Eclipse Authors: Pat Romanski, Elizabeth White, Liz McMillan, David H Deans, JP Morgenthal

Related Topics: Linux Containers, IBM Cloud, @CloudExpo

Linux Containers: Article

Is WebSphere CloudBurst Right for You?

A look at the value of the WebSphere cloud management device

IBM Session at Cloud Expo

Trying to pick apart a particular IT solution to figure out if it is right for you and your business can be a daunting task.

Trying to do that for solutions in emerging spaces, like cloud computing, can seem even more difficult to the point of looking almost impossible.

Case in point, at most of my WebSphere CloudBurst sessions someone (usually multiple people) always asks how they can determine if this particular product is right for them.

It's a good and fair question, and one that I usually answer by asking a few questions of my own.

To best understand if WebSphere CloudBurst is potentially a fit for you and your organization, it's best if you ask yourself some of the questions below:

1) Do you feel as if you spend too much time and resource installing the software that makes up your application infrastructure stack?

Let's face it, if your goal is to develop and deliver applications to end users, chances are you want to spend as little time as possible installing and configuring the software that makes up your application infrastructure. It's likely you would rather invest more time and resource toward the research and development of applications.

The Hypervisor Edition virtual images that are used by WebSphere CloudBurst contain a pre-installed, pre-configured application infrastructure stack. The images include an operating system, web server tier, application middleware tier, and any other customizations you choose to include. Your valuable time and resource can be diverted away from tedious installations and back toward your applications.

2) Do you spend a lot of time and resource configuring your middleware application environments?

WebSphere CloudBurst makes it very easy to quickly build meaningful WebSphere application environments. You simply drag and drop components on a canvas to build your application infrastructure topology in the form of patterns. The appliance understands and automatically configures the relationship between the components in your pattern (i.e. it knows how to cluster application server nodes, configure web servers, etc.), so you don't have to spend your time doing these tasks. The appliance also automatically tunes the application environment during deployment to ensure that you start off on a solid performance footing.

In addition to what the appliance provides, you can include and save your own customizations in these reusable patterns. This means you can configure it once, save it in a pattern, and subsequently utilize that application environment as many times as necessary.

3) Are you plagued by bugs introduced due to inconsistent configuration as you promote your application environments from one context (development, test, staging, production, etc.) to the next?

If you are currently in or have ever spent time in an application development organization, you are probably acutely aware of the pains associated with the promotion of applications. Each time an application and its associated infrastructure is moved from one environment to the next, the possibility of a bug-causing change, ever so slight it may be, is real. These error-producing changes, especially those to configuration, can be extremely hard to track down and end up slowing down the project and ultimately costing you serious money.

Using the patterns-based approach in WebSphere CloudBurst drastically reduces the possibility of what is typically referred to as configuration drift for your application and application infrastructure as it moves along the promotion chain. The reason for this is that the configuration for your application and its infrastructure is preserved on the appliance in the form of a WebSphere CloudBurst pattern that can be locked down. These patterns can be deployed as many times and to as many different settings as necessary, and each time you are sure to get the same result. This isn't to say there is no flexibility with the patterns-based approach. The patterns can be parameterized to allow for deploy-time configuration for those things that may be different in each setting (i.e. database names, hostnames for external connections, etc.).

4) Is the lead time for setting up your middleware application environments inhibiting your capacity to be agile and responsive to changing requirements?

This one is quite simple and objective. Do you measure the amount of time it takes to get your application environments up and running in terms of days or weeks?

If so, WebSphere CloudBurst can improve upon that and turn your measurement of this lead time into minutes. Using the appliance, you can go from nothing to a fully running, clustered WebSphere Application Server cell in under 20 minutes. Similarly, you can have a fully installed and configured WebSphere Portal environment running in less than 15 minutes. Need a running DB2 environment? Try 3 minutes! No matter the environment you are provisioning with WebSphere CloudBurst, you can expect deployment times that enable agility and flexibility for your business.

5) Would you benefit from being able to schedule and automate the application of fixes and upgrades to your middleware application environments?

Do you dread the thought of applying fixes, upgrades, or other maintenance to your application environments? Perhaps it is a manually driven process that takes too long and is conducted at odd hours to avoid disruptive service outages. WebSphere CloudBurst allows you to apply both fixes and upgrades, and in addition you can use built-in scheduling to automate these actions. Each time the appliance applies a fix or upgrade, it begins the process by taking a snapshot of your entire environment. This provides a last-known good state that you can rollback to at any point with the click of a button.

These aren't the only issues to consider if you are thinking about the WebSphere CloudBurst Appliance solution, but they are at least a good starting point. If you answered yes to any or most of the questions above, you may want to take a look under the hood via a nice collection of technical articles and demonstrations. Also, feel free to reach out to me on Twitter @WebSphereClouds.

More Stories By Dustin Amrhein

Dustin Amrhein joined IBM as a member of the development team for WebSphere Application Server. While in that position, he worked on the development of Web services infrastructure and Web services programming models. In his current role, Dustin is a technical specialist for cloud, mobile, and data grid technology in IBM's WebSphere portfolio. He blogs at http://dustinamrhein.ulitzer.com. You can follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/damrhein.

@ThingsExpo Stories
DevOpsSummit New York 2018, colocated with CloudEXPO | DXWorldEXPO New York 2018 will be held November 11-13, 2018, in New York City. Digital Transformation (DX) is a major focus with the introduction of DXWorldEXPO within the program. Successful transformation requires a laser focus on being data-driven and on using all the tools available that enable transformation if they plan to survive over the long term. A total of 88% of Fortune 500 companies from a generation ago are now out of bus...
With 10 simultaneous tracks, keynotes, general sessions and targeted breakout classes, @CloudEXPO and DXWorldEXPO are two of the most important technology events of the year. Since its launch over eight years ago, @CloudEXPO and DXWorldEXPO have presented a rock star faculty as well as showcased hundreds of sponsors and exhibitors! In this blog post, we provide 7 tips on how, as part of our world-class faculty, you can deliver one of the most popular sessions at our events. But before reading...
DXWordEXPO New York 2018, colocated with CloudEXPO New York 2018 will be held November 11-13, 2018, in New York City and will bring together Cloud Computing, FinTech and Blockchain, Digital Transformation, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, AI, Machine Learning and WebRTC to one location.
DXWorldEXPO LLC announced today that ICOHOLDER named "Media Sponsor" of Miami Blockchain Event by FinTechEXPO. ICOHOLDER give you detailed information and help the community to invest in the trusty projects. Miami Blockchain Event by FinTechEXPO has opened its Call for Papers. The two-day event will present 20 top Blockchain experts. All speaking inquiries which covers the following information can be submitted by email to [email protected] Miami Blockchain Event by FinTechEXPO also offers s...
DXWorldEXPO | CloudEXPO are the world's most influential, independent events where Cloud Computing was coined and where technology buyers and vendors meet to experience and discuss the big picture of Digital Transformation and all of the strategies, tactics, and tools they need to realize their goals. Sponsors of DXWorldEXPO | CloudEXPO benefit from unmatched branding, profile building and lead generation opportunities.
Dion Hinchcliffe is an internationally recognized digital expert, bestselling book author, frequent keynote speaker, analyst, futurist, and transformation expert based in Washington, DC. He is currently Chief Strategy Officer at the industry-leading digital strategy and online community solutions firm, 7Summits.
Digital Transformation and Disruption, Amazon Style - What You Can Learn. Chris Kocher is a co-founder of Grey Heron, a management and strategic marketing consulting firm. He has 25+ years in both strategic and hands-on operating experience helping executives and investors build revenues and shareholder value. He has consulted with over 130 companies on innovating with new business models, product strategies and monetization. Chris has held management positions at HP and Symantec in addition to ...
Cloud-enabled transformation has evolved from cost saving measure to business innovation strategy -- one that combines the cloud with cognitive capabilities to drive market disruption. Learn how you can achieve the insight and agility you need to gain a competitive advantage. Industry-acclaimed CTO and cloud expert, Shankar Kalyana presents. Only the most exceptional IBMers are appointed with the rare distinction of IBM Fellow, the highest technical honor in the company. Shankar has also receive...
Enterprises have taken advantage of IoT to achieve important revenue and cost advantages. What is less apparent is how incumbent enterprises operating at scale have, following success with IoT, built analytic, operations management and software development capabilities - ranging from autonomous vehicles to manageable robotics installations. They have embraced these capabilities as if they were Silicon Valley startups.
Poor data quality and analytics drive down business value. In fact, Gartner estimated that the average financial impact of poor data quality on organizations is $9.7 million per year. But bad data is much more than a cost center. By eroding trust in information, analytics and the business decisions based on these, it is a serious impediment to digital transformation.
The standardization of container runtimes and images has sparked the creation of an almost overwhelming number of new open source projects that build on and otherwise work with these specifications. Of course, there's Kubernetes, which orchestrates and manages collections of containers. It was one of the first and best-known examples of projects that make containers truly useful for production use. However, more recently, the container ecosystem has truly exploded. A service mesh like Istio addr...
Predicting the future has never been more challenging - not because of the lack of data but because of the flood of ungoverned and risk laden information. Microsoft states that 2.5 exabytes of data are created every day. Expectations and reliance on data are being pushed to the limits, as demands around hybrid options continue to grow.
Business professionals no longer wonder if they'll migrate to the cloud; it's now a matter of when. The cloud environment has proved to be a major force in transitioning to an agile business model that enables quick decisions and fast implementation that solidify customer relationships. And when the cloud is combined with the power of cognitive computing, it drives innovation and transformation that achieves astounding competitive advantage.
As IoT continues to increase momentum, so does the associated risk. Secure Device Lifecycle Management (DLM) is ranked as one of the most important technology areas of IoT. Driving this trend is the realization that secure support for IoT devices provides companies the ability to deliver high-quality, reliable, secure offerings faster, create new revenue streams, and reduce support costs, all while building a competitive advantage in their markets. In this session, we will use customer use cases...
Digital Transformation: Preparing Cloud & IoT Security for the Age of Artificial Intelligence. As automation and artificial intelligence (AI) power solution development and delivery, many businesses need to build backend cloud capabilities. Well-poised organizations, marketing smart devices with AI and BlockChain capabilities prepare to refine compliance and regulatory capabilities in 2018. Volumes of health, financial, technical and privacy data, along with tightening compliance requirements by...
The best way to leverage your Cloud Expo presence as a sponsor and exhibitor is to plan your news announcements around our events. The press covering Cloud Expo and @ThingsExpo will have access to these releases and will amplify your news announcements. More than two dozen Cloud companies either set deals at our shows or have announced their mergers and acquisitions at Cloud Expo. Product announcements during our show provide your company with the most reach through our targeted audiences.
The IoT Will Grow: In what might be the most obvious prediction of the decade, the IoT will continue to expand next year, with more and more devices coming online every single day. What isn’t so obvious about this prediction: where that growth will occur. The retail, healthcare, and industrial/supply chain industries will likely see the greatest growth. Forrester Research has predicted the IoT will become “the backbone” of customer value as it continues to grow. It is no surprise that retail is ...
Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life settlement products to hedge funds and investment banks. After, he co-founded a revenue cycle management company where he learned about Bitcoin and eventually Ethereal. Andrew's role at ConsenSys Enterprise is a mul...
DXWorldEXPO LLC announced today that "Miami Blockchain Event by FinTechEXPO" has announced that its Call for Papers is now open. The two-day event will present 20 top Blockchain experts. All speaking inquiries which covers the following information can be submitted by email to [email protected] Financial enterprises in New York City, London, Singapore, and other world financial capitals are embracing a new generation of smart, automated FinTech that eliminates many cumbersome, slow, and expe...
Cloud Expo | DXWorld Expo have announced the conference tracks for Cloud Expo 2018. Cloud Expo will be held June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, and November 6-8, 2018, at the Santa Clara Convention Center, Santa Clara, CA. Digital Transformation (DX) is a major focus with the introduction of DX Expo within the program. Successful transformation requires a laser focus on being data-driven and on using all the tools available that enable transformation if they plan to survive ov...