Tomcat Review

It's maybe the easiest and simplest Java Web Server on the market, but its centralized management console needs work.


What is most valuable?

  • It’s an open source software project, developed under the Java community process and the Apache license version 2.
  • It has a big knowledge base.
  • It works very well with web projects that have a low budget.
  • Scalability
  • Simple configuration files

How has it helped my organization?

In my organization we have lots of technologies and we use Apache Tomcat for web projects that don’t need the EJB implementation. We use it because it is cheaper than other products, and we have in-house knowledge of the topic. Actually, we have large-scale and mission-critical web applications running in Apache Tomcat with a reasonable budget.

What needs improvement?

This product needs an improvement to its centralized management console that can apply configurations and deployments for large scale clusters and groups of servers without the need of accessing each server to apply the changes. Also, it would be nice to have multiple profiles pre-configured for specific utilization, like other products in the market.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using Apache Tomcat since the beginning of 2010.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

If you have a nice development team, with best practices in mind and good code implementation technicians, everything will be OK.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

You only need to test and monitor to find the correct set of configurations for your system or situation. Beware of this, and with patience and some criteria you will find the best set of configurations to stabilize your application in a short time period.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Same as above, you just need to test and monitor to find your needs to attend your system or situation.

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer Service:

There is no customer service, only the Apache Tomcat community, but there is a large knowledge base.

Technical Support:

There is no official technical support for this product and you don’t find the solution at the community, then you need to acquire consultant services from the market.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

Once, we had a big cluster that needed complex configurations and we changed our option and now work with JBoss 6 EAP from Red Hat. This was because it has a centralized management console for cluster configuration and to apply changes to all the nodes at the same time that’s simplified a lot our work.

How was the initial setup?

Apache Tomcat, maybe the easiest and simplest Java Web Server on the market,as you just configure your environment and start it. The deployment depends on your needs, but it can be one server or a hundred, but if you don’t need the EJB implementation you can go without it. To deploy your application just go to the console or just copy the file to all the nodes from the group. It's really easy.

What about the implementation team?

We always do implementations with our in-house teams. Our level of knowledge of this product is very high, and the community people always help with your project, or you just find the answer when you need.

What was our ROI?

To calculate the ROI of this product, it depends on your knowledge. If you have the knowledge in-house, it is just free, there is no investment, just the infrastructure you need to operate it and with the market there are plenty of nice cloud vendors. It's easy to find a solution on a budget.

If you don’t have the knowledge in-house, there are other vendors in the market that are Tomcat based and have other features like centralized management, modular functionality, customer services, technical global support, SLA and can fully attend the JAVA EE 6 and 7 specifications. For example, we have JBoss EAP from Red Hat, which is, maybe, the best correlation between price/performance/support at the market.

If Apache Tomcat works with your application and you have the knowledge, you can use it without fear. Just test, monitor and deploy.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

If you don’t have the knowledge in-house, there are other vendors in the market that are Tomcat based and have other features like centralized management, modular functionality, customer services, technical global support, SLA and can fully attend the JAVA EE 6 and 7 specifications. For example we have JBoss EAP from Red Hat, which is, maybe, the best correlation between price/performance/support at the market.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Tomcat is the best product in this category. If you have low budget and if you just need Java server pages, servlets and basic pages, it does the job. Apache Tomcat powers numerous large-scale, mission-critical web applications across a diverse range of industries and organizations, but always remember that you need to have in-house knowledge to work with it!

What other advice do I have?

You don’t need to have fear. It is simple and efficient. Just search the community and you will find your answers.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
4 Comments
author avatarSolutions Architect at a transportation company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Vendor

Hi,

very nice summary. I my experience I saw that also the organisation of the company, co-located and self-organized teams, or waterfall external supplier and architectural design of the enterprise environment have huge impact on decision if you go for decentralised or centralised solutions.

I'm a big fan of both Tomcat and JBoss EAP and as you pointed out, we can see us lucky of having a choice to use that what fits to our situation.

Thanks for the article!
Regards
Aksel

author avatarConsultor en Gestión de Información at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
Consultant

Thanks for your review, it's so useful. I'm a real user too, I have two entrepreneurships and both use Tomcat as Java web server, one has a core API on RoR, the other one is fully developed on Java. I've managed cluster of tomcats with great results (+13,500 active user sessions and +32,500 pages per minute). Greetings...

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