Use Cases for WebSphere CloudBurst
I've been out visiting with various user groups and customers this week to talk with them about the WebSphere CloudBurst Appliance.
The concept of patterns introduced by WebSphere CloudBurst usually becomes the center of the discussion. These patterns allow users to build and save full representations of WebSphere Application Server middleware environments. WebSphere CloudBurst then allows users to deploy these patterns into a private cloud resulting in quicker, more consistent WebSphere Application server deployments. The appliance also provides facilities to quickly reclaim the resources used by such deployments.
Almost immediately the benefit of using WebSphere CloudBurst in dynamic environments (i.e. test/dev environments) becomes apparent. Users can build and save WebSphere Application Server configurations, quickly deploy those configurations, and reclaim the resources used by those configurations in a rapid manner.
One of the things I've tried to point out during our discussions is that while WebSphere CloudBurst is ideally suited for environments like test/dev, that doesn't mean it can't bring real benefits to a more static production environment.
To start with, the idea of the fidelity of a WebSphere Application Server configuration from development to test to production is compelling. By using WebSphere CloudBurst patterns, the hand-off of an application environment between different teams is expressed as a WebSphere CloudBurst pattern instead of as documents and collections of scripts. This goes a long way in ensuring a smooth production deployment once development and test are satisfied with the environment.
Another extremely powerful feature of WebSphere CloudBurst, particularly with respect to production environments, is the ability to apply both interim fixes and service level upgrades to running WebSphere Application Server environments. Using the WebSphere CloudBurst GUI, users can select virtual systems that were created by the appliance and apply either an interim fix or upgrade the service level of the system. Even better, before the fix or upgrade is applied, WebSphere CloudBurst automatically takes a snapshot of the virtual system. If there are any problems, users can rollback to the previous state of the virtual system by simply clicking a button!
There's little doubt that the most apparent, initial value of WebSphere CloudBurst is likely to be in test and development environments. However, that does not mean the appliance isn't suited for production environments. In fact, it provides many features that make WebSphere Application Server production environments more predictable and easy to maintain. Check out some of the WebSphere CloudBurst content on our community page to learn more about WebSphere CloudBurst in both test/dev and production environments.
-- Dustin Amrhein