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From "J. Eric Smith" <>
Subject mod_webapp/Tomcat4 ready for production level stuff?
Date Tue, 27 Nov 2001 21:11:07 GMT
I'm getting ready to put specs together on a load balanced cluster
designed around open source software, and the time has come to decide
what JSP/Servlet engine we're going to use.
Up until this point we've used Weblogic for industrial strength web app
development and we've been very happy with everything but the price
($10k per cluster node).  Now we've got a client who wants to
demonstrate open source and at the same time try and keep all the
software "free" as possible.  We've selected PostgreSQL as our backend
database, and we're using Apache 1.3.22 on Linux with the latest stable
So, to the point:  is Tomcat4 ready to play with the big boys?  Granted,
we're not expecting all the bells and whistles of Weblogic (or speed,
for that matter), but what about stability and ease of use?   I've
downloaded Tomcat4 and installed it, along with the bastard child called
mod_webapp, which I have never gotten to work properly.  I've read an
awful lot of horror stories in this forum that really make me think that
Tomcat4 is not ready to take this mantle.  The documentation is
attrocious.  Can I really trust a business app (albeit a small one) to
I've been looking at non-freeware alternatives like Resin, and the
polish shows.  Resin's install is flawless, the documentation is rich
and complete, and unlike mod_webapp, it works without having to
sacrifice any small furry animals or limb detaching.
I'm a Systems Engineering guy, not a programmer, so I don't have time to
figure out the intricacies and pitfalls that Tomcat4 seems to want me to
go through.  To me, Java is something that the "other guys down the
hall" program on.  I'm just responsible for picking the hardware, OS,
the app environment, and then making it all run happily together.  The
Java guys simply don't care what engine I use, so somebody out there
speak up:  is Tomcat4 ready for prime time production?  If not, how
soon?  And if not soon, what about alternatives that are either free or
available for under $2000 per node?
Many thanks to all.
J. Eric Smith

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