Microsoft Innovation Center Boostcamp: 15/10 – Mark the date

Next week, the MIC Boostcamp has another session. I have volunteered as one of the "experts" (well, listening to my advice usually helps in improving your strategic position, makes more money come your way, and reduces your labor intensity -- what's not to like in that?). See you there. As I'll be there all day, feel free to send me a tweet or two if you want to discuss matters (

Scientific collaborator for UMons Polytech for one more year

I've been recognized as an official scientific collaborator for the University of Mons for 2012-2013. That's pretty nice of them. I'd like to do some GPGPU with Pharo Smalltalk projects with students then.

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: ( 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.

Intro to Datapower at #IBM #ICTY

Datapower is the IBM Websphere Connectivity and Integration Appliance. Basically, this is full of custom ASICs and stuff and is fast, easy to configure and not prone to all crap that happens to standard boxes. Datapower was a company in its own right and was acquired by IBM.

How special is Datapower On the feature set, it is special:

  • Simple architecture: firmware and purpose built hardware. (firmware is often updated to keep up with novelties)
  • Delivered from the factory with everything you ned to connect to the network and start working
  • All computationally-significant components are sealed with temper proof casing (chips, memory, board and card, signed flash file system). Superfast parsing and crypto engines. Truly in a league of its own. Does TripleDES, AES, RSA1.5 etc.

How does Datapower fares on the market? Pretty well actually. " of the best selling Websphere products since the acquisition of Datapower inc in 2005."

Well, what's in a name? From 2002 to 2012.

XA35-XS50-Xi50-WTX-XB60-Blade-XI52/XB62/XE82-XG45 The firmware is developer since 10 years already. Hopefully, this is now pretty good. JSON is in there now. Phew, enough of XML 🙂

Usage areas and users Various patterns of usage where

sensitive information is transported over the internet. * Government (Defense, Agencies and ministries) * Banking (Encrypting card numbers) * Insurance * Retail, Utilities, Power, Oil and Gas Close to 1000 worldwide installations and growing.

What were the classical business cases? Classic SOA business case, with complex SOAP structures. And this means a huge computing effort... crypto, signing, auth, filtering, SLA checking, alerts... All in a single box. How sweet. So, it saves money and headaches. But messenging has evolved a lot (with mobile coming on the scene).

New use cases

  • Provide secure data communication across channels and protect them (who uses our services, to what extent, limit this leeches, limit traffic to guarantee QoS)
  • Protection from SQL injection (don't be sub-optimal in its performance), XSS
  • Consolidate (Transformation, Protocol mediation, Routing, Caching)
  • Manage (simple configuration, policy driven setup, centralized governance with WSRR links) It also is very suited to the Internet of Things era. It can swallow the storm. Without blinking an eye. Well, a led or two... Support for mobile devices call for special care on security. Datapower to the rescue here. The Datapower is then living in the DMZ. In the DMZ here are the rolls to take:
  1. Secure gateway (web services, web apps)
  2. B2B gateway (EDI aware)
  3. Edge optimization
  4. Side cache In the trusted domain, here are some more:

  5. Internal security point

  6. Enterprise Service Bus
  7. Runtime SOA governance
  8. Web Service Management
  9. Legacy integration Each of these roles are best served with a special flavor of the Datapower brand. Let's say that the next feature will be to brew coffee and sing God Save the Queen. Quite a few things in there indeed.

And ideal beast for deployment into less than fully trusted network (savage gardens, I'd say) Useful due to:

  1. Common criteria compliance to EAL4 and FIPS 140-2 Level 3
  2. Tamper proof box
  3. Signed and encrypted file system

As a secure gateway

Some physical characteristics 1 U form factor, 4x1Gbps Ethernet port, 2x10Gbps ports.

Feature set focus Proxying and enforcement Protocol support: HTTP(S), WMQ, Websphere JMS, FTP(S) Format support: XML, SOAP, JSON, PKCS7 (option) Transformation engines: XSLT, DataGlue - WTX/FFD (option) (use Validation maps and Transformation maps) Using WTX Design Studio (Eclipse based) Does things like:

  • JSON outside, SOAP inside.
  • Disallow some countries to see some content before they are allowed to

As a B2B gateway

Some physical characteristics 2U form factor 8x1Gbps 2x10Gbps More memory, more storage

Feature set focus

  • Partner management functions
  • Enhanced QoS
  • Additonal protocols
  • Addition formats
  • Additional transformation engines
  • And including all of the Security Gateway base

Popular uses in the internal side of business as well... Simplified lower-touch maintenance (1-2 upgrades of firmware per year) Fast, less expensive deployment (config only, delivery to production in less than a month)

As an ESB and Legacy enablement point

  • A drop-in ESB. Less headaches!
  • Easily service-enable legacy apps
  • ...

As an elastic caching within infrastructure Meaning? Meaning it offloads processing from the backend side.

How to do this?

  • Optimize response time (cache response data)
  • Reduce server load (cache response data)

There are other form factors as well In the blade form, in need of fitting that in chassis (XI50b "blade") And for Systemz. XI50z

What's new in 2012? Datapower Firmware V5.0 highlights:

  • OAuth support
  • OAuth scenarios (3-legged, 2-legged)
  • SLA Enforcement and SLDs (Service Level Defintions, synchronized with WSRR) New WS-Proxy feature with WS-Mediation Policy. Configuration only. Great! Works! (We have integrated this, with V5 and WSRR 8, alerts also go to ITCAM for SOA in Tivoli with the Datapower agent).

