For those of you who remember how Microsoft Visio could be used as a tool for designing business processes and then churning out BPEL-compliant XML based on those designs, imagine if you could use Visio diagrams to similarly churn-out a virtual data center or private cloud configuration. Reminiscent of the graphical Q-Layer technology that Sun acquired back in 2009, CA Technologies was at Cloud Connectshowing off a graphical tool for designing and deploying complete stacks of software (and the virtual hardware it runs on) called AppLogic. The technology was added to CA’s portfolio when the Islandia, N.Y.-based company acquired 3Tera.
A video of AppLogic in action (taped at Cloud Connect) is embedded below.
What makes AppLogic special is the way a complete stack can be visually designed using a Visio-like drag and drop interface. Before such a stack can be designed, the different components of that stack have to pre-exist as discreet “objects” that can be dragged into the design. AppLogic comes with an immense list of predefined objects, many of which are based on open source technologies. For example, one such predefined object could be an application server based on Apache Tomcat.
The reason most of the pre-defined objects are based on open source is that AppLogic can actually deploy any of the objects in its catalog. With open source, AppLogic can’t run afoul of any licensing polices when deploying software. To the extent that it actually installs software, AppLogic essentially behaves as a distribution channel and for that reason, it cannot freely include Windows-based objects (or other non-open source technologies) in its catalog. But, licensees of AppLogic are free to create their own Windows-based objects based on their licensing arrangement with Microsoft. The same goes for creating and deploying other “objects” that are based on proprietary software.
As objects are dragged onto AppLogic’s canvas, they can be connected to form a soup-to-nuts software stack. Objects don’t necessarily have to be one discreet component of a stack. Any subset of a stack can be objectized for re-use as can be an entire stack itself. These completely objectized stacks basically serve as templates that can be deployed as often as needed.
For businesses running a private cloud that must be charged-back to the departments that are using it, AppLogic has a detailed billing feature that can bill based on usage of specific stack components (CPU, applications, disk, etc.).
Here’s the video that was taped at Cloud Connect.