A growing number of customers are choosing to bind their Pivotal Cloud Foundry (PCF) applications to Solace PubSub+ event brokers. PubSub+ is a great match for PCF application developers, many of whom are developing event-driven microservices with Spring. The Solace PubSub+ for PCF tile makes deploying PubSub+ in PCF simple, manageable and repeatable.

The tile has been available for over a year and has matured over various releases. In September, with version 2.1 we added support for Solace PubSub+ Standard Edition, a forever-free enterprise-grade message broker that supports publish/subscribe, queueing, request/reply, and streaming, along with integrated high availability (HA) and disaster recovery (DR).

Now, just in time for the holiday season, we are releasing version 2.2.0 of the PubSub+ for PCF tile, which is chock-full of useful, customer-requested features.

Summary of new features:

  • On-demand service broker
  • Support for application security groups (ASGs)
  • Service instances are ready for dynamic message routing
  • Configurable webhook triggered by service lifecycle changes (create, update, delete)
  • Export/import service instance configuration settings for service backup and restore for migration
  • Operator-configurable service plans

The release includes other features and fixes you can learn about in the release notes, but I’d like to explain the most noteworthy additions and enhancements.

On-Demand Service Broker

The on-demand service broker (ODB) allows the service instances to be created dynamically. It provisions resources for the service “on-demand” rather than allocating services from a pool of pre-provisioned PubSub+ event brokers on virtual machines (VMs).

ODB provides more elastic and instance-specific resources to the services created. This is made much easier by having the underlying VM resources allocated on demand.

The tile operator can have a combination of services that use both the pre-allocated broker/VMs and the new on-demand service instances.

Application Security Groups (ASGs)

Support for ASGs allows the PubSub+ tile to automatically manage the required ASGs for the operator.

Pivotal defines ASGs as “a collection of egress rules that specify the protocols, ports, and IP address ranges where app or task instances send traffic.”

The Solace tile support for ASGs means that when an app is bound to a PubSub+ service instance, the necessary rules are automatically created to allow that app to properly communicate with and use the service, and when an app is unbound or deleted, so is the ASG. This eliminates any guesswork or trial and error in configuring an app to communicate with PubSub+ services.

Dynamic Message Routing (DMR)

Dynamic Message Routing is a recently introduced feature that enables PubSub+ event brokers to be easily configured into an intelligent, self-routing mesh that automatically distributes events between any number of globally-distributed applications and devices as if they were connected to a single broker.

The PubSub+ for PCF tile 2.2.0 supports DMR by creating service instances that are ready to be configured by the PubSub+ user to participate in this event mesh. The event mesh can be amongst other PubSub+ for PCF service instances or with external, non-PCF PubSub+ event brokers running in other clouds, on-premises, or wherever… or some combination of all of these!

Configurable webhook triggered by service lifecycle changes

This release has a configurable webhook that will make an outbound REST call to your chosen endpoint after certain lifecycle events for your service such as service creation, edit or deletion.

The webhook enables automation and orchestration of custom tasks related to the lifecycle of your PubSub+ PCF service, and will find a natural home within DevOps CI/CD pipelines.

Export/import service instance settings

Sometimes you want to be able to be able to backup (and possibly restore) the configuration of your PubSub+ for PCF services.

You may also want to be able to template the configuration of a service so that it’s repeatable across service instances. For example, you want your development, test, and production services to have the same queues and topics.

The export/import feature allows you to export a service configuration to an external file. You can also choose to import it into another new service to set the configuration to what is in the exported configuration.

Note that this feature is released as beta as there is some functionality still under development and some known limitations. The feature is usable and Solace would like your feedback on it while it is in beta. The beta tag will be removed in a future version of the PubSub+ for PCF tile.

Operator-configurable service plans

The PubSub+ for PCF tile comes with various pre-configured service plans that can be deployed as-is. In some cases, the tile operator might want to customize these plans to offer different service options to their developer applications. They might also want to create new custom plans for their users to complement (or replace) the Solace-supplied service plans.

The 2.2.0 release allows you to create new service plans, customize the VM types, number of message VPNs, and more. The PubSub+ tile will automatically apply scaling tiers to match the resource allocations in service plans you create.

Summary

We’ve developed this new version of the Solace PubSub+ for PCF tile in close consultation with many Solace/Pivotal customers. We think it includes some terrific new features and some operational improvements that make it a must-have for those looking to use PubSub+ on the Pivotal stack.

We hope you agree, so please let us know how it goes after you install or upgrade!

Andrew MacKenzie

Andrew MacKenzie is the Product Manager for PubSub+ Cloud. He's an experienced, technical, Pragmatic Marketing-certified Product Manager with over 18 years in the role and 20+ years in the enterprise software industry in various capacities. Andrew has experience in a variety of markets such as enterprise business intelligence, software security tools, medical records software, content security for digital media and supply chain planning with a focus on effectively bringing products to market as a part of cross-functional teams.