News Column

Patent Issued for Techniques for Providing an Application Service to an Application from an Appliance-Style Application Services Platform

September 11, 2014



By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Computer Weekly News -- A patent by the inventors Todd, Stephen J. (Shrewsbury, MA); Bauer, Andreas L. (Boxborough, MA); Cotter, Gerald E. (Hopkinton, MA), filed on September 28, 2007, was published online on August 26, 2014, according to news reporting originating from Alexandria, Virginia, by VerticalNews correspondents.

Patent number 8819203 is assigned to EMC Corporation (Hopkinton, MA).

The following quote was obtained by the news editors from the background information supplied by the inventors: "In general, a server is a computer that services requests from one or more client computers linked by a network. For instance, a SQL server is a specialized computer that provides database access in response to SQL-coded client requests. Similarly, a web server is a specialized computer that provides web pages in response to web page requests.

"The principal component to such a server is its specialized server application. Such an application typically includes a complex set of programs, configuration information, and data files, among other things. Additionally, such an application typically imposes a stringent set of minimal computer requirements to operate properly. Microsoft SQL Server.RTM. offered by Microsoft Corporation of Redmond, Wash. is an example of a SQL application. Apache HTTP Server offered by the Apache Software Foundation of Forest Hill, Md. is an example of a web server application. Microsoft Exchange Server.RTM. offered by Microsoft Corporation is an example of a messaging and collaborative software application.

"The underlying hardware and operating system provide resources (e.g., compute time, memory, bandwidth, data storage, etc.) that enable the server application to achieve its various functions. For certain security protection services that the server application or operating system is otherwise incapable of otherwise obtaining (e.g., specialized anti-virus protection, firewall protection, and spam filtering), an independent application can be added to the server to provide those services.

"In addition to the operating system services and the security protection services that an application can receive while running on a server, the application may require additional resources over time. For example, there may be a need to increase the application's throughput or storage capacity as demands on the application and the server grow. At some point, it may no longer be practical or even possible to (i) increase the server's compute power by simply upgrading or adding processors on the server, or (ii) increase the server's storage capacity by simply adding more disk drives or replacing existing disk drives with higher capacity disk drives.

"Once upgrading the individual components of the server is no longer possible or practical, the typical approach to increasing the capabilities of the application (e.g., the application's throughput and storage capacity) is to replace the original server with a new more powerful server that has more computer power and memory capacity. To this end, a technician often makes a copy of the application's data and manually stores that copy on the new more powerful server. The technician further shuts down the original server and runs a new version of the application on the new more powerful server."

In addition to the background information obtained for this patent, VerticalNews journalists also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent: "Unfortunately, there are drawbacks to the above-described approach to increasing the capabilities of the application running on the server. For example, the manual transition from the original server to the new more powerful server typically requires the involvement (time, an eye for detail, etc.) of trained and experienced technicians. Often, such a technician may be skilled and well-versed on managing operation of a particular server application, but lack important training to manage other server applications running on the same or adjacent computer systems.

"Furthermore, even when such talent is readily available, migration of the application and its data to new more powerful server often becomes difficult as additional hardware comes into play and key information changes location. Often, the risk of human error is legitimate due to the complexity of the application. As such, it is quite possible that manually carrying out migration of the application and its data from the original server to the new more powerful server may result in a loss of some information or functionality requiring additional unbudgeted time, effort and expense.

"In contrast to the above-described deficiencies to manually migrating an application from an original server to a new more powerful server, an improved technique of providing an application service to an application involves utilization of an application services platform (e.g., an appliance-style device which is added to enhance operation of the application). Such an application services platform is able to provide application services to one or more applications without significantly burdening the original server or servers running the applications since the application services platform can be provisioned with its own processing circuitry and storage. Moreover, the application services platform is capable of being pre-configured for automatic discovery and user-friendly application migration so that eventual application migration to the application services platform can take place more transparently while the original server or servers are still running.

"One embodiment is directed to an application services platform which includes a platform chassis, a network interface supported by the platform chassis, and a control circuit supported by the platform chassis and coupled to the network interface. The control circuit is arranged to connect to a network through the network interface, and receive an application service command from a user. The application service command gives the control circuit permission to provide an application service to an application running on a server on the network. The control circuit is further arranged to provide the application service to the application running on the server on the network in response to receipt of the application service command. The application services platform is capable of being provided in the form of an appliance-style device which is simply added as a new device on the network."

URL and more information on this patent, see: Todd, Stephen J.; Bauer, Andreas L.; Cotter, Gerald E.. Techniques for Providing an Application Service to an Application from an Appliance-Style Application Services Platform. U.S. Patent Number 8819203, filed September 28, 2007, and published online on August 26, 2014. Patent URL: http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO1&Sect2=HITOFF&d=PALL&p=1&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsrchnum.htm&r=1&f=G&l=50&s1=8819203.PN.&OS=PN/8819203RS=PN/8819203

Keywords for this news article include: EMC Corporation, Software, Web Server.

Our reports deliver fact-based news of research and discoveries from around the world. Copyright 2014, NewsRx LLC


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Source: Computer Weekly News


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