IBM Support

Container Deployment Support Policy: WebSphere Liberty

General Page

WebSphere Liberty, a component of the WebSphere Application Server family of products, is supported when deployed in Containers in any Container environment that supports OCI (Open Container Initiative) containers.  This includes, but is not limited to, Kubernetes-based and non-Kubernetes-based Container Orchestration Platform such as Red Hat OpenShift, Azure AKS, Azure App Service, AWS EKS, AWS ECS, and IBM Cloud Kubernetes Service.  The key requirements is the platforms support OCI containers (e.g. Docker containers).

Standard support for Open Liberty, the upstream open source project for WebSphere Liberty, is available through some editions and versions of the WebSphere Application Server family of products. Where this is the case, the Container Deployment Support Policy described herein also applies to Open Liberty when used under the appropriate entitlement.

Container Deployment Support Policy: WebSphere Liberty

The Liberty runtime is optimized for container-based deployments on-premise and in public clouds.  Many of Liberty's capabilities have been designed to make it an ideal choice for container-based deployments.  These include thread-pool auto-tuning, continuous delivery releases and zero migration, deploying just enough runtime for your application, and low memory utilisation and high throughput.

A Liberty application container typically consists of four types of content;  Liberty runtime, Java, OS (Operating System), and Other (e.g. customer application, configuration, and third-party libraries).  Support for these content types is available as follows:
  1. Liberty runtime: when used under appropriate entitlement, IBM will accept a support request for issues relating to the Liberty runtime.  As is the case with non-container deployments, support may request logs, dumps and tests to reproduce.  In more problematic cases support may require the client's help in liaising with the container environment provider (e.g. public cloud provider).
  2. Java: when an appropriate Java is used with an entitled Liberty runtime, IBM will accept a support request for issues relating to the Java (e.g. JRE) used.  Examples of appropriate Java's include OpenJDK (OpenJ9 or HotSpot) builds from AdoptOpenJDK , and IBM Java 8.
  3. OS: support for the OS content is not covered by Liberty entitlements.
  4. Other: support for all other container contents are outside the scope of WebSphere Liberty entitlement.

Container images

Building and deploying your own OCI Liberty container images does not affect your Liberty support entitlement.

As part of Liberty's continuous delivery release cycle, IBM makes available best-practice container images as often as every 4 weeks for both WebSphere Liberty and Open Liberty based on both Red Hat UBI (Universal Base Image) and Ubuntu OS images:

The UBI-based Liberty images are not marked as 'official' by Docker Hub because the UBI images on which they are based are not marked official. Images marked official by Docker Hub are built by Docker Hub, the Liberty images based on UBI are built by IBM.  The fact these images are not in an official repository does not affect your support entitlement.

The instructions, scripts and Dockerfiles used to create these images are available in open source for you to build your own container images:

Container orchestration platforms

Your use of an on-premise or public cloud Container Orchestration Platform does not affect your Liberty support entitlement, provided the platform supports, and Liberty is deployed in, OCI containers.  

Liberty support is provided when deployed under appropriate entitlement, in any Container Orchestration Platform.  This includes, but is not limited to, Kubernetes-based and non-Kubernetes-based Container Orchestration Platforms such as Red Hat OpenShift, Azure AKS, Azure App Service, AWS EKS, AWS ECS, and IBM Cloud Kubernetes Service.  In problematic cases, in addition to requesting logs, dumps and tests to reproduce, IBM may require the client's help in liaising with the Container Orchestration Platform provider (e.g. public cloud provider).

To help with Liberty deployment and management in Kubernetes-based platforms, IBM has made available the Open Liberty Operator.  This operator is intended for use with both WebSphere Liberty and Open Liberty in Kubernetes-based platforms that support the operator framework, including Red Hat OpenShift.

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Document Information

Modified date:
16 October 2020

UID

ibm16349145