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IBM Announces the WebSphere CloudBurst Appliance

by Dave West on Jun 04, 2009 |

IBM has announced its WebSphere CloudBurst Appliance; a tool to create, deploy, and administer private WebSphere cloud environments. The appliance gives customers the ability to create and manage a services oriented, private, cloud.

Users first construct WebSphere configurations that are optimized for a virtual environment using Cloudburst. The result is a virtual image package called WebSphere Application Server Hypervisor Edition. From this new virtual image, complete WebSphere Application Server topologies can be constructed to create what WebSphere CloudBurst terms a pattern - using a drag-and-drop interface.

The UI allows users to drag-and-drop components (WebSphere components and script packages) to create the virtual image representing the WebSphere configuration. Script packages can do just about anything, from tuning WebSphere security settings to installing applications in the newly created environment.

Deployment is also part of the Cloudburst capability, using a ‘bring your own cloud’ model. Cloud resources required for deployment consist of a set of supported hypervisors and a list of IP addresses available to the cloud. On deployment of a pattern, CloudBurst determines the state of the available resources, places the pattern across the available hypervisors. and assigns IP addresses accordingly: without user input or intervention. Efficient use of resource, high performance, and high availability are assured. The result of this deployment is a fully instantiated WebSphere environment that can be accessed and used like any other such environment.

Deployed environments do not run on the WebSphere CloudBurst Appliance and the appliance plays no role in the runtime of the environments. The applicance provides the capability to monitor and administer deployed environments via a console that can be viewed to understand network configuration, memory consumption, and CPU usage. Usage of cloud resources (i.e. memory, CPU, IPs) is also tracked at a user or user group level allowing CloudBurst to support chargeback across an enterprise. The appliance also provides users with a central administration point for applying maintenance, such as iFixes and service packs, to the WebSphere virtual systems it created. These fixes can be applied within the WebSphere CloudBurst console.

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