Going Front and Center in the App Server Playing Field
Pramati Server: Sophisticated, high-performance application server at a relatively low price. Pramati Server has always been a nimble player in a game largely controlled by behemoths. Version 3.5's low price point combined with easy-to-use yet comprehensive features bring it to the center of the playing field.
Considering that BEA, IBM, Oracle, and Microsoft collectively own 80 percent of the application server market, and open-source Tomcat is essentially free, a product entering the app server space must be highly compelling if it expects to gain a foothold.
Pramati's Pramati Server 3.5 is.
The server is easy to install and offers exceptional performance, easy management of enterprise applications, and high-end features, like load balancing, content caching, and an application deployment wizard that automates the process of creating the file and directory structure necessary to deploy a Java application.
The server is available in a Windows version or as a Java application that will run on any Java-enabled platform with JDK 1.3.1_01 or higher, 128 MB of RAM (although 256 MB is recommended), and 50 MB of hard disk space. Installing the Windows version was easy and straightforward, as was that of the Java version. Our testing was done on the Windows version.
Pramati Server 3.5 supports the latest Java standards, including J2EE, EJB 2.0, JMS, JAAS, and JCA. It also coexists peacefully with a number of other application and Web servers, including BEA WebLogic, Apache, IIS, and Tomcat, with the 'Point-n-Run' utility enabling applications to be deployed on other servers. It is not necessary to migrate the applications, although that process is also easy -- they can be run where they are.
If you wish to migrate the apps, however, the deploy tool automates the process. It worked flawlessly with the apps with which we tested it. The deploy tool also makes it very easy to assemble packages with new apps. It automatically creates all of the necessary configuration files and file structure. With pre-flight validation and testing, the tools greatly simplify the process of assembling and managing Java apps.
Version 3.5 offers a host of features suitable for enterprise environments. The load balancer works with other app servers as well as other instances of the Pramati server. It can load balance Web sites and perform the usual tasks of a dedicated IP load balancer. It includes a sophisticated set of load-balancing algorithms and layer-seven features, such as session persistence and traffic direction, depending on URI or Java session ID. In addition, the content caching engine offers the most sophisticated caching rules we've seen. They cover both static and dynamic content and feature a variety of controls for aging content out of the cache.
Pramati Server is managed through the browser interface, with management of one server or a cluster equally simple. It offers different views for different types of users, so a low-level admin can see the data needed to perform maintenance tasks, and a top-level admin can follow the broad picture or get detailed diagnostics about every level of performance. Reporting and monitoring features are quite sophisticated as well. Alerts provide a variety of options for notifying the administrator should problems occur. Historical tracking of data is supported, providing a way to measure load increases over time and an invaluable troubleshooting tool.
Pramati Server allows configurations to be changed on the fly, without rebooting. Rollbacks to previous versions of applications are also easy to do. Classes can be loaded for a group of applications or by individual application. The server supports PHP, Perl, and CGI scripts -- they can be run directly on the Pramati Server or another server, as desired. Scripting can also be done through XML, to both deploy and administer the server. This allows applications to be moved, new servers to be installed and configured, and clusters to be reconfigured.
Given its relatively low cost of $2,500 per CPU ($5,000 per CPU for the Enterprise version with load balancing and messaging), Pramati Server 3.5 is an excellent value, offering features comparable to the big players at a much lower cost. We therefore recommend all Java developers shopping around give Pramati Server 3.5 a closer look and take advantage of the free 30-day trial version or the free six-month developer editions.
Pros: Management interface makes it simple to control a cluster of app servers as well as drill-down and diagnostics;
Deployment tool enables the easy creation and deployment of application packages;
Drag-n-drop architecture makes heterogeneous app server environments easy to create;
supports a variety of servers and third-party tools
Cons: Manuals are not as comprehensive as they could be
Reviewed by: Logan Harbaugh
Original Review Date: 1/22/2004
Original Review Version: 3.5
IT Solutions Builder TOP IT RESOURCES TO MOVE YOUR BUSINESS FORWARD
Which topic are you interested in?
What is your company size?
What is your job title?
What is your job function?
Searching our resource database to find your matches...