Welcome!

Linux Containers Authors: Yeshim Deniz, Elizabeth White, Liz McMillan, Automic Blog, Pat Romanski

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
When growing capacity and power in the data center, the architectural trade-offs between server scale-up vs. scale-out continue to be debated. Both approaches are valid: scale-out adds multiple, smaller servers running in a distributed computing model, while scale-up adds fewer, more powerful servers that are capable of running larger workloads. It’s worth noting that there are additional, unique advantages that scale-up architectures offer. One big advantage is large memory and compute capacity...
Artificial intelligence, machine learning, neural networks. We’re in the midst of a wave of excitement around AI such as hasn’t been seen for a few decades. But those previous periods of inflated expectations led to troughs of disappointment. Will this time be different? Most likely. Applications of AI such as predictive analytics are already decreasing costs and improving reliability of industrial machinery. Furthermore, the funding and research going into AI now comes from a wide range of com...
No hype cycles or predictions of zillions of things here. IoT is big. You get it. You know your business and have great ideas for a business transformation strategy. What comes next? Time to make it happen. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jay Mason, Associate Partner at M&S Consulting, presented a step-by-step plan to develop your technology implementation strategy. He discussed the evaluation of communication standards and IoT messaging protocols, data analytics considerations, edge-to-cloud tec...
"When we talk about cloud without compromise what we're talking about is that when people think about 'I need the flexibility of the cloud' - it's the ability to create applications and run them in a cloud environment that's far more flexible,” explained Matthew Finnie, CTO of Interoute, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
We build IoT infrastructure products - when you have to integrate different devices, different systems and cloud you have to build an application to do that but we eliminate the need to build an application. Our products can integrate any device, any system, any cloud regardless of protocol," explained Peter Jung, Chief Product Officer at Pulzze Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing Cloud strategies, now is the perfect time to attend 21st Cloud Expo October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center, CA, and June 12-14, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is on the right path to Digital Transformation.
In his session at @ThingsExpo, Eric Lachapelle, CEO of the Professional Evaluation and Certification Board (PECB), provided an overview of various initiatives to certify the security of connected devices and future trends in ensuring public trust of IoT. Eric Lachapelle is the Chief Executive Officer of the Professional Evaluation and Certification Board (PECB), an international certification body. His role is to help companies and individuals to achieve professional, accredited and worldwide re...
The Internet giants are fully embracing AI. All the services they offer to their customers are aimed at drawing a map of the world with the data they get. The AIs from these companies are used to build disruptive approaches that cannot be used by established enterprises, which are threatened by these disruptions. However, most leaders underestimate the effect this will have on their businesses. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Rene Buest, Director Market Research & Technology Evangelism at Ara...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Enzu will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st Int\ernational Cloud Expo®, which will take place October 31-November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Enzu’s mission is to be the leading provider of enterprise cloud solutions worldwide. Enzu enables online businesses to use its IT infrastructure to their competitive advantage. By offering a suite of proven hosting and management services, Enzu wants companies to focus on the core of their ...
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 21st Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the most profound change in personal and enterprise IT since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago. All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devic...
Amazon started as an online bookseller 20 years ago. Since then, it has evolved into a technology juggernaut that has disrupted multiple markets and industries and touches many aspects of our lives. It is a relentless technology and business model innovator driving disruption throughout numerous ecosystems. Amazon’s AWS revenues alone are approaching $16B a year making it one of the largest IT companies in the world. With dominant offerings in Cloud, IoT, eCommerce, Big Data, AI, Digital Assista...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Cloud Academy named "Bronze Sponsor" of 21st International Cloud Expo which will take place October 31 - November 2, 2017 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Cloud Academy is the industry’s most innovative, vendor-neutral cloud technology training platform. Cloud Academy provides continuous learning solutions for individuals and enterprise teams for Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform, and the most popular cloud com...
SYS-CON Events announced today that MobiDev, a client-oriented software development company, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place October 31-November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. MobiDev is a software company that develops and delivers turn-key mobile apps, websites, web services, and complex software systems for startups and enterprises. Since 2009 it has grown from a small group of passionate engineers and business...
SYS-CON Events announced today that GrapeUp, the leading provider of rapid product development at the speed of business, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place October 31-November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Grape Up is a software company, specialized in cloud native application development and professional services related to Cloud Foundry PaaS. With five expert teams that operate in various sectors of the market acr...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Ayehu will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on October 31 - November 2, 2017 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara California. Ayehu provides IT Process Automation & Orchestration solutions for IT and Security professionals to identify and resolve critical incidents and enable rapid containment, eradication, and recovery from cyber security breaches. Ayehu provides customers greater control over IT infras...
With the introduction of IoT and Smart Living in every aspect of our lives, one question has become relevant: What are the security implications? To answer this, first we have to look and explore the security models of the technologies that IoT is founded upon. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Nevi Kaja, a Research Engineer at Ford Motor Company, discussed some of the security challenges of the IoT infrastructure and related how these aspects impact Smart Living. The material was delivered interac...
In his session at Cloud Expo, Alan Winters, an entertainment executive/TV producer turned serial entrepreneur, presented a success story of an entrepreneur who has both suffered through and benefited from offshore development across multiple businesses: The smart choice, or how to select the right offshore development partner Warning signs, or how to minimize chances of making the wrong choice Collaboration, or how to establish the most effective work processes Budget control, or how to ma...
IoT solutions exploit operational data generated by Internet-connected smart “things” for the purpose of gaining operational insight and producing “better outcomes” (for example, create new business models, eliminate unscheduled maintenance, etc.). The explosive proliferation of IoT solutions will result in an exponential growth in the volume of IoT data, precipitating significant Information Governance issues: who owns the IoT data, what are the rights/duties of IoT solutions adopters towards t...
SYS-CON Events announced today that CA Technologies has been named "Platinum Sponsor" of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place October 31-November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. CA Technologies helps customers succeed in a future where every business - from apparel to energy - is being rewritten by software. From planning to development to management to security, CA creates software that fuels transformation for companies in the applic...
SYS-CON Events announced today that IBM has been named “Diamond Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st Cloud Expo, which will take place on October 31 through November 2nd 2017 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, California.