  • Application optimization options, allowing to self balance across a cluster of appliances.

  • Application aware intelligent load distribution

The Websphere Applicance Management Center (WAMC)

  • multi box management in a single place.

Check the resources

  • (
  • youtube has some


  • Appliance architectural paterns
  • The programmatic management interface Good presentation on the features. A bid sad to have had to rush at the end on the new feature set.

The future of #SOA at #ibm #icty 2012 with Gerry Keilly

The content in here is my own set of notes and not Gerry's words Back to the four trends. Mobile. Cloud. Big data. Social.
  • SOA is built upon clean design principles.
  • All workloads are not created equally.
  • Historical workloads are pretty much predictable.
Social and mobile are different beasts! Snowstorms! Reactions! Checks! Fast! Often! Kill the API. Need some cache and policy in here... Volume and speed of interactions are impredcitable events. Peak management and buffering are the new skills. Yeah! Sweet. Bare metal and instrumentation are coming back! Expose your enterprise. Expose your flaws. And the crowd is not going to let you breathe for long. As we do have hybrid deploypment, cloud and on premises, new skills are needed too.

Connectivity and integration technologies

Universal connectivity. We are back to not so reliable connections. In fact, back to the same kind of problems of the good old days, only larger and more acute. scale matters.

Websphere MQ 7.5

Integration with MFT. Build an integrated capability for a rich capability layer that will stand the requirements for the upcoming wave! Ture indeed. I am now working with that tech. It rules, period. WMQ telemetry. Millions of connections. Price lowered. WMQ AMS. MQTT brings MQ into the mobile space. TT for telemetry transport. So, moving to open source for MQTT for ensring adoption. Good idea Gerry. Gain reliable delivery over fragile connections. 3G anyone? Leverage information provided by mobile devices. Ease of integration with enterprise applications. Build a smarter planet with messaging optimized for smart sensors and telemetry devices. ... With MQ Telemetry. Monitor a peacemaker over the network! Cool use case. Put a lightweight MQTT client on any device. Smartmeters, gas pumps, fridges... Exciting!

Cloud connectivity deployments spanning on and off premise

  • connecting to cloud
  • connectivity between clouds
  • Location independance. Switch where the connection is goig under the covers.

a word on APIs

Businesses opening up APIs is a game changer if you do it right. And kill your business if you get it wrong. Damn right! Apigee is cool btw, check it out! Connect to a broad application developer community. Extend your core services with an ability to build capability internally. BTW Salesforce has a huge event these days. And a huge huge huge attendance! not having an API today is like not having a website in the 90's I love that line! Your API is an extension of your brand. You can ruin your brand by having this wrong. Your API extends the value of your brand.

Websphere CastIron Live.

Enabling rapid and trusted entry into the web economy. Expose, manage, control, run analytics on your services. Create > Socialize > Manage 90 day trial. Gotta give it a shot! Too bad it doesnt lists Belgium in the country list...

Websphere Message Broker v8

Powerful beast. I testify from real world exposure. This thing pumps out an awesome amount of messages per second with an incredibly small number of CPUs. Extreme scale in WMB: cross broker caching. Agregation. Well, a killer. Period.

Every project and everyprocess needs a proven platform

Yeah sure. But startups go node.js on V8.

A new breed of systems

Systems with integrated expertiseand built for cloud. Okay, that is the integrated capability. Great but the string attached is vendor lock in. No matter how good the vendor. That is where you'll need people understanding all of this in you company. Who is pointing at me here? Just joking. Half joking that is... Well, IBM has the ability to deliver for sure. Are clients going to be up to the reauired maturity level to exploit the tech properly? Will the culture be able to swallow that huge pill? And nit feel obsolete in the process? People are what makes or breaks things indeed! Extend > Transact > Optimize

Things do change. But fundamentals do not.

  1. Right design practices
  2. Well managed, well governed services
Embarking with IBM may be the smarter choice. provided you have the money of course.

Mobile strategy for #ibm at #icty

Mobile strategy

  • Extend and transform for mobile
  • Mananage and secure
  • Build and connect

Top challenges

Fragmentation Speed of dev Connect backend Securely


IBM Worklight! Acquired by IBM.

Why cross platform?

The mobile world is in flux. What about 2015?

Spectrum of choices: dimensions

Richness, portability, TCO Hybrid apps with nativemodules. Hey, Monkey is right! HTML5, JQuery, dojo, Cordova, Sencha Ability to track all of your stores at once: worklight starter and catalog, also ability to disable versions. Asking for upgrades. Ability to have a grip on how apps are used by the users.
  • Protecting data on the device
  • Enforce security updates
  • Robust auth*
  • App security
Open technologies: skills are available.


Websphere cast iron hypervisor edition appliance

Create fast integrations with business back end systems. TTM is important indeed.

The mobile worker movement

Mobile workers get more done. ROWE. The interesting device sharing situation. Amgry birds meets your banking account... Corporate data leakage. Dropbox anyone?

Device management

Policies and enforcmemt. Black and white listing of appa Ibm endpoint manager to the recue.

Ibm mobile foundation v5.0

All of the above products. Plus some services of course!

Horizon : IOT - internet of things

Dogs and cows have an IP. Trash the manuals with NFC and your mobile phone. Neat! Update your coffee machine, get a virus in the process,yay! The story of mobile will turn into the story of everyhing everywhere all the time!

Mobile as a differentiator

Faster time to value


  • Open
  • Governed
  • Integral
Pretty cool prez. Bringing some key points home about the monile channel.