by Ruth Suehle
JBoss Operations Network (JON) recently became available as an open source solution through the Jopr project. (That’s pronounced “jopper.”) We interviewed Chris Morgan from Red Hat’s JON group to learn more.
1. What does Jopr do?
Jopr is an open source project that provides an integrated management platform that simplifies the development, testing, deployment, and monitoring of your JBoss technologies. From a single console you can inventory and monitor resources from the operating system to deployed applications. It also lets users control and audit application configurations to standardize deployments. It’s a robust solution to manage, monitor, and tune your applications for improved visibility, performance, and availability.
2. What about Embedded Jopr?
Embedded Jopr provides many of the same features as Jopr, but only for a single instance or (in the near future) a cluster of JBoss technologies. It’s essentially an administration console to manage JBoss products–users don’t have to rely so much on command line and XML configuration to set up their JBoss environment and applications.
It doesn’t offer the extensive monitoring and historical auditing capabilities of Jopr, but it is perfect for an individual developer or administrator to use. In contrast, Jopr is what you use to manage the entire enterprise or multiple instances and clusters from one location.
3. How does Jopr fit in with JON and RHQ?
RHQ is the platform on which Jopr is written. RHQ provides a very extensible plug-in technology that allows for many other technologies to be managed. Jopr includes all of the existing RHQ plugins, plus JBoss-specific ones. In turn, Jopr is the true upstream to commercial JBoss Operations Network (JON).
So you could think of it this way: RHQ is upstream to Jopr, which is upstream to JBoss Operations Network.
4. How did the project get started?
The project has really been in the works for a while, starting when it was becoming clear that JBoss needed a tool to help enable solutions for “non-developers” as the JBoss footprint continued to grow.
Typically, the groups responsible for operations in an environment are not the developers, so they need a different set of tools. Most operations staff are concerned with uptime and making sure the environment is compliant and ready to use for the customers they support. Jopr is the open source solution to provide that for JBoss technologies.
5. Tell us about the name.
Well, the team actually went through what seemed like hundreds of names, but almost every one we were close to choosing had some sort of issue where it was taken, trademarked, or just not “sticky” enough. So legend has it that a 1983 Matthew Broderick and Ally Sheedy flick called War Games was the eventual inspiration.
The real star of the movie was an artificial intelligence computer the military used called W.O.P.R. (pronounced whopper). From this, Jopr was born (it’s not a acronym as in the movie–that would have opened an entire other set of issues for getting a trademark). So it met the criteria of not being taken, it could be trademarked. And it was definitely “sticky,” as there is really no project, especially not in the Java space, that is even close.
6. So how is Embedded Jopr different from the consoles that have shipped with JBoss Application Server in the past?
Previous consoles for the application server were designed with a “developer” in mind, so they required some JBoss and Java expertise to use. With Embedded Jopr (and really, Jopr, too), it’s all about enabling JBoss for operations by making administrative and management tasks easier. We hope that with the open source community helping us, we can continue to push that goal forward.