Mulesoft Debuts ‘Cloudcat,’ or Tomcat in the Cloud
February 16, 2010 Alex Woodie
i/OS developers are among those who can benefit from MuleSoft‘s launch last week of Cloudcat, a hosted version of Apache‘s Tomcat Web application server. By hosting Tomcat in the cloud, Mulesoft aims to make it easier for developers and quality assurance professionals to test their Java-based Tomcat applications prior to making them live.
San Francisco-based Mulesoft is rapidly gaining momentum among the open source community–even within the progressive branch of the i/OS development community, which is beginning to adopt and deploy open source technologies in System i applications. Some i/OS shops are even running Mulesoft products on their System i servers.
Mulesoft’s main claim to fame is a lightweight, open source enterprise service bus (ESB) product called Mule ESB that’s designed to work with the world’s most popular lightweight, open source Web application server: Apache Tomcat. Surrounding this core product are several other point solutions, including Mule Data Integrator, which is used for complex data integration and transformation; Mule MQ, a Java Messaging Service (JMS)-based messaging platform; iBeans, a Web application integration framework and API; and Tcat Server, a pre-configured version of Tomcat designed for rapid roll-out and ease of administration.
All of Mulesoft’s products are freely downloadable; customers that want technical support can buy it from the company, a pattern that follows the commercial open source model that has been proven successful by companies such as MySQL (now part of Oracle), Red Hat, and JBoss (now part of Red Hat), and which is being imitated by scores of others, including Talend (ETL tools) and XAware (data integration), among others.
The new Cloudcat offering, which is based on Tcat Server and includes a MySQL database, is designed to make it easier to develop and test enterprise Java applications before deploying them on Tomcat servers. According to Jason Brittain, lead architect at Mulesoft, Tomcat is an ideal product to use in the cloud because it’s lightweight and doesn’t require the complex infrastructure needed by legacy Java Web application servers (such as WebSphere and WebLogic, although he didn’t mention them).
“However, 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,” Brittain says in a press release. “By using a preconfigured Apache Tomcat image like Cloudcat, developers and operations professionals can deploy and test their Web applications in the cloud rapidly and without the capital investment of buying and housing a physical server.”
Two cloud providers are currently offering access to Mulesoft’s Cloudcat, including Amazon with its Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) infrastructure, and GoGrid, a San Francisco-based cloud services provider whose data center was built by Worldcom in 2000. Amazon’s Cloudcat offering is based on Canonical‘s Ubuntu Linux distribution and costs $.30 per hour, while GoGrid’s offering is based on Red Hat Linux and costs $29 per month. Both offerings include technical support from Mulesoft. For more information, visit www.mulesoft.com.