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Introducing WebSphere CloudBurst 1.1

New features and updates to the WebSphere cloud management device

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I've written numerous technical entries both here and elsewhere about the WebSphere CloudBurst Appliance. The appliance is a cloud management device that is geared towards those enterprises that for a variety of reasons (security, privacy, performance, customization capability, existing investment, etc.) are looking to benefit from on-premise or private clouds.

The initial version of WebSphere CloudBurst, released in June of 2009, introduced the capability for you to create, deploy, and manage WebSphere application environments in a cloud that they retain control over (you can read a short article about the 1.0 version of the product here). While that may seem straight forward enough, this can radically change the way you come to perceive your application environments. By using this appliance-based approach, you can achieve flexibility and agility because of instead of in spite of your approach to the creation, provisioning, and maintenance of application platforms.

While the release of the WebSphere CloudBurst 1.0 delivered what I believe to be valuable capabilities to our customers, the recent release of WebSphere CloudBurst 1.1 expands on those capabilities in several meaningful areas. I thought I'd highlight some of the key updates in this new version:

1) New hypervisor platform support: In WebSphere CloudBurst 1.0 you can run virtualized WebSphere Application Server environments on top of VMware ESX hypervisors. In 1.1 you still have the VMware ESX option, but you can also use the IBM PowerVM hypervisor technology to host your virtualized application environments.

2) VMware vCenter integration: I mentioned above that both WebSphere CloudBurst version 1.0 and 1.1 support VMware ESX hypervisors as a target platform. In 1.0 this was achieved by specifying individual VMware ESX hypervisors to the appliance. In 1.1 you can simply point WebSphere CloudBurst at a VMware vCenter Server instance and choose from the hypervisors that instance manages.

3) New resource sharing capabilities: Using new export and import capabilities, you can share the custom virtual images and WebSphere CloudBurst patterns you create among several different appliances. This allows you to create a custom image or pattern once on one appliance and then use that artifact on several different appliances without having to recreate it on each one.

4) New virtual images: WebSphere CloudBurst 1.1 provides new virtual images of the WebSphere Application Server (updated product versions and a packaging of the image for the PowerVM platform) as well as a DB2 Enterprise trial virtual image. This allows you to dispense both WebSphere Application Server and DB2 environments using the WebSphere CloudBurst Appliance.

5) New customization and maintenance capabilities: WebSphere CloudBurst 1.1 allows you to have more control when creating custom virtual images including the ability to resize the virtual disks that make up the image. In addition, new script package capabilities make it very simple to update your applications running in the cloud. Command line interface enhancements allow you to automate the process of applying upgrades and fixes to application environments running in your cloud.

This is not an exhaustive list of the new features and updates delivered in WebSphere CloudBurst 1.1, but rather some of the capabilities that bubble to the top of my list. I'll be publishing a more deep-dive, technical look at WebSphere CloudBurst 1.1 soon. In the meantime, if you have any questions you can always reach me on Twitter via @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.

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