Glassfish v3 may never support clustering & more

This does not sound good! The Oracle takeover of Sun Microsystem can be painful for people who have used Glassfish as their application server thinking its open source & with best support for Java & JEE features.

1. Clustering Support
As I can collect from "Oracle + Sun: Application Server webcasts" and other resources, Glassfish v3 will probably never have centralized clustering feature available.
You can use mod_jk today with GlassFish v3 (but no centralized admin/nodeagent yet & probably never).

The slide #15 of the Oracle + Sun: Application Server webcast states:

Glassfish will be for productive and agile development.
Weblogic is the availabillity and scalability solution.
Therefore the v2 was the last GF with clustering facilities.

The centralized clustering feature was supported in v2 and therefore Glassfish v2 was the last Glassfish with clustering facilities.

2. Future Licensing terms may change for some GlassFish modules

Most of the components of the GlassFish plattform are available under a
Dual License consisting of the Common Development and Distribution License (CDDL) v1.0 and GNU Public License (GPL) v2. Details for GFv2 can be found on the Glassfish Wiki. This will stay the same for most of the modules. Except for the modules which will be part of Weblogic 11g, and most probably those 3 are
(Metro, Jersey, Grizzly)

3. There will be tool support for migrating Glassfish Apps to Weblogic Server

The complete development to production staging process will be addressed by upcoming Oracle solutions.
JDeveloper and/or OEPE will have plugins/support for automatic migration of Glassfish apps to Weblogic.
The Weblogic split deployment directory structure will also be enhanced with staging features.
There will probably also be new maven plugins supporting dev and productive builds with Glassfish and Weblogic.

4. Two camps may be emerging with these steps from Sun+Oracle

One camp will be for the already established big fortune 100, 500, and 1000 companies who will go with the big solution, fully integrated, and costly technology provided by Sun+Oracle,
while another group of technology savvy/capable organizations (e.g. Google, and Yahoo), going the way of stringing together best of breed open source solutions already out there. These solutions may be run on a grid of hundreds/thousands of commodity hardware or on some cloud platform.

In fact, now I can see more areas/avenues need to be addressed by open source community. So fellow developers, I think its time to start contributing more to open source.

BTW, Despite so many feature support on Glassfish v2 and other app servers, "Tomcat" is still my first love and will remain forever :). Thanks to Jakarta & Apache Open source developers.

Some resources to read more on my source of thought:

Oracle + Sun Product Strategy Webcast Series
GlassFish vs. WebLogic - 10 visions for the future
Oracle for big businesses, open source for other businesses?
GlassFish v2 Wiki
Glassfish v3 Node Agent Question in java forum


  1. I don't think anyone should be paranoid about the future of GlassFish until they release their roadmap shortly to show their direction. I've talked with people inside and they have told me that GlassFish V3 will match V2.1 capabilities including clustering.

    There are two kinds of customers. Ones that buy GlassFish, and ones that buy WebLogic. WebLogic customers will not use GlassFish, and GlassFish customers will not use WebLogic. It's the same with MySQL and Oracle DB. Now Oracle owns the best application servers in both markets.

  2. "Now Oracle owns the best application servers in both markets." - I think you missed WAS7, not to mention JBoss AS at the very least.

  3. We migrated from JBoss to GlassFish because at the time (maybe even still) it had much better management capabilities. Both web based and command line. Also GlassFish is always on top of the latest Java EE standards. How long did it take JBoss to get Java EE 5 certified? I like what JBoss has been doing with Seam, CDI, JPA and JSF2. For that reason I will be giving it a second look with the release of JBoss AS 6.

  4. @Ryan - Thanks for your comment. I still don't understand a reason why they will support same features in GF3 since its is going to self competing product with WLS. I am sure WLS is more money making server then any version of GF. It will be great to see the future road-map.

    I loved the clustering setup in GF2 it was very much simplified for setting up the clusters.

    On the other hand I think Weblogic cluster is a clutter to setup. I have worked on Weblogic clusters from version 6.0 and since then there has been no improvement in setting up the clustering.
    1) We never found one standard script which works for setting up a new cluster domain and when we contact the support they need a weeks time to develop custom scripts for setting up new cluster domain.
    2) The support for Weblogic is really poor from the time Oracle has taken over BEA.

    I am not sure hows your experience with WLS, let me know if you had a better experience.

    @Jacek - Thanks for bringing in these two names. I have not used JBoss AS clustering but have friends who used it and it works absolutely great. I never used WAS7 but I am sure its not a cheap licensed server.

  5. Look at it this way: if Oracle turned GlassFish into an undesirable product, then the companies paying $4500 - $7500 for support contracts are not going to migrate to WebLogic -- they are going to migrate to JBoss or Resin. I know that's what I'd do. When I watched the Oracle videos I did not get a bad taste in my mouth. I felt encouraged about GlassFish's future. Oracle fought so hard to say that MySQL does not compete with Oracle DB so they could close the deal. I think it's the same with GlassFish and WebLogic.

  6. Where to begin with this post? In short, it's completely wrong. A roadmap for GlassFish 3 going forward is imminent. Try to withhold speculation until the details are known. I'll just leave it at that.

  7. For the person that said clustering setup has not improved since WebLogic 6, then they haven't tried it lately. I've been using WebLogic since version 4.1 (circa '99) and found that it's always getting easier to manage and setup.

  8. @Ryan - I strongly agree wit the thought about "migrate to WebLogic" will have them lose their customers. I would do the same if asked for.

    @Anonymous - Thanks for sharing your experience. We have used the recent version of Weblogic. We spent Whole of last month in setting up the clustering environment on 64bit Linux OS and it was a nightmare. We opened at least 10 support tickets and it was useless. As I said this was our recent experience. The administration of WLS (after initial setup is done) has improved a lot from previous versions.
    Thanks a lot for sharing your experience. I would like to hear more about your recent experience on setting up WLS from scratch on 64bit Linux machines.

  9. For my readers adding another comment as posted by pelegri@dzone -

    Just do a search on the GlassFish aliases or in the wiki and you will see plenty of evidence for the GF v3 cluster work. See for example: [GF3 Clustering]

  10. @Justin - Thanks for your comment. I would like to withhold speculation. At the same time I would also like to get more insight on which open source Application server to choose in current situation when its not clear. Feel free to share your thoughts on it.

    I would love to experiment on JBOSS. Any other decent option?

  11. GlassFish V3 (I think roadmap should be available before the end of the month), JBoss AS 6, and Resin 4.0 are the main open source Java EE 6 players. There is Geronimo too, but I don't think it's commercially supported unless you want to use WebSphere CE, which is purposely not as capable as full WebSphere.

  12. @Nazrul - Thanks a lot for the update. This looks great and gives me relief about GF3 future.

  13. GlassFish 3.1 with full clustering and high availability support is now available:


    And moving forward with Java EE 7. GlassFish is very much here to stay :-)


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