Frequently Asked Questions

On which operating systems and Java virtual machines (JVMs) is vFabric Suite supported?
Which versions of vFabric products are covered by a vFabric Suite license?
How do I evaluate vFabric Suite?
On which VMware hypervisors is vFabric supported?

VMware vFabric is supported on all currently supported versions of VMware vSphere®, VMware® Workstation™, VMware Fusion®, and VMware Player®. There are two exceptions:

How is vFabric Suite linked to Spring Framework?

Nearly every component of vFabric Suite has an integration with Spring Framework or related tools and technologies:

How is vFabric Suite linked to VMware vSphere cloud infrastructure?
  • vFabric tc Server, vFabric RabbitMQ, vFabric SQLFire, and vFabric GemFire have lightweight footprints that allow for greater consolidation ratios and improved utilization.
  • vFabric Application Director is integrated with vCloud Director, and enables automated provisioning for rapid scale-out of application infrastructure running on vSphere.
  • VMware vFabric® Application Performance Manager™ provides correlated application performance metrics at all layers of application stack, down to the vSphere host, to keep applications running on virtual infrastructure performant and available.
  • vFabric Postgres has virtualization optimizations such as elastic database memory to share database memory pools rather than over-provisioning, and smart configuration to reduce tuning time after resizing virtual machines.
  • vFabric Elastic Memory for Java automatically distributes Java heap memory to application server instances that need it most. This facilitates smaller Java heaps, smaller VMs, and improved consolidation ratios. It also prevents out of memory errors that can cripple an application.
  • vFabric Suite is priced per-VM, leverages vSphere and vCenter to track license usage, and average use pricing allows bursting of app infrastructure running on vSphere.
How does vFabric Suite bring scalability to my applications?

vFabric Suite lets you easily scale out application infrastructure as-needed, using your existing vSphere virtual infrastructure running on commodity hardware. Here is how each component of vFabric Suite contributes to scalability:

Runtimes

  • vFabric tc Server is a lightweight Java application server that reduces memory and disk consumption at scale. Fast startup times mean that new instances can be created to scale within seconds.
  • vFabric GemFire Application Cache Node is a fast, in-memory data cache that dramatically reduces time spent fetching session and Hibernate data and reduces database load at scale.
  • vFabric Elastic Memory for Java lets you scale tc Server and Apache Tomcat by automatically allocating memory to application server instances.
  • vFabric Web Server: a performance-optimized version of Apache HTTP Server, the world’s most popular web server.

Data

  • vFabric SQLFire Professional lets you easily create fast in-memory data fabrics that run on any number of VMs and appear to an application as a single database, accessible through standard SQL and JDBC.
  • vFabric RabbitMQ lets you build clusters of high-performance message queues.
  • vFabric Postgres: fully compatible with PostgreSQL, vPostgres has virtualization optimizations such as elastic database memory to share database memory pools and reduce memory usage at scale.

Management

  • vFabric Application Director enables automated provisioning of Spring Java applications on vFabric components for rapid scale-out in response to business needs.
  • Application Performance Manager provides performance metrics to help you ensure that vFabric applications are fast and available, even at scale.
Can vFabric Application Director be used to provision non-vFabric middleware components?

Yes. Application Director, when purchased via vFabric Suite Advanced, can provision non-vFabric components. These includes application servers such as Oracle WebLogic, Red Hat JBoss, IBM WebSphere; databases such as Oracle, MySQL, DB2; and so on. Provisioning non-VMware components may require you to create custom blueprints.

How is BOSH, part of Cloud Foundry, different than vFabric Application Director?

BOSH is specifically for use in the operation of production instances of Cloud Foundry™. vFabric Application Director is for provisioning vFabric Suite components, as well as third party middleware components from Oracle, IBM, Red Hat, and others.

Do powered-off or suspended VMs count towards vFabric Suite license consumption?

No, powered-off and suspended VMs do not count towards vFabric Suite license consumption.

Is vFabric Suite licensed by vRAM?

No. vFabric Suite is licensed by powered-on VM, not vRAM.

What is the minimum number of vFabric Suite licenses I can buy?

One.

Each vFabric Suite license lets me run on a VM with up to two vCPUs. What if I need to run vFabric Suite on a VM with more than two vCPUs?

Each incremental one or two vCPUs requires an additional vFabric Suite license. A VM with three or four vCPUs requires two vFabric Suite licenses; a VM with five or six vCPUs requires three vFabric Suite licenses; and so on.

Can I split a vFabric Suite license, which lets me run on up to two vCPUs, so that I can run two VMs with vFabric Suite, each VM with one vCPU?

No. Splitting vFabric Suite license to run vFabric Suite on two VMs, each with a single Virtual CPU, is not allowed.

Can I run vFabric Suite on physical infrastructure, without a hypervisor?

No, because vFabric Suite is licensed per-VM. Many vFabric Suite components are also licensed on a per-CPU basis, for customers that need to run them on physical infrastructure. For pricing details, see the “Buy” tab of each vFabric component you are interested in.

Can I convert vFabric Suite licenses to per-CPU licenses?

No, this conversion option is not currently available.  

How is vFabric Suite usage tracked?

The following vFabric Suite components report their usage to vFabric License Server, which runs on vCenter License Reporting Manager:

  • vFabric tc Server Spring Edition
  • vFabric GemFire Application Cache Node
  • vFabric Web Server
  • vFabric SQLFire Professional
  • vFabric Postgres
  • vFabric RabbitMQ
  • vFabric Hyperic (part of vFabric Application Performance Manager)

The following vFabric Suite components do not report license usage to the vFabric license server:

  • vFabric AppInsight (part of vFabric Application Performance Manager)
  • vFabric Application Director
  • vFabric Elastic Memory for Java   
  • Supported instances of Apache Tomcat
  • Supported instances of Apache HTTP Server
  • Supported instances of RabbitMQ (open source version)
How do I monitor license usage for a vFabric Suite license? What usage statistics are available?

vFabric Suite provides Windows command-line tools to monitor current and periodic vFabric license usage by the VMs. For example, you can display current license usage; total usage of all licenses over a specified period of time; year-to-date usage of a particular license; and average, minimum, and maximum usage over a specified period.
You run the license-monitoring tools on the same Windows computer on which you installed vCenter Server. For detailed instructions about running license-monitoring tools, including a command reference, refer to the license monitoring section in the vFabric platform documentation.

How often should I check my vFabric license usage?

The vFabric Suite license requires that you check your average license usage at least once every 90 days. You should check your trailing 90 day usage, and if you’re over, purchase additional licenses to cover the difference.

How is vFabric Suite license usage computed?

Licensing is tied to the vSphere virtual machines (VMs) on which you install one or more components of vFabric Suite Standard or Advanced. One license unit covers one virtual machine with a maximum of two VCPUs. Each incremental one or two vCPUs requires an additional vFabric license. For example, a VM with three or four vCPUs requires two vFabric licenses.
However, powered-off and suspended VMs do not count towards license consumption. The number of licenses required equals: total seconds all vFabric Suite Standard VMs were powered on in a given period / Number of seconds in the period, and assuming one license per VM/two VCPUs, as described in the preceding paragraph.
In the following examples, it is assumed that each VM has a maximum of two VCPUs.
A simple example:

  • Period is exactly 90 days, equivalent to 7,776,000 seconds.
  • Customer has purchased one license.
  • One VM has been powered on this entire time.

Calculation is 7,776,000 seconds / 7,776,000 seconds = 1. One license is required.
Another example:

  • Period is exactly 90 days, from 1/1/12 through 3/31/12.
  • Customer owns 2 licenses.
  • One VM is powered on for 30 days straight, from 1/1/12 at 12:01 am through 1/30/12 at 11:59 pm. Another VM is powered on 60 days straight from 1/1/12 12:01 am through 3/1/12 at 11:59 pm. A third VM is powered on 90 days straight from 1/1/12 at 12:01 am through 3/31/12 at 11:59 pm.

Calculation is:
(30 days + 60 days + 90 days) / 90 days =
180 days/90 days = 2 licenses required.

What are the production licensing options for vFabric Suite products?

Licensing depends primarily on whether you purchase vFabric products individually ("a la carte") or as part of vFabric Suite.
Pooled licensing (also referred to as network licensing) is for customers who buy vFabric Suite. vFabric Suite is licensed on a per-VM and average-usage basis, exclusively for virtual and cloud environments. You obtain a pool of licenses that you activate by adding only one license key to vCenter Server through the vSphere client. Rather than installing a license key on each VM, you register one license key with vCenter that represents the number of license units that you have purchased. Each licensed VM can run any or all vFabric Suite components. Thus licensing is tied to VMs, rather than to component installations. vFabric Suite customers who want to install a product on a physical machine can also buy a local license for that product.
Customers who purchase a vFabric product "a la carte", rather than as part of a vFabric Suite package, use a local license. A local license allows you to install the product on virtual and physical machines. Unlike network licensing, local licensing does not involve integration with vCenter and the vFabric License Server. You install the license keys locally, on physical machines and/or VMs.

What are the basic steps for obtaining and activating a vFabric Suite license?
  • Decide how many vFabric license units you need.
  • Purchase the license units from your account manager.
  • Get your license key from the VMware license portal. This is a single serial number representing the number of license units you purchased.
  • Install the vFabric License Server on your vCenter Server.
  • Start the vSphere Client and log in to vCenter Server.
  • Add the license key to the vSphere Client.
  • Install vFabric Suite components, and where necessary, perform additional steps in individual component installations to activate licensing.

For detailed instructions, see the product installation and license activation procedures in the vFabric platform documentation and the vFabric component documentation.

How can I confirm whether my license is valid for the most recent version of a vFabric product or for a vFabric Suite package?

If you have previously installed vFabric GemFire, vFabric Hyperic, or vFabric tc Server, you might already have a license key (also referred to as a serial number). However, you need to confirm whether it is valid for the latest release of the component or in the context of vFabric Suite. The vfabric-licensetool checkserial utility checks the validity of your existing license key. For each license key that you input, the utility displays detailed information such as the vFabric component to which it is associated, the type of license key, the capacity, and its expiration date.
From the Drivers and Tools tab of the download page for tc Server, Hyperic, or GemFire download the vfabric-licensetool checkserial utility ZIP file onto the computer on which you want to run it. Refer to the vFabric licensing section in the vFabric platform documentation for details about how to check the validity of your license key.

How do I apply licensing to Spring Insight Operations and vFabric Elastic Memory for Java (EM4J)?

EM4J is part of vFabric Suite Standard and Advanced. No separate license is required. tc Server Spring Edition also includes Spring Insight Operations. It is a separate download but no additional license is required.

I purchased vFabric Hyperic as part of vFabric Suite and have added my network license key(s) to the vFabric License Server. Do I need to do anything else to activate licensing for vFabric Hyperic?

Yes. You need to configure the location of the vFabric License Server that administers the network license for vFabric Suite. In the vFabric Hyperic product documentation, refer to the license activation procedure.

I purchased vFabric GemFire as part of vFabric Suite and have added my network license key(s) to the vFabric License Server. Do I need to do anything else to activate licensing for vFabric GemFire?

Yes. You need to configure dynamic licensing in your vFabric GemFire installation so that vFabric GemFire can obtain network licenses from the vFabric License Server. Refer to the installation procedures under the licensing section in the vFabric GemFire product documentation.

Why doesn't my vFabric Suite license activate GemFire Data Management Node instances?

The vFabric Suite Standard and Advanced offering for GemFire is GemFire Application Cache Node. GemFire Data Management Node is not covered by vFabric Suite Standard or vFabric Suite Advanced licensing; it requires a separate license.

I purchased vFabric SQLFire as part of vFabric Suite Advanced and have added my network license key(s) to the vFabric License Server. Do I need to do anything else to activate licensing for vFabric SQLFire?

Yes. You need to configure dynamic licensing in vFabric SQLFire so that vFabric SQLFire can obtain a network license dynamically from the vFabric License Server. For detailed instructions, refer to the installation procedures under the vFabric licensing sections in the vFabric SQLFire product documentation.

vFabric GemFire offers several different license types. What are they and how do I know which type of license I need to buy?

GemFire uses two main license types, which can be combined and upgraded depending on your topology:

  • Application Cache Node license: Provides licensing for clients or for distributed system members that are not servers. This license is used for licensing peer-to-peer systems and for client/server deployments with limited clients. (Application Cache Node is the vFabric GemFire offering for vFabric Suite. vFabric Suite customers can buy a Data Management Node license separately, since it is not included with vFabric Suite.)
  • Data Management Node (DMN) license: A Data Management Node license is required for servers in client/server deployments. You can also install Unlimited Client Upgrade and Global WAN Upgrade options alongside this license.

Your deployment topology determines the licensing requirements for vFabric GemFire. Licensing options are available for the following topologies:

  • Simple peer-to-peer
  • Peer-to-peer with global WAN
  • Client/server with limited clients
  • Client/server with global WAN and limited clients
  • Client/server with global WAN and unlimited clients

For detailed guidance on what works best for your particular system, refer to the license options information in the vFabric GemFire product documentation.

How do I activate local licensing in vFabric tc Server?

When you purchase a vFabric tc Server local production license, you receive one or more license keys (serial numbers) that you install on each physical or virtual machine that runs tc Server. In the tc Server product documentation, refer to the license activation section.

How do I activate local licensing in vFabric SQLFire?

When you purchase a vFabric SQLFire local license, you receive one or more license keys (serial numbers). The number of license keys you need will depend on the number of SQLFire members you have. (A SQLFire member is an instance of the SQLFire code that runs in a JVM.)
To install a local license, refer to the license installation sections in the vFabric SQLFire product documentation.

How do I activate local licensing in vFabric RabbitMQ?

When you purchase local licensing for vFabric RabbitMQ, you receive one or more license keys (serial numbers). In the vFabric RabbitMQ product documentation, refer to the license activation procedure under the Server installation section.

How do I activate local licensing in vFabric GemFire?

When you purchase a vFabric GemFire local license, you receive one or more license keys (serial numbers). How you activate your vFabric GemFire local license varies according to the type of license you purchased and the license installation method you choose. Refer to the installation procedures under the licensing section of the vFabric GemFire product documentation.

How do I activate local licensing in vFabric Hyperic?

When you purchase a vFabric Hyperic local production license, you receive one or more license keys (serial numbers) that you install on each managed platform. A managed platform is a physical machine or a VM with a Hyperic Agent running on it. A platform can also be a network device or network host managed remotely by a Hyperic Agent. A machine with Hyperic Server installed on it does not count as a managed platform unless a Hyperic Agent is also installed. In the vFabric Hyperic product documentation, refer to the license installation section.

Does vFabric Suite SnS (maintenance) provide support for developers building applications on vFabric Suite?

No. vFabric Suite SnS only provides support for applications in production and functional/load testing phases of the application development lifecycle. vFabric Suite SnS does not provide support for developers building applications that run on vFabric Suite. To obtain development time support, customers should acquire vFabric Developer Support.

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