A look at cloud computing in IBM WebSphere


If you are a technology vendor, chances are that your users want to know what you are doing in the cloud. IBM is certainly no different. I get user queries all the time asking about the IBM cloud strategy or IBM cloud solutions. Specifically, perhaps owing to my role, I get many questions about what we are doing in the cloud with our application middleware products. The simple answer is quite a bit. Of course, that answer only raises more questions and usually starts some interesting discussions.

This is why I am looking forward to an upcoming series of webcasts and podcasts that make up the Enabling Cloud Computing with WebSphere campaign. The campaign will provide a nice overview of the WebSphere cloud strategy as well as a deep dive into various solutions. The Global WebSphere Community is presenting the campaign, and you can check it out and sign up here.

Everything kicks off on September 7th with an overview session from both Don Boulia and Snehal Antani of the WebSphere product management team. These guys are going to lay out what cloud computing is to IBM WebSphere and why cloud computing in the middleware space is important to the enterprise. They will also set the stage for a week of deep-dive podcasts that discuss what we are doing to enable different cloud computing usage scenarios.

On the heels of the introductory webcasts, John Falkl, an IBM Distinguished Engineer, and Randy Heffner, a Principal Analyst from Forrester, will discuss what I believe is one of the most overlooked (at least in terms of online conversation) aspects of cloud: Governance. Specifically, this webcast will address some of the considerations for moving to the cloud and how governance is key to effectively leveraging the cloud.

After the opening two webcasts, there will be a series of podcasts made available through the Global WebSphere Community website. These podcasts dive deep and look at the various areas where WebSphere is working in the cloud. Here are some of the sessions on tap:

1) Deploying applications and application infrastructure into a private cloud: This session provides a deep look at the WebSphere CloudBurst Appliance and the associated set of IBM Hypervisor Edition virtual images. You will learn how to use these solutions to create, deploy, and manage virtualized application environments in your on-premise cloud.

2) Elastic data management in the cloud: Elasticity is important in cloud computing. The concept of elasticity extends to things like server capacity, storage resources, and, of course, data. The session will discuss how both WebSphere eXtreme Scale and the new WebSphere Data Power XC10 Appliance enable elastic data management for your cloud-based application environments.

3) Designing batch applications for the cloud: Because of the inherently temporal nature of many batch applications, they are often a good fit for the cloud. Listen in to hear the WebSphere take on batch applications in the cloud and learn a little about our Java batch container, WebSphere Compute Grid.

4) Dynamic scripting applications for the cloud: Increasingly developers are turning to the combination of cloud computing and dynamic scripting languages (PHP, Groovy, Python, etc.) to deliver situational applications. Learn how you can use WebSphere technologies such as WebSphere sMash and the WebSphere Application Server Feature Pack for Dynamic Scripting to do the same.

5) WebSphere Virtual Enterprise – A deep dive: Learn how to create an autonomic, policy-based application runtime using WebSphere Virtual Enterprise. You will learn how to use this technology to classify, prioritize, and intelligently route application traffic. In addition, you will learn about features that simplify application editioning in the face of constant availability requirements, and hear what you can do to create a self-healing environment.

6) WebSphere Data Power – Application Optimization (AO): Ultimately, cloud computing is about applications. Listen in to this session to hear about the application-oriented capabilities the WebSphere Data Power AO line brings to bear to enable more efficient application runtimes in your cloud environment.

7) Connect the cloud in days using Cast Iron Systems: Many predict hybrid cloud architectures will dominate the cloud landscape in years to come. Hear about how IBM Cast Iron Systems help connect on-premise applications with cloud-based applications using a template-based approach that eliminates the need for coding.

8) WebSpan Integration as a Service Cloud: Hear about this joint solution from HubSpan and IBM WebSphere that offers hybrid cloud connectivity services in a SaaS model.

These are not the only sessions on tap. We also have a session to explore how cloud computing is forcing an evolution of the way we look at application infrastructure toward a more application-centric view. Listen in to hear the IBM vision for the PaaS delivery model. Finally, to wrap everything up, we will have an online JAM where you can directly interact with WebSphere cloud experts and get your questions answered. I know the kickoff is still a few weeks out, but go ahead and put these sessions on your calendar today!

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