Welcome!

IBM Cloud Authors: Yeshim Deniz, Jason Bloomberg, Liz McMillan, Pat Romanski, Carmen Gonzalez

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
In his keynote at 18th Cloud Expo, Andrew Keys, Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise, provided an overview of the evolution of the Internet and the Database and the future of their combination – the Blockchain. 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 settle...
Coca-Cola’s Google powered digital signage system lays the groundwork for a more valuable connection between Coke and its customers. Digital signs pair software with high-resolution displays so that a message can be changed instantly based on what the operator wants to communicate or sell. In their Day 3 Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Chambers, Global Group Director, Digital Innovation, Coca-Cola, and Vidya Nagarajan, a Senior Product Manager at Google, discussed how from store operations and ...
In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Raju Shreewastava, founder of Big Data Trunk, provided a fun and simple way to introduce Machine Leaning to anyone and everyone. He solved a machine learning problem and demonstrated an easy way to be able to do machine learning without even coding. Raju Shreewastava is the founder of Big Data Trunk (www.BigDataTrunk.com), a Big Data Training and consulting firm with offices in the United States. He previously led the data warehouse/business intelligence and B...
"IBM is really all in on blockchain. We take a look at sort of the history of blockchain ledger technologies. It started out with bitcoin, Ethereum, and IBM evaluated these particular blockchain technologies and found they were anonymous and permissionless and that many companies were looking for permissioned blockchain," stated René Bostic, Technical VP of the IBM Cloud Unit in North America, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Conventi...
A strange thing is happening along the way to the Internet of Things, namely far too many devices to work with and manage. It has become clear that we'll need much higher efficiency user experiences that can allow us to more easily and scalably work with the thousands of devices that will soon be in each of our lives. Enter the conversational interface revolution, combining bots we can literally talk with, gesture to, and even direct with our thoughts, with embedded artificial intelligence, whic...
BnkToTheFuture.com is the largest online investment platform for investing in FinTech, Bitcoin and Blockchain companies. We believe the future of finance looks very different from the past and we aim to invest and provide trading opportunities for qualifying investors that want to build a portfolio in the sector in compliance with international financial regulations.
Product connectivity goes hand and hand these days with increased use of personal data. New IoT devices are becoming more personalized than ever before. In his session at 22nd Cloud Expo | DXWorld Expo, Nicolas Fierro, CEO of MIMIR Blockchain Solutions, will discuss how in order to protect your data and privacy, IoT applications need to embrace Blockchain technology for a new level of product security never before seen - or needed.
Leading companies, from the Global Fortune 500 to the smallest companies, are adopting hybrid cloud as the path to business advantage. Hybrid cloud depends on cloud services and on-premises infrastructure working in unison. Successful implementations require new levels of data mobility, enabled by an automated and seamless flow across on-premises and cloud resources. In his general session at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Tevis, an IBM Storage Software Technical Strategist and Customer Solution Architec...
Imagine if you will, a retail floor so densely packed with sensors that they can pick up the movements of insects scurrying across a store aisle. Or a component of a piece of factory equipment so well-instrumented that its digital twin provides resolution down to the micrometer.
When shopping for a new data processing platform for IoT solutions, many development teams want to be able to test-drive options before making a choice. Yet when evaluating an IoT solution, it’s simply not feasible to do so at scale with physical devices. Building a sensor simulator is the next best choice; however, generating a realistic simulation at very high TPS with ease of configurability is a formidable challenge. When dealing with multiple application or transport protocols, you would be...
Nordstrom is transforming the way that they do business and the cloud is the key to enabling speed and hyper personalized customer experiences. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Ken Schow, VP of Engineering at Nordstrom, discussed some of the key learnings and common pitfalls of large enterprises moving to the cloud. This includes strategies around choosing a cloud provider(s), architecture, and lessons learned. In addition, he covered some of the best practices for structured team migration an...
No hype cycles or predictions of a gazillion things here. IoT is here. 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, an Associate Partner of Analytics, IoT & Cybersecurity at M&S Consulting, presented a step-by-step plan to develop your technology implementation strategy. He also discussed the evaluation of communication standards and IoT messaging protocols, data...
Smart cities have the potential to change our lives at so many levels for citizens: less pollution, reduced parking obstacles, better health, education and more energy savings. Real-time data streaming and the Internet of Things (IoT) possess the power to turn this vision into a reality. However, most organizations today are building their data infrastructure to focus solely on addressing immediate business needs vs. a platform capable of quickly adapting emerging technologies to address future ...
We are given a desktop platform with Java 8 or Java 9 installed and seek to find a way to deploy high-performance Java applications that use Java 3D and/or Jogl without having to run an installer. We are subject to the constraint that the applications be signed and deployed so that they can be run in a trusted environment (i.e., outside of the sandbox). Further, we seek to do this in a way that does not depend on bundling a JRE with our applications, as this makes downloads and installations rat...
Widespread fragmentation is stalling the growth of the IIoT and making it difficult for partners to work together. The number of software platforms, apps, hardware and connectivity standards is creating paralysis among businesses that are afraid of being locked into a solution. EdgeX Foundry is unifying the community around a common IoT edge framework and an ecosystem of interoperable components.
DX World EXPO, LLC, a Lighthouse Point, Florida-based startup trade show producer and the creator of "DXWorldEXPO® - Digital Transformation Conference & Expo" has announced its executive management team. The team is headed by Levent Selamoglu, who has been named CEO. "Now is the time for a truly global DX event, to bring together the leading minds from the technology world in a conversation about Digital Transformation," he said in making the announcement.
In this strange new world where more and more power is drawn from business technology, companies are effectively straddling two paths on the road to innovation and transformation into digital enterprises. The first path is the heritage trail – with “legacy” technology forming the background. Here, extant technologies are transformed by core IT teams to provide more API-driven approaches. Legacy systems can restrict companies that are transitioning into digital enterprises. To truly become a lead...
Digital Transformation (DX) is not a "one-size-fits all" strategy. Each organization needs to develop its own unique, long-term DX plan. It must do so by realizing that we now live in a data-driven age, and that technologies such as Cloud Computing, Big Data, the IoT, Cognitive Computing, and Blockchain are only tools. In her general session at 21st Cloud Expo, Rebecca Wanta explained how the strategy must focus on DX and include a commitment from top management to create great IT jobs, monitor ...
"Cloud Academy is an enterprise training platform for the cloud, specifically public clouds. We offer guided learning experiences on AWS, Azure, Google Cloud and all the surrounding methodologies and technologies that you need to know and your teams need to know in order to leverage the full benefits of the cloud," explained Alex Brower, VP of Marketing at Cloud Academy, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clar...
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 ...