WebSphere Application Server version 8.5 ships the Intelligent Management pack which offers application server virtualization, resource management, performance visualization, health management, and application edition management, which are collectively referred to as dynamic operations. Earlier these dynamic operations were part of the product WebSphere Virtual Enterprise, now it is rolled to WebSphere Application Server version 8.5 Network Deployment editions.
You can use Intelligent Management offerings to enhance operational efficiency by deploying dynamic operations, service high-volume transactional workloads with linear scalability and high availability, and manage large scale, continuously available application server environment. By configuring application infrastructure virtualization with Intelligent Management, you can pool together resources to accommodate the fluctuations of workload in your environment and increase the quality of service.
Application infrastructure virtualization
Typically, applications and resources are statically bound to a specific server. Some of these applications might experience periodic increases in load, and the application may become unavailable during a period of high demand but it may last a short time; you must build your IT infrastructures to be able to accommodate these peaks, which is a very costly IT investment.
In the virtualized dynamic operations environment of Intelligent Management, the static relationship is replaced with a dynamic relationship with looser coupling of applications or resources and server instances by deploy applications to dynamic clusters, which can expand and contract depending on the workload in your environment. You can separate applications from the physical infrastructure on which they are hosted. Workloads can then be dynamically placed and migrated across a pool of application server resources, which allows the infrastructure to dynamically adapt and respond to business needs. Requests are prioritized and intelligently routed to respond to the most critical applications and users.
Benefits of Application infrastructure virtualization
Improved management of software and applications: Management using automated services and operational policies, less error-prone.
Allocation of software resources: Dynamic reallocation of resources can be based on load among applications.
Increased number of applications: More applications can run in a virtualized application environment than in a static configuration.
Reduced configuration complexity: Loosened coupling reduces the overall complexity and provides for a better, more usable environment.
The On-Demand Router (ODR), which is a specialized Java-based proxy server that classifies and dispatches the incoming requests, across the application server environment. The ODR classifies incoming HTTP and SIP requests and then works in conjunction with other Intelligent Management “decision makers” to route workload. Requests are prioritized and routed based upon administrator-defined rules, called service policies, which are used to specify application response time goals.
The dynamic clusters function of Intelligent Management can automatically scale up and down the number of running cluster members as needed in order to meet response time goals for your users. You can leverage overload protection to limit the rate at which the ODR forwards traffic to application servers to prevent heap exhaustion, CPU exhaustion, or both types of exhaustion from occurring.
Application edition management
Application edition management enables management of interruption-free production application deployments, the ability to upgrade while maintaining application continuous availability. In other words, users of the application experience no loss of service during the application upgrade.
Using this feature, you can validate and deploy a new edition of an application in your production environment and upgrade your applications without incurring user outages. You can also run multiple editions of a single application concurrently, directing different users to different editions, as the On-Demand Router (ODR) maintains not only traditional application state (for example, HTTP session) affinity, but also application version affinity.
Intelligent Management provides a health management feature to monitor the status of your application servers, as well as sense and respond to problem areas before an outage occurs. You can manage the health of your application serving environment with a policy-driven approach that enables specific actions to occur when monitored criteria are met.
For example, if a memory leak is detected, a replacement application server instance can be started, and direct workload to it, the memory leak detected application server can be placed into maintenance mode, and the administrative or operations staff can automatically be notified.