Hybrid Deployments

Certified Kubernetes Deployments Made Easy with WebSphere Liberty Cloud Pak

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Developers want a Kubernetes environment that’s ready to go; administrators want an infrastructure that’s trusted

You want to have confidence in your cloud-based deployment of WebSphere Liberty on Kubernetes. But assuring that Kubernetes is the “latest and greatest” release is only an initial verification step. Simply stated, developers want an environment that’s ready to go, and administrators want an infrastructure that’s trusted. But what do you do when your environment is a combination of many components at different release levels? Seriously, who wants to be in the business of stitching together component layers and then verifying they’re compatible with each other? Instead, you can rely on a trusted and tested release with all the key components verified as a set: IBM Cloud Pak!

WebSphere Liberty + Cloud Pak: Graduating from production-possible to production-ready

WebSphere Liberty, a leading application server based on Open Liberty that fully supports MicroProfile and Spring, has had a presence on Docker Hub for years. In fact, you can transform an Open Liberty Dockerfile into a WebSphere Liberty Dockerfile by changing a single word ( FROM open-libertyFROM websphere-liberty)! Earlier in 2018, WebSphere Liberty also attained the status of Docker Store Certified—a title reserved for the top enterprise containers that follow industry’s best practices and pass a rigid vulnerability scan.

However, when running Docker containers in an orchestration environment such as Kubernetes, you also need a set of related artifacts—ingress setup, horizontal auto-scaling policies, persistent transactions, dynamically mounted configuration, logging/metrics dashboards, session caching, node affinity rules, etc. You also need these artifacts to be easily configurable, shareable, and deployable.

Enter IBM’s Cloud Paks—a set of pre-packaged enterprise capabilities for deployment, lifecycle management, and production use cases.

IBM's Cloud Paks

The entire package is certified to support IBM Cloud Private, not just the individual pieces:

  • Tested to enterprise quality-of-service (QoS) standards for IBM Cloud Private
  • Designed for enterprise production and simple deployment by product experts
  • Includes built-in management features like logging, monitoring, and usage metering

And needless to say, certification includes support for consistent upgrade and rollback across all IBM Cloud Paks.

Deploy certified production-grade WebSphere Liberty app containers in IBM Cloud Private

The WebSphere Liberty’s Certified Cloud Pak enables you to deploy production-grade application containers in IBM Cloud Private with support for the full stack:

  • Kubernetes (orchestration)
  • Helm chart (deployment)
  • Kibana/Grafana dashboards (logging/monitoring)
  • Docker container
  • WebSphere Liberty runtime
  • Operating system
  • Robust devOps pipeline (Microclimate)

Developers and administrators no longer need to stitch together all these different parts; a simple helm install deploys the Cloud Pak. Below is a summary of the support differences between building-your-own, using IBM’s WebSphere Liberty container by itself, and using the WebSphere Liberty Certified Cloud Pak:

The WebSphere Liberty Certified Cloud Pak is composed of two pieces:

  • Docker Container: The WebSphere Liberty docker containers from Docker Hub have been updated in with a more user friendly license that allows IPLA (supported) usage as long as entitlement is purchased—which is included with IBM Cloud Private. This means using the exact same container for development, QA, and production—no changes and no surprises. These containers have gone through stringent vulnerability and best-practices scans, so you can rest assured that you’re getting the industry’s best application server container. You can pick one of the convenient tags with pre-loaded features—such as websphere-liberty:microProfile2, which loads the MicroProfile 2.0 functionality—or you can build a fit-for-purpose application container by starting with the websphere-liberty:kernel tag.
  • Deployment, Operations, Dashboards, and Extensions: The artifacts that accompany WebSphere Liberty’s container are packaged together in the form of a Helm chart. Some of the production-grade attributes of this Helm chart are:

This is introduced in the IBM Cloud Private overview under “A Catalog of containerized software and services,” as excerpted below:

The Catalog provides a centralized location from which you can browse for and install packages in your cluster. Packages for additional IBM products are available from curated repositories that are included in the default IBM Cloud Private repository list. Your environment must be connected to the internet for you to access the charts for these packages.

To view a list of all the IBM Cloud Private charts, see github.com/IBM/charts/tree/master/stable.

Try it out today, it’s free!

This Certified Cloud Pak will help you deploy workloads faster and with a greater level of quality, abstracting Kubernetes administrative tasks as a set of user-friendly configurable options. You can get started today by downloading the community edition of IBM Cloud Private and fetching the Cloud Pak (Docker container + Helm chart) as described in the WebSphere Liberty Helm Chart readme on GitHub.

How does this relate to the IBM / Red Hat partnership for IBM Cloud Private and OpenShift?

In support of a recent partnership between IBM and Red Hat, the WebSphere team created an additional IBM WebSphere Application Server Liberty Continuous Delivery Release Cloud Pak for IBM Cloud Private with Red Hat OpenShift.

You get all the great values that were discussed in this post, with pre-built Docker containers based on Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL). More information can be found in Red Hat’s catalog, which provides information on how to retrieve this Certified Cloud Pak from Passport Advantage.

Senior Technical Staff Member | IBM Master Inventor | Application Integration Architect for Hybrid Cloud

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