1. VMware Tanzu Application Transformer launches
2/4/2022 9:59:42 AM
VMware Tanzu Application Transformer launches
VMware Tanzu,Application Transformer,Launches
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App Developer Magazine
VMware Tanzu Application Transformer launches

VMware Tanzu Application Transformer launches



Brittany Hainzinger Brittany Hainzinger in Programming Friday, February 4, 2022
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VMware announced the launch of a VMware Tanzu Application Transformer that helps with the discovery, analysis, and containerization of legacy applications. Some of the key capabilities include increased agility and speed to market, flexibility, efficiency through automation, and much more.

VMware has announced the general availability of an Application Transformer for VMware Tanzu. Application Transformer for Tanzu is a tool that aids in the discovery, analysis, and containerization of legacy applications thus helping customers to simplify and accelerate their app modernization journey by targeting their re-platforming strategy on the well-known "5'R" modernization framework.

Why did we introduce the VMware Tanzu Application Transformer?

The industry landscape is changing rapidly. Organizations must constantly evolve to stay competitive and meet changing customer needs. They need to develop and deliver services faster than ever. Modern applications such as cloud-native apps based on microservices architecture and containerized applications provide an unmatched advantage over legacy applications in terms of being efficient, portable, and providing consistency of operations. Many enterprises face the mandate of modernizing their applications to take advantage of digital technologies and build a flexible foundation for future innovation.

However, creating an inventory of legacy applications, gathering the implementation details, and modernizing them are not trivial tasks due to the inherent complexity in customers’ application environments. Each organization’s modernization endeavor can be complicated, time-consuming, and costly, depending on the size and nature of its application portfolio. At the same time, knowledge workers may move on, and expertise may get lost. Without clear visibility into existing systems, enterprises cannot move forward with their modernization efforts.

Furthermore, enterprise-run data centers are dynamic entities with virtual machines (or equivalents) being created and destroyed every day. As organizations evolve their architecture and adopt new technologies, such as multi-cloud, their infrastructure environments become more complex, this further exacerbates modernization challenges.

Finally, app modernization approaches can drastically impact the outcome. For example, some organizations use an arbitrary "top-down" approach by manually determining which applications they would want to modernize rather than evidence-based practices. By limiting application modernization to a select few business-critical applications, organizations lose out on the benefits of modernizing at scale.

Organizations need tools to help their modernization efforts. Application Transformer for Tanzu is designed to help in this journey.

What are the key capabilities of Application Transformer for Tanzu?

At GA, Application Transformer for Tanzu offers a rich set of capabilities for the discovery, analysis, and containerization of legacy applications.

Discovery

Customers’ application portfolio can be complex, many applications run in a VMware vSphere-based environment. Lack of visibility into application environments can hinder the app modernization effort.

With access to VMware vCenter Server, Application Transformer for Tanzu scans VMs, gathering information such as folder structure, resource pool, application names, and processes of the target environment. Then, Application Transformer for Tanzu creates application topology, giving customers complete visibility into their application environment.

Application Transformer for Tanzu supports the discovery of a broad range of application types, across Linux and Windows-based OS, through 200+ application signatures and VM introspection. Application Transformer for Tanzu also supports the customer signature, so enterprises that have homegrown applications can create custom signatures. Once the signature is defined for a custom application, the Application Transformer for Tanzu can discover that application just the way it discovers other applications. The level of information gathered may vary by application. For example, with WebLogic and Tomcat-based applications, Application Transformer for Tanzu can collect a vast amount of information from server types, application names, processes, software versions, directory location, and file folders.

Analysis

As an agentless tool, Application Transformer for Tanzu utilizes the vCenter Server API to introspect the entire vSphere or VMware Cloud-based data center. Since there is no agent needed to be running on the VMs, there is no need to have routable access to VMs. Additionally, because of integration with VMware vRealize Network Insight, Application Transformer for Tanzu can leverage vRealize Network Insight flows to automatically create an application topology with an end-to-end view, which is critical in visualizing application dependencies.

Application Transformer for Tanzu gathers a broad range of application components.  For Tomcat and WebLogic, Application Transformer for Tanzu further introspects the VMs to get information about configuration and deployed artifacts. All information gathered forms the base to help customers to analyze their application environment and decide what application component to prioritize and modernize. 

Transform

Application Transformer for Tanzu creates artifacts such as Docker files, OCI-compliant container images, Kubernetes manifest YAML files for container deployment, and scripts to generate secrets to use in the VMware Tanzu Kubernetes Grid environment.

To help containerize any running process, Application Transformer for Tanzu prompts a few simple steps for users to follow. Environment variables are auto-filled, but users can customize and override. Needed files, which make up the process can be chosen from file explorer, which is presented to the user.

For applications such as Oracle WebLogic and Apache Tomcat, Application Transformer for Tanzu creates OCI-compliant container images based on the detailed insights gathered during the analysis phase, including server types, application names, processes, software version, directory locations, and startup commands. Application Transformer for Tanzu can automate most steps in containerizing these application components, making modernization efforts simple.

What customer values does Application Transformer for Tanzu deliver?

Application Transformer for Tanzu brings many benefits to customers, from inventory and analysis to re-platforming, all through integration and automation.

Holistic view. Application Transformer for Tanzu creates visual topologies through CLI/API using information such as application component metadata and dependencies. Creating the complete view of customers’ application environment allows customers to identify and prioritize the right legacy applications to modernize.

Efficiency through automation. Application Transformer for Tanzu removes tedious manual processes such as introspection, component inventory, and VM mapping. Quick initial success can set precedence for longer-term modernization efforts.

Flexibility. Application Transformer for Tanzu allows customers to choose the best actions from the 5'R-framework. Further, the product enables you to modernize at the speed you choose, based on your business objectives and priorities.

Increased agility and speed to market. Application Transformer for Tanzu shortens the time and reduces the efforts required in the application modernization journey. Doing so helps to reduce time to market for new software and service offerings and improve developer productivity.

Modernizing legacy applications can be complex, time-consuming, and costly. Application Transformer for Tanzu simplifies your app modernization with speed and efficiency. Start by identifying and containerizing the right workloads, then quickly deploy them on the Tanzu Kubernetes Grid platform to take advantage of what cloud and containers can offer.


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