Planning Your Cloud Stack: Apache Open for Business (OFBiz)

by Vitaly SedelnikOctober 18, 2010

In the previous post, I reviewed some cloud stack options using Magento as an e-commerce platform. Today, I’ll elaborate on the options based on another e-commerce solution, Open for Business (OFBiz). Again, I’ll focus on cloud infrastructure, database, and management options most suitable for this cloud stack.

OFBiz is an open source enterprise automation software project that includes such components as CMS, e-commerce, CRM, ERP, etc. OFBiz is based on the Java EE platform and makes use of JavaDB as a database server, Apache Geronimo as an application server, and Tomcat or Jetty as a Web server.

Infrastructure options for OFBiz are just the same as for Magento: the favorable option is EC2, however, private infrastructure or hybrid cloud should also be considered. OFBiz utilizes JavaDB (also called Apache Derby) as a database engine. JavaDB has no built-in clustering support. However, it could be integrated with another open source solution called Sequoia to provide replication over multiple data nodes, load balancing, and failover. Sequoia is licensed under the Apache license.

OFBiz, the Accounting Manager app (Image credit)

Since OFBiz and its application server, Apache Geronimo, are both based on the Java EE platform, OFBiz has a built-in support for clustering at the application server level. So, this becomes a matter of proper configuration of Geronimo. With such management solution as RightScale, adding application nodes can be done automatically—the only thing you need to do is prepare the appropriate instance templates and scripts.

Another promising clustering option for running OFBiz is using the Terracotta framework that allows virtually any Java application to be executed on several instances within a cloud. Terracotta works at the JVM level. Therefore, the framework makes it possible to run tasks, such as sending e-mails, preparing reports, or doing maintenance jobs, on dedicated nodes and improve the overall system performance.

So, the proposed solution stack for OFBiz is as follows:

  1. EC2–RightScale–JavaDB
  2. Sequoia–Terracotta
  3. Geronimo–Tomcat

For other possible stacks, please see the picture below.

OFBiz, reference architecture