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Application environment migration with WebSphere CloudBurst

Preserving the fidelity of application environments through patterns

Dustin Amrhein, Technical Evangelist, IBM
Author photo
Dustin Amrhein joined IBM as a member of the development team for WebSphere Application Server. While in that position, Dustin worked on the development of Web services infrastructure and Web services programming models. In addition, Dustin lead the technical effort in the development of a Java RESTful services framework. In his current role, Dustin is a technical evangelist for emerging technologies in IBM’s WebSphere portfolio. His current focus is on WebSphere technologies that deliver cloud computing capabilities, including the WebSphere CloudBurst Appliance.
Ruth Willenborg, Senior Technical Staff Member, IBM
Ruth Willenborg
Ruth Willenborg is a Senior Technical Staff Member in IBM's WebSphere Technology Institute where she is currently working on WebSphere cloud computing and virtual appliance initiatives and is the technical evangelist for the new IBM WebSphere CloudBurst Appliance. Prior to her work on virtualization and appliance initiatives, she was the manager of the WebSphere Performance team responsible for WebSphere Application Server performance analysis, performance benchmarkingm and performance tool development. Ruth has more than 20 years of experience in software development at IBM and is co-author of Performance Analysis for Java Web Sites (Addison-Wesley, 2002) and numerous articles on both WebSphere performance and using WebSphere with virtualization technologies.

Summary:  In this tutorial, the authors demonstrate how to use WebSphere® CloudBurst to build patterns you can use to represent the configuration of both your application and application infrastructure. They also show you how to use these patterns to consistently deploy the application environment as it moves through the four life-cycle stages — development, test, QA, and production. The tutorial offers a complete, step-by-step example of using patterns to handle changing topologies, underlying platform architectures, and configuration properties.

Date:  01 Jun 2010
Level:  Intermediate PDF:  A4 and Letter (908 KB | 36 pages)Get Adobe® Reader®

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Creating the initial development pattern

Once the necessary script packages exist in the WebSphere CloudBurst catalog, you can create a WebSphere CloudBurst pattern that represents the application environment detailed earlier.

First, create a pattern that represents this application environment in a development setting. To do this, click the Patterns link on the top toolbar. Since you will deploy this pattern into development environments, you want to use as few compute resources as possible. With that in mind, create a pattern that when deployed results in an entire WebSphere Application Server cell running in a single virtual machine.

First, click the green cross to create a new pattern. When the dialog panel appears, provide a name for the new pattern, a short description, and choose the virtual image on which to base the pattern.


Figure 5. New pattern dialog
New pattern dialog

Next, navigate to the Pattern Editor for the new pattern by clicking on the pencil icon in the upper right-hand corner. Once in the pattern editor, drag and drop a single deployment manager part from the left-hand side of the page to the empty canvas on the right.


Figure 6. Including the deployment manager part
Including the deployment manager part

Ignore the warning message regarding the absence of custom nodes federated to the deployment manager because in this case, you will build the entire cell in the virtual machine represented by the deployment manager part.

In the drop-down menu on the left-hand side, select Script Packages. Now choose the script packages you want to use in this pattern. In addition to the two created earlier:

  • also include a script package to set up the entire cell in a single virtual machine and
  • include a script package to create an application server cluster within the cell.

Figure 7. Pattern with script packages
Pattern with script packages

By placing these script packages on the deployment manager part, you ensure that they run from within the virtual machine containing the deployment manager node.

The script packages will be able to successfully complete their tasks by using a combination of the information you supply during deployment and the information WebSphere CloudBurst makes available in the /etc/virtualimage.properties file of each virtual machine it creates.

Once you are done editing the new pattern, click the Done editing link in the top right-hand corner of the pattern editor page. This brings you back to the details page for the Account Management Cluster — Development pattern. Here's where you lock the pattern down by clicking the lock icon in the top right-hand corner of the page.

Now you can start the deployment process by clicking Deploy. Provide a name for the new virtual system (in our case, "AcctMgmt Cluster — Dev"). After that, click Configure virtual parts and then Deployment manager link to configure the single deployment manager part.

Besides containing the deploy-time configuration information that is common for most pattern parts:

  • Virtual machine CPU and memory allocation
  • WebSphere Application Server node name and cell name, and
  • Password information

your pattern includes four script packages, each of which has its own set of configuration by way of the variables it defines. Figure 8 shows the configuration information for the Create cell and Create cluster script packages.


Figure 8. Configuration for cell and cluster creation
Configuration for cell and cluster creation

To create the cell, specify a node name prefix ("AcctMgmtNode"), the number of nodes to create (2), and the number of IBM HTTP Server instances to create (1). To create the WebSphere Application Server cluster, simply specify the cluster name ("AcctMgmtCluster") and the member name prefix ("amServer").

The other configuration information you supply is for the script packages that install the Account Management application and create the DB2 data source for the application.


Figure 9. Configuration for the application and data source
Configuration for the application and data source

All of the values shown in Figures 8 and 9 are available to your scripts when invoked by WebSphere CloudBurst.

After you are done specifying the deploy-time configuration, click OK to begin the deployment process. WebSphere CloudBurst directs you to the virtual systems page where you can monitor the status of the deployment. When the deployment process is complete, the status for the virtual system reflects that it is in the started state.

At that point, expand the Virtual machines section, then expand the section for the deployment manager virtual machine. Near the bottom of the deployment manager VM section, use the WebSphere link shown in Figure 10 to login to the WebSphere Application Server administration console.


Figure 10. Logging into the WebSphere Application Server admin console
Logging into the WebSphere Application Server admin console

Once in the administration console, you can verify that the correct configuration was established. Besides checking that the WebSphere Application Server nodes and cluster exist, you also want to verify the correct configuration of the DB2 data source and Account Management application.

To check the DB2 data source, expand the Resources section, then the JDBC section and click the Data sources link. You should see the amDataSource we specified during deployment.


Figure 11. The DB2 data source in the administration console
The DB2 data source in the administration console

In addition, the Account Management application should appear in the enterprise applications listing of the console.


Figure 12. Account Management application in the administration console
Account Management application in the administration console

At this point, the WebSphere Application Server environment is fully configured and ready to use for your development purposes.

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