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Application modernization to IBM PureApplication System

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To stay ahead of the competition, IT practitioners need to provide a comprehensive solution for cloud.

Cloud is no longer new in terms of IT transformation, but to build and manage a complex cloud infrastructure is a big challenge for any organization adopting cloud as a private service or for a service provider who sells cloud infrastructure to businesses.

Organizations are facing challenges integrating various cloud components such as hardware, software, network, security, provisioning, various IT management tools and technology to work together.

As part of our organization, IBM Business Application Modernization (BAM), it was important for us to explore IBM PureApplication System (PureAS) capability and how we can offer a better competitive solution to our customers, considering various application portfolios to modernize into new IT environments, leveraging the value of PureAS in modernization space from an application point of view instead of hardware optimization only.

PureAS is an interface to build a standardized IT environment with a standardized hardware appliance integrated set of IBM middleware and tools. We considered all the following scenarios:

  • Application re-hosting: Modernize the application hosting environment from a distributed physical environment into virtualized environment which is part of PureAS.
  • Application portfolio rationalization: Analyze the current client IT environment and recommend the type of workload which can be moved to PureAS.
  • Application upgrade: Upgrade the client application middleware environment with latest middleware stack available in PureAS and leverage the best hardware and software solution for client.
  • Extension of cloud modernization: The best application workload candidate for cloud can be considered for PureAS as long it matches the middleware stack offered by PureAS.

We reviewed the following three patterns of the PureAS:

three patterns pureapplication system

We used Virtual System Patterns (V-sys Pattern), as our aim was to move a brown-field application from non-distributed environment to PureAS without re-engineering the application architecture or design. AS-IS Virtual Application Patterns (V-App) Pattern wasn’t a good fit as it needed component level migration which would have introduced risk and was more expensive in terms overall migration and testing effort. We didn’t opt for Virtual Appliance Pattern as it is closer to standard project of moving an application workload component from non-virtualized environment to virtualized environment. Our aim was to get a benefit application deployment process through automation.

Based on the above architectural decision, we considered the following:

    • A WebSphere® Application Server (WAS) Cluster pattern containing IBM Deployment Manager, one or more custom nodes,
    • IBM DB2 Enterprise Server pattern containing DB2 Server component with sample database and test data model.
    • IBM HTTP Server and configuration scripts for installing applications to the topology.

We considered a B2B application which supported sales and inventory reporting for the Asia-Pacific region. It was a web application which would accept daily business partner sales related information and propagates feeds to the other applications. It had a web front-end middleware service component along with large data storage in the back-end. The application would serve users through web front-end and other applications get fed from this in terms of service calls. The application was deployed in IBM blue network.

Solution highlights 

Technical Component Considered Source Environment Target Environment
Hardware IBM Power Environment IBM PureAS
Platform AIX 6.1 and SuSE Linux 10.3 Red Hat Linux V-Sys Pattern
V-sys Pattern Distributed Server environment [non-virtualized] IBM PureAS virtualized environment with V-sys pattern of DB2 and WAS/IHS
Database component DB2 9.7.x DB2 9.7 FP4
Middleware component WAS 7.0.x WAS 8.0.0.3 ND
IHS 7.0.x IHS 8.0.0.3
Application container J2EE 5.0 J2EE 6.0
Database Migration Technology used Export / Import as DB backup/restore don’t work due to cross OS platform and compatibility issue.

 

While doing this exercise, we realized the following benefits:

Significant time saved compared to traditional deployment model:

  • Creation of operation model and deploying the systems directly from the operation model: It works great
  • Automation of server configuration and additional scripts like WAS profile creation, HTTP server configuration, federation, DB2 driver installation
  • Build of servers and getting servers ready for application team to start their migration

Simplified experience:

  • Single point of management
  • Integrated monitoring and maintenance
  • Easy to integrate with existing environment

Integration by design:

  • Repeatable self service provisioning
  • Integrated and elastic application and data runtimes enable Platform as a Service
  • Application-aware workload management
  • Virtualized across the stack for efficiency

Based on our hands-on experience, we realized the development and test environment can be a potential environment to start for a client and get it institutionalized while the production environment migration can be addressed latter.

It saves significant time in the operational deployment and application release management in subsequent environments by developing a set of application deployment pattern which includes a set of product installation, complex configuration for shipping business model and optimization of environment to run the business operational in an optimal way. A respective virtual system (V-sys) pattern or virtual application pattern can be developed to model the development and test environment of various application stacks which can be re-used in recursive mode as needed on-demand.

Capacity management is definitely a potential use case which would benefit from PureAS as capacity planning can be done with more clear visibility of infrastructure usage and elastic features of infrastructure optimization of PureAS.

Configuration management is another beneficial use case where existing models from the catalog can be used recursively and various configured instances can be created to enrich the system catalog. Incident management may be another potential use case which can also get benefit in order to provide a better capacity planning forecast and best configuration model to support a given application environment. Complexity or effort of design authority with respect to infrastructure verification and viability assessment on application deployment can be optimized as repetitive deployment model makes the configuration more matured and well tested.

About the authors

Biswajit Mohapatra is an IBM Certified Consultant and Global Integrated Delivery Leader for IBM AMS Business Application Modernization (BAM) practice. Biswajit is IBM India Competency Head for Global Specialized Application Modernization (AM) and Conversions & Migration (C&M) Competency.   Biswajit has 17 years of multi-functional experience in the IT industry spanning across consulting, defining technology roadmap, solution architecting, offering incubation, technology innovation, solutioning, capacity and capability development, establishing practice based teams, large account management with P&L responsibility, customer/partner/alliance relationship management, heading delivery center of strategic business unit and leading global integrated delivery. Biswajit is experienced in using disciplines and tools of business process redesign, business architecture and technology innovation to help organizations realize their transformation objectives. Biswajit’s current responsibility includes growth of Application Portfolio Rationalization, Application Analysis and Implementation Roadmap, Business Rules Extraction, Porting, Conversion, Restructuring, Re-engineering, Consolidation, Web Enablement, Legacy to SOA and Cloud Modernization Business.

Debasis Roy Choudhuri is an IBM Certified Senior Architect and lead architect of Business Application Modernization, IBM Global delivery. He has 15 years Industry experience, encompassing a wide range of skill set, roles across the verticals. He is specialized in Application Infrastructure Design, Server Consolidation, Workload Migration from legacy system to various virtualized and cloud environment He has an extensive experience with architecture & design, customizations and implementation of various transformation solutions. He was involved several complex Data Center separation engagements since 2006. He is also Certification Review Board member for Architecture Review Board (India). He is currently working for cloud solution engagements for IBM ANZ clients.

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