Application Edition Management – IBM Websphere Application Server v8.5

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IBM® WebSphere® Application Server is the leading open standards-based application foundation, offering accelerated delivery of innovative applications and unmatched operational efficiency, reliability, administration, security, and control. The Version 8.5 is a major release that offers dramatic run time improvements, plus simpler and easier ways to develop and deploy applications. The new features, functions, and improvements in IBM Websphere Application Server V8.5 addresses the key areas of Developer Experience, Application Resiliency and Operational Control.

One of the significant new features provided by v8.5 is its Intelligent Management function from IBM’s WebSphere Virtual Enterprise that can minimize end-user outages, maximizes operational monitoring and control over the production environment. The biggest news under the theme of Application Resiliency is probably the integration of the features from WebSphere Virtual Enterprise into WebSphere Application Server Network Deployment V8.5. This merge allows single WebSphere Application Server Network Deployment installation to deliver the traditional Network Deployment functions, as well as WebSphere Virtual Enterprise functions.

The former WebSphere Virtual Enterprise functions are now characterized as ‘Intelligent Management’ features in new Network Deployment V8.5 which encompasses:

  • Intelligent routing
  • Application edition management
  • Dynamic clustering
  • Health management

All of the above cited features are great and worth talking about, however we would like to focus on Application edition management feature for now and discuss how it helps in achieving application resiliency.

Application Edition Management

Application edition management enables management of interruption-free production application deployments. Using this feature, you can validate a new edition of an application in your production environment without affecting users, 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 ODR maintains not only traditional application state (for example, HTTP session) affinity, but also application version affinity. The ability to queue requests is also employed with the Intelligent Management application edition function if an “atomic” application update that allows pre-provisioning of a new application version, and an “atomic” update of all users from the old application version to the new application version, is desired.

In order to achieve the aforementioned functionality, a tool is also provided known as Application edition manager.

Following images show two screens in which an application ‘App1′ is shown with two editions and further available options to work with the editions. This can be expanded to a big scale depending on the requirement.

Fig.1.

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Fig.2.

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Application Edition Manager: The application edition manager ensures interruption-free production application deployments. Interruption-free deployment prevents loss of service when you install an application update in your environment.

The application edition manager provides an application versioning model that supports multiple deployments of the same application in the Intelligent Management cell. Each deployment has a unique edition name. The application edition manager allows you to select the edition to activate on an Intelligent Management cluster, so that you can perform a rollout of an application update or revert to a previous level.

The application edition manager is fully integrated with Intelligent Management, interacting with the On Demand Router (ODR), dