Thoughts on enterprise IT

Dustin Amrhein

Subscribe to Dustin Amrhein: eMailAlertsEmail Alerts
Get Dustin Amrhein: homepageHomepage mobileMobile rssRSS facebookFacebook twitterTwitter linkedinLinkedIn


Related Topics: Cloud Computing, Cloudonomics Journal, Open Source and Cloud Computing, Cloud Hosting & Service Providers Journal, Open Cloud Collaboration, Microservices Journal, Cloud Backup and Recovery Journal, Agile Digital Transformation, Private Cloud

Agile Digital Transformation: Article

FedEx Deploys an Appistry Cloud

FedEx has built a private cloud using Appistry, an early pioneer in cloud computing, and its CloudIQ application platform

FedEx has built a private cloud using Appistry, an early pioneer in cloud computing, and its CloudIQ application platform.

Like most folks, FedEx integrated the cloud into its development and testing environment first to shorten test and deployment times and save money.

According to FedEx senior technical architect Mike Rains, the company wanted to escape HP's pricey HP-UX-based Superdome machines for a more distributed, horizontally scalable architecture.

It was only getting 20% utilization out of the HP boxes, which had to be replaced every three-four years to stay current. So FedEx shopped around and found Appistry, which has let it switch to cheap commodity hardware and add components as needed.

Rains describes the price difference CPU to CPU as "quite substantial" and says the processing performance of FedEx' mission-critical applications has improved.

It's also using Linux.

FedEx makes little use of Windows across the enterprise, preferring HP-UX and now Linux.

Deploying a cloud has simplified support because the company is now using standardized hardware and operating systems plus the Appistry utilities.

Rains says the Appistry architecture is relatively easy to understand and implement although the cloud requires a change in mind set.

The new widgetry has allowed FedEx to "divide the elephant," he said, using a "scatter/gather" approach to application development, "atomizing" projects into smaller parts that are easier for coders to understand, especially developers new to the projects, and shortening the development cycle because there are fewer lines to code, ultimately simplifying the code migration path to production.

And the cloud's as-needed scalability means FedEx doesn't outgrow its servers. It can also apply different system architectures in the same cloud.

The approach has let FedEx standardize common interfaces so it doesn't have to constantly reinvent the wheel. So developers can focus on the business logic.

Rains called implementation "almost silly it's so easy." He described the automatic provisioning as a "big deal."

Since FedEx deployed a private cloud it doesn't have the privacy concerns raised by a public cloud like Amazon. FedEx owns and operates all of the infrastructure.

Appistry's platform was designed specifically for cloud environments and is supposed to deliver transparent scalability, application portability and automated management to new and existing applications.

More Stories By Maureen O'Gara

Maureen O'Gara the most read technology reporter for the past 20 years, is the Cloud Computing and Virtualization News Desk editor of SYS-CON Media. She is the publisher of famous "Billygrams" and the editor-in-chief of "Client/Server News" for more than a decade. One of the most respected technology reporters in the business, Maureen can be reached by email at maureen(at)sys-con.com or paperboy(at)g2news.com, and by phone at 516 759-7025. Twitter: @MaureenOGara

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.