Websphere or Open Source (Free is not Free) at #IBM #ICTY by @sebsto

Interesting topic as far as I am concerned. "Libre et Gratuit" Sebastien Stormacq is our speaker. Pretty decent english anyway. Here is our plate: IBM and FOSS, AppServer Landscape, TCO, Differentiatiors, WebSphere family, Fast and Lightweight. Well, quite a heap to go through...

IBM loves open source

Of course. Linux Kernel, Apache, Eclipse, Open Office (and Lotus Symphony will be open sourced). 1000 devs on IBM payroll contribution to FOSS projects. 150 projects with IBM in there 80 of which are led by IBM

IBM is giving, but IBM is consuming as well (fair game, right)

Websphere integrates quite a bunch of FOSS stuff. Note to self: Wind, Tuscany: need to check those

The SOA reference architecture in OSS

The SOA ABBs. Open Source has solutions for all of the blocks. But made by different people and different styles. You'll have to do the integration and gluing yourself. IBM does the integration in its labs and you get properly glued shit. So that you can focus on the real business and not tubes and skunkworks crap.

A tour of the App Server (AS) Industry

The usual suspects: JBoss AS, IBM WAS Express, Tomcat, Oracle Glassfish, Weblogic, VMWare new stuff. Of course, it all depend son what you want to deploy. Java, Groovy, PHP and other things can run on a JVM. All kinds of workloads as well. Main small and medium size projects go Tomcat 7. Sometimes, we go JBoss. Good alternative: Websphere Base Edition (WAS Base) And also WAS ND (Network Deployment) for larger thingies.

Apache Tomcat

Yay, the great little server that I do know inside out, code base and all. That's what you get from training a ton of people for months on end on how to use it. On the monitoring side, they do tell us that it is pretty much low. But in fact, no. It is full of JMX support. Ah, liars... There is no paid support there. Hey, this is a huge opportunity for me 🙂 I'll create a business unit. There is now TomEE, which puts a bit of EE stuff. But, forget that, pack in some Atomikos from Dr Guy Pardon and you'll have a perfectly good JTA implementation that will kick ass and space CPU cycles. VMWare has tc and spring bundled on top of their vFabric (new ESX moniker). I'd have to check this with Dale Hendrichs as he may be involved. Yet again, a Smalltalker 🙂 JBoss is developer centric strategy. It is a RedHat business unit. Good thing these is drop and XML and get resources configured. It now has JEE compliance. The BRE is in there. An advantage. But who really needs a rule engine given the poor state of the general coding community. JBoss dev is not driven by RH.

Free is not free

Yeah, free is free if your time is worthless. Consider that the acquisition cost is only a tiny part of the whole picture. Ha! The famous iceberg with 90% hidden. TCO is a deep beast indeed. All right, IBM shall provided answers to the 90%. There even is a calculator. I am curious to do that. Obviously, IBM is lower on the TCO. And why not? There is a huge investment they do, thus it is logical that it works better on their platform. Free is free as long as your time is worthless. Time being the great equalizer, get me people who can implement all of that fast so that we can focus on delivering value. Watering the plants of the whole building for a year is cheaper than the starting cost here.

Development licenses for Free (yay!)

Devtools for Eclipse: free SmartClouyd for dev: Free (must try)

Cost reduction strategies

From 30% cut down to 80% Well, looks like competitive on the pricing front.

IBM Workloud deployer, a private cloud solution

Quickly mentioned

Main differentiators for WebSphere vs others

  • Stability
  • Management
  • Monitoring
  • Operations support
Websphere AS Resiliency WebSphere WAS 8.5 ND (Network Deployment) - New stuff, same price. No need for a ton of packs.

Application Edition Management highlights

  • Upgrade without interruption
  • Multiple editions in parallel
  • Rollout policies
  • Admin console and scripting support
Well, plenty of new stuff to throw at our sysadmin for sure 🙂


Superior visualizations

Dynamic Clustering

On demand routing

  • Priority to business critical apps
  • Routing tiers know about server health
  • Route to best server (nice!)
  • Preference for high priority requests
  • ..

Cross component trace

  • Trace log entries across multiple threads/Componets
  • Request ID attached to every request and propagated (that's we need of non repudiation!!!!!! Worth my day alone!


SPECjEnterprise 2010 WAS 8.5 beats the crap out of other WAS versions.Not sure about the other products from competition... But they'd like to compare. The competition doesn't publish stuff.


Advanced management and monitoring Health mgt Dynamic Clutering Performance and Perfect (well, almost 🙂 ) integration in the WebSphere family.

There is even a migration tool

Check that out to pick up your apps and deployment descriptors. Webservices look like faster (3x) on WAS.

Yet another difference

Extreme Scale in memory cache. Terracotta from IBM then 🙂 Or Memcached. Well, anybody needs slabs. That one or another, you need one. WAS HTTP Session caching benefits from this. WAS has always been pretty cool on session management and that even since version 3.0 (yeah, I suffered through that old crappy beast using an X-Windows based GUI...) Very low latency. Much appreciated by banks, right. HFT? HFT and Java? Duh, not really 🙂 Or compile the Java into Native. That you can do. Get this: (http://www.excelsior-usa.com/articles/java-to-exe.html) And then jump!

Cloud deployment

There is hell of a lot of support for this as well. You can use a "Cloud Management Appliance" that will help in deploying. So, autoscaling and failover. For private cloud, works on VMWare ESX (which we use), z/VM (which I do not know about), and Power VM (but I guess you need a Power chip for that. Power 7, mmh, yummy).

Some mobile touch

  • Full development and management environment in the form of Mobile Foundation (see a previous post on mobile)

WAS Liberty Profile

Lightweight, Simple, Fast. Is that WebSphere? Huh? For developers, this profile attempts to buy back some love. Released in June 2012. It is a subset of the full WAS. And it puts the developer back in the driver seat (it was about time).


  • Subset of JEE6
  • Web profile (JSR316)
So, IBM has defined the "Liberty Profile"

Let's test drive

40 MB download 5 secs to launch with zero app 1 configuration file No admin console, just a file (looks like server.xml)

Dynamic runtime

JSF or JSP requirement detected, so will be launched accordingly.

Platforms for development

  • Windows
  • Linux
  • OSX (in the works, booh, I want one)
And an Eclipse plugin to manage the server.

Fidelity to Full WAS

So, if it works on Liberty Profile, it will run on the production WAS. I'll take you to the test here!

And you can use Liberty profile in production

Cool! But WAS ND is nice too 🙂 For small apps, it is a decent enough runtime

Take aways


  • Lower TCO and ready to prove it with the "BVA"
  • PArt of a larger family and ecosystem
All right, I drank the cool aid. Now, back to our regular programming and the drink session. Thanks for the prez, it was interesting, even if you talk to devs, get us some demo running.