LATEST VERSION: 3.2 - CHANGELOG
Pivotal tc Server v3.2

Overview of tc Server

Pivotal tc Server is a Web application server based on open-source Apache Tomcat. It preserves the best of Tomcat and adds many mission-critical operational capabilities that are unavailable in the open-source product. tc Server harnesses the power of traditional JEE architectures and eliminates their complexity and performance drawbacks, making it easier, faster, and more cost-effective to build and run cloud-ready applications. With its lean architecture and small memory footprint, tc Server requires significantly fewer resources than conventional servers, which allows for greater server density in virtual and cloud environments.

Usability Enhancements to Apache Tomcat

The tc Server runtime component, known as tc Runtime, offers usability advantages that make it easier, faster, and more flexible to configure and operate than Apache Tomcat.

tc Runtime includes the following usability enhancements:

  • Improved out-of-the-box configuration. In most cases, you can use tc Server immediately after you install it, with no additional configuration.
  • Easy creation of a tc Runtime instance with the tcruntime-instance command script. You can leverage additional (optional) configuration features by specifying prepackaged or custom templates when you create a tc Runtime instance, such as automatically configuring clustering or SSL.
  • Easy and intuitive startup of a tc Runtime instance on both UNIX and Windows platforms.
  • Default configuration of high-concurrency JDBC connection pool in new tc Runtime instances.

tc Server Editions

tc Server is available in three different editions. tc Server Developer is geared towards the enterprise application developer. tc Server Standard and Spring Edition are designed for operators and administrators.

Table 1. Pivotal tc Server Editions

The following sections describe the tc Server editions:

Developer Edition

The Developer Edition of tc Server is geared towards the application developer. It contains the tc Runtime, utilities to create and start tc Runtime instances, and a set of templates for creating specific preconfigured tc Runtime instances, such as cluster-node ready and SSL-enabled.

This edition provides access to Spring Insight Developer, an application that provides real-time visibility into the behavior and performance of user applications. As of tc Server 3.2, Spring Insight Developer is accessible via the tcruntime-admin get-template command or downloadable from Pivotal Network. The tc Server Developer Edition allows the user to download a template called insight that includes the Spring Insight application. You use this template to create new tc Runtime instances enabled with Spring Insight. See About Spring Insight Developer for help setting up and using Spring Insight.

tc Server Developer Edition includes Tomcat Web Application Manager, a web application you can use to deploy and manage tc Runtime applications.

The Developer Edition is distributed as either a ZIP or compressed TAR file with the following names:

  • pivotal-tc-server-developer-version.tar.gz
  • pivotal-tc-server-developer-version.zip

Standard Edition

The Standard Edition of tc Server is for administrators and operators. Similarly to the Developer Edition, the Standard Edition contains the tc Runtime, scripts to easily create and start tc Runtime instances, and templates to quickly create specific types of tc Runtime instances (such as cluster-node ready or SSL-enabled). This edition allows you to access to Spring Insight Operations along with production open-source support as noted on the Pivotal App Suite page. Spring Insight Operations is accessible by using the tcruntime-admin get-template command.

Spring Insight Operations differs from Spring Insight Developer in that it is designed to be used with an in-production system. It allows you to view the real-time behavior and health of your production applications. You can see application behavior across all servers, and drill down to see specific servers. With Spring Insight Operations, you create one tc Runtime Instance using the Insight Dashboard template. This instance contains the Spring Insight user interface. You create production tc Runtime instances with the Insight Agent template. The Agent template adds the ability to collect traces from your web applications and forward them to the Dashboard instance.

The Standard Edition is distributed as either a ZIP or compressed TAR file with the following names:

  • pivotal-tc-server-standard-version.RELEASE.tar.gz
  • pivotal-tc-server-standard-version.RELEASE.zip

Pivotal tc Server Standard Edition is also available as an RPM for customers installing on Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL).

Easy Monitoring with the VMware vRealize Hyperic Agent Plug-In

VMware vRealize Hyperic is a comprehensive enterprise application management tool.

Two versions of the Hyperic Agent plugin are available:

tc Server Product Plugin

Pivotal provides a Hyperic Agent plugin for tc Runtime 8 to monitor your instances of Pivotal tc Server, all Spring-powered applications, and a variety of other platforms and application servers such as Apache Tomcat using VMware vRealize Hyperic Server. Hyperic provides a single console with powerful dashboards from which you can easily check the health of your applications. The capability to manage tc Server instances is not available.

With Hyperic Server you can:

  • Manage the lifecycle of tc Runtime instances by starting, stopping, and restarting local and remote instances.

In addition to the preceding tc Runtime-related actions, Hyperic performs these standard tasks:

  • Inventories the resources on your network.
  • Monitors your resources.
  • Alerts you to problems with resources.
  • Controls the resources.

Agile Application Development with Spring Insight Developer

Spring Insight Developer, available with tc Server Developer Edition, makes it easy for application developers to observe the runtime behavior of Web applications. It allows you to see what is happening deep in the application, while it is running, with no required instrumentation. The visibility Spring Insight provides enables you to identify and solve problems quickly and to harden and tune the application by using readily available performance observations.

Application Cluster Monitoring with Spring Insight Operations

Spring Insight Operations enables administrators to monitor the real-time behavior and health of Web applications and the servers on which they are deployed. It gives the same deep visibility into applications as Spring Insight Developer, as well as the capability to view the information across a cluster or to drill down to any single server.

Whereas Spring Insight Developer runs within a single tc Server instance alongside the Web applications it analyzes, Spring Insight Operations uses a distributed architecture. A single, dedicated tc Server instance runs the Spring Insight Dashboard. Each tc Server instance hosting applications in your cluster runs the Spring Insight Agent application. The Agents collect trace data and submit it to the Dashboard, where the information is compiled and rendered. This design minimizes the overhead Spring Insight adds to your production servers and makes it easier to secure the Dashboard.

Migrating Java EE Applications to tc Server

If you have Java EE applications you would like to migrate from another runtime to tc Server, you can use the Spring Migration Analyzer command-line tool to generate migration analysis reports that contain information about the APIs the application uses, and any migration tasks that might be necessary to run the application on tc Runtime.

You can download the Spring Migration Analyzer.

Because tc Runtime is based on Apache Tomcat, much information about the tc Runtime itself is provided by Apache. See the following documentation:

The following links provide additional documentation for programmers developing Web applications using the Spring Framework and standard Java EE technologies such as servlets and JSPs: