O'Reilly European Open Source Convention - October 17-20, 2005 - Amsterdam, The Netherlands
 Convention Coverage


Taming Deployment with SmartFrog
Steve Loughran, Researcher, HP Laboratories
Julio Guijarro, Senior Researcher, HP Labs Bristol

Track: Java
Date: Tuesday, 18 October 2005
Time: 11:35 - 12:20
Location: Foyer Room

Loughran introduces SmartFrog, the Java-based distributed deployment infrastructure from HP Laboratories, which is LGPL licensed and hosted on sourceforge: http://smartfrog.org/

The problem: deployment. Why is it so hard? Because it's complicated; everything needs to be configured to suit a particular installation, and you can't test configuration problems in advance. Most critically, it is the last place in the build where too much is done by hand. If you can automate deployment, including configuration, you can regain control of deployment.

SmartFrog is a template language for configuring pieces of a distributed application, and a distributed runtime for deploying it. Central is its notion of a "component": each component represents a piece of the distributed application, a piece with its own parameters and lifecycle. An application is described in the SmartFrog language; the distributed runtime will choreograph their deployment across peer hosts in the network. It can be used for basic single-host deployment, yet scale up to grid-style deployment of applications across hundreds of nodes. Loughran covers:

  • Core concepts: templates and components, the component lifecycle.
  • The language
  • The runtime: a daemon on every host, instantiation local components, and choreographing deployment with its peers.
  • Security: owned deployments, not owned systems.

Loughran demonstrates example uses, such as WAR/EAR deployment or distributed JUnit.

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