it may not be strictly mandatory (salesmen often tell the customer that it is…commissions on support are very high) for the customer to purchase a support agreement, virtually 100% of the customers do. Since these products are based on proprietary closed source software technology, only those with access to the vendor’s source code can provide maintenance or enhancements to the product. Given the choice of forgoing support, patches, and upgrades, or of paying for the vendor’s maintenance agreement, customers pay, and pay, and pay.
There are third parties providing consulting services and training, but anything involving the internals of the Application Server is inaccessible. Hardly surprisingly, software vendors use this leverage to their best advantage, making maintenance the most profitable portion of their businesses.
The JEE Application Server vendors offer multiple levels of products with software Iicense list pricing/CPU varying from just under $5,000 to over $25,000. It is also common for these list prices to be heavily discounted during the purchase negotiations, particularly for large volume customers. Additionally, many major customers enter into Enterprise License Agreements (ELA) which provides them even more advantageous bulk pricing.
One area that is getting a lot of attention in these days of "do more with less" is the cost of infrastructure maintenance. Many studies show that maintaining software is much more expensive over it's life cycle than purchasing/building it in the first place, so IT management is looking at these costs with renewed interest. The issue turns out to be a bit more complex than it originally appears, although one thing that leaps out is that all of the options for supporting Tomcat are far better than the options we all had with commercial JEE Application Servers. First, let's look at what we mean by "support". In this series of blogs, I'll be sharing some thoughts about the various supportions available for Tomcat, as well as contrasting those with the JEE commercial Application Server support situation.
While it is theoretically possible to forgo support entirely, and sometimes this is forced by software vendor failure or acquisition/product retirement, realistically IT organizations require ongoing support for their mission critical infrastructure. In this post, we will be discussing the various options available to IT organizations for supporting Tomcat environments. We will also be discussing the important differences between commercial proprietary closed source vendor JEE application server support and Apache Tomcat.
One of the most important and valuable “features” of Tomcat from the IT Operations point of view is support choice. Proprietary software can only be supported by the vendor, at that vendor’s monopolistic support pricing, while using Tomcat provides multiple viable options in a competitive support environment. Hardly surprisingly, excellent Tomcat support can therefore be obtained at much lower cost. That said, while Tomcat itself is “free”, there are real internal and external costs associated with using Tomcat as an IT infrastructure. It is important to understand these costs when comparing the various support options.