Before you start
The IBM WebSphere DataPower Option for Application Optimization (AO) is designed to provide dynamic load balancing functions for the most demanding cases. By evenly distributing a load across WebSphere DataPower appliances and then intelligently route traffic to selected backend servers based on application availability, AO can improve uptime, user response time, and application server utilization.
The key benefits of AO include:
- Distributing load across multiple appliances without the need for an external load balancer.
- Intelligently load balancing to backend servers based on metadata from application servers.
- Integrating with IBM z/OS® Communications Server Sysplex Distributor, which can balance workload to DataPower appliances.
- Supporting interruption-free backend application upgrades through support for application edition management. You can rollout new editions of an application using either group or automatic updates.
AO is a licensed software feature that comes standard on the WebSphere DataPower Edge Appliance XE82 and is available both at initial ordering time and as a field upgradable option on WebSphere DataPower Integration Appliance XI52, WebSphere DataPower Service Gateway XG45 appliance, WebSphere DataPower Integration Blade XI50B, and WebSphere DataPower Integration Appliance for zEnterprise XI50z. When choosing the upgradable option, once your order is fulfilled, you will receive an Authorized Feature Download letter along with a Controlled Access Key to download the AO upgrade firmware update.
In this tutorial, you will learn how to set up and demonstrate the self-balancing (SB) and intelligent load distribution (ILD) features of the Application Optimization (AO) licensed option for WebSphere DataPower.
The first part of the tutorial provides step-by-step instructions on how to configure and test services to benefit from the frontend SB functionality of WebSphere DataPower as a substitute for network load balancers.
The second part of the tutorial concentrates on the ILD component of the AO option. Instructions are provided on how to configure load balancer objects to dynamically distribute the load among a cluster of WebSphere Application Server (hereafter called Application Server) members.
Familiarity with the IBM WebSphere DataPower family of products from an administrative standpoint is helpful. Some experience with configuring and deploying services on the appliance is also beneficial. Furthermore, knowledge of IBM WebSphere Application Server, including Network Deployment (ND) terminology and clustering and the ability to deploy and monitor web applications, is important to fully understand the AO capability.
You will need privileged user access to two WebSphere DataPower appliances from the XI52, XG45, XI50B/z, or XE82 family, at firmware level 3.8.1 or higher (4.0.2+ on the XG45 and 1.0.0+ on the XE82). Each appliance needs to be licensed with the AO option. In addition, you will need system administrative access to a WebSphere Application Server Network Deployment (ND) cell, at Version 6.1 or higher, with a Deployment Manager and a federated node. You may also use WebSphere Application Server Virtual Enterprise instead.
You will also need to download a couple of open source tools to invoke some tests from a client workstation, namely:
- cURL is a command line tool for sending and receiving files using the URL syntax over a wide range of Internet protocols.
- The ApacheBench (ab) tool comes bundled with the standard Apache source distribution.
Plan to allocate at least four (4) hours to complete the tutorial. Additional time may be needed if you are not familiar with certain tasks or additional requirements, such as network configuration parameters or product binaries that are not readily available.