Extending Automation to an Embedded WebSphere Application Server

4 min read

WebSphere® Automation is an on-premises solution that helps you manage WebSphere Application Server and WebSphere Liberty deployments.

WebSphere Automation helps you manage the security and health of WebSphere Application Server and WebSphere Application Server Liberty installations, no matter where they are installed. With version 1.4.3, WebSphere Automation now supports WebSphere Application Server and WebSphere Liberty when embedded in other products, such as Portal, Maximo and FileNet.

WebSphere Automation can help manage WebSphere in any environment, including the following:

  • Bare metal and virtual machines
  • Containers
  • Stand-alone installations
  • Embedded in other products

Reduce the maintenance burden for WebSphere anywhere

Software maintenance is a necessary (but often complex and costly) aspect of enterprise software. Whether embedded in your favorite product — like FileNet or Maximo — or deployed to support your enterprise applications, WebSphere Automation can help reduce the maintenance of your WebSphere Application Servers.

WebSphere Automation can reduce the challenge of software maintenance in the following ways:

  • Ensuring that the latest security patches are applied
  • Providing visibility from a centralized dashboard to know what is vulnerable
  • Managing the WebSphere patch level with fixes and updates
  • Tracking the patch history in order to easily demonstrate compliance
  • Identifying the root causes of memory leaks

"The WebSphere Automation product offers significant opportunities for administrators to reduce their maintenance costs and to ensure that their systems are kept secure." — Mark Robbins, Design Authority, Vetasi.

Ensuring that the latest security patches are applied with CVE Detection

The IT security landscape creates very real and ever-changing maintenance challenges for IT operations teams and service providers. Cybersecurity vulnerabilities, also called CVEs, are being discovered and published at an accelerating rate. Knowing what is vulnerable is important because operations teams are increasingly expected to provide security vulnerability information and to mitigate software vulnerabilities in a matter of weeks, if not days. These expectations can be challenging to meet, particularly for cases where WebSphere is embedded, because customers do not typically upgrade their WebSphere installations unless advised to do so as part of a fault investigation or an annual upgrade cycle. WebSphere fixes are regularly released, and delaying the installation of the latest fix pack can leave their installation vulnerable to security threats.

WebSphere Automation makes it easy to know what vulnerabilities need to be addressed with automatic CVE Detection and allows administrators to take remediation actions by deploying fixes quickly with automated Fix Deployment.

Managing the WebSphere patch level with Fix Deployment

IBM recognize that administering and maintaining WebSphere installations are often only a small part of an administrator’s role. Administrators and operations teams enable business innovation by enabling cloud adoption, application modernization or other digital transformation initiatives. Automation helps reduce the time administrators and operations teams need to spend on software maintenance so that they can focus on these important strategic initiatives and other aspects of their job.

WebSphere Automation reduces the time spent on the software update management tasks with automated Fix Deployment, which automates the download and installation of patches to WebSphere installations. Organizations can be confident that their systems are up to date with the latest security patches since WebSphere Automation will alert the operations team when new vulnerabilities are discovered and assist in remediation by automating the steps to deploy the fix. Teams can quickly verify their systems are no longer vulnerable to problems with automated Fix History, which provies an audit history of when a vulnerability was fixed.

Tracking the patch history with Fix History

WebSphere Automation automatically tracks the patch history of installations so administrators can quickly understand what is installed and when it was installed. Whether the fix was installed using WebSphere Automation or some other process, such as custom scripts or third-party tools, WebSphere Automation records exactly when and how a CVE was resolved. Patch history is an important aspect of change management, as it allows teams to confirm and demonstrate that a particular CVE has been resolved.

Identifying the root causes of memory leaks with Memory Leak Analysis

Applications are constantly evolving, and enterprises often have a mix of home-grown enterprise applications and vendor applications. WebSphere administrators are responsible for deploying these applications and ensuring they are healthy. Badly behaved applications can cause a JVM to fail, and investigating the root cause can take time, even for experienced administrators.

WebSphere Automation integrates with IBM Instana Observability to automatically diagnose memory leaks when they are detected. Instana actively monitors the servers in the WebSphere installation. When Instana detects a memory leak in progress, it notifies WebSphere to start diagnostics. The automated diagnostics steps gather the heap dump and bring it back to WebSphere Automation for analysis. Once analyzed, a report is created that identifies the most likely culprit of the leak. The report and the supporting files can be exported and shared with application development team or application vendor.

Automation capabilities for WebSphere Application Server

WebSphere Automation delivers capabilities for WebSphere Application Server, embedded or standalone:

  • CVE Detection
  • Fix History
  • Fix Deployment
  • Memory Leak Analysis

For embedded scenarios, the Proactive CVE protection for WebSphere capabilities (CVE Detection, Fix History, and Fix Deployment) are limited to WebSphere Application Server, WebSphere Liberty and IBM Java™ SDK. WebSphere Automation does not provide these features for the product embedding WebSphere. The memory leak features can be used with the embedded product because it runs in WebSphere, which helps reduce time to resolution on disruptive memory leaks.

Get started

Try WebSphere Automation for yourself with the hosted trial available on IBM Cloud, or learn more about WebSphere Automation on our site.

Be the first to hear about news, product updates, and innovation from IBM Cloud