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Tomcat as a Cloud Service

02.11.2010
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Over 70% of enterprise datacenters use Apache Tomcat to run their Java applications on the web.  Companies that expand their datacenter capacity via cloud platforms might have difficulty getting the same performance out of Tomcat since there are "currently no supported virtual images of Tomcat available in the cloud for use by IT organizations," says MuleSoft: a web middleware company.  This week, MuleSoft launched its solution to Tomcat's lack of cloud support: Cloudcat.

According to MuleSoft, Cloudcat is the industry's first cloud service offering of Apache Tomcat.  It is a virtual image of Tomcat that that includes full support from MuleSoft, and the company says it makes it easier for QA and developers to build and test Java web applications in the cloud.  The lead architect at MuleSoft and co-author of "Tomcat: The Definitive Guide," Jason Brittain, said that "until now there has been no easy way to use Tomcat in the cloud without doing a lot of manual work related to installation and configuration."

Cloudcat aims to eliminate the infrastructure setup and support overhead that can accompany a Tomcat configuration for the cloud.  It comes preconfigured and during peak demand Cloucat can help IT departments expand their capacity.  It can also facilitate a cheaper alternative to hosting Tomcat on-premises.  Brittain says that Tomcat lends itself well to cloud environments because it doesn't require the complex infrastructure that many legacy Java EE application servers need.  MuleSoft has made Cloudcat available on Amazon EC2 and GoGrid.  

Mulesoft thinks Cloudcat will be appealing to companies that run lighter-weight web applications and need lots of scalability to handle fluctuating customer demand.  Cloudcat is NOT a full-blown enterprise Java server with the full Java stack.  Here the features of Cloudcat:

  • Tomcat-like deployment model
  • Comes with the MuleSource Tcat Server management console
  • Supports Tcat REST APIs for controls and management
  • Maven integration
  • Includes MySQL on Linux
  • Enterprise support plan
  • Remote restart enabled
  • 32 to 64 bit images available

On Amazon EC2, Cloudcat pricing starts at 30 cents per hour and runs on Ubuntu.  The GoGrid edition starts at $29 a month and features Red Hat Enterprise Linux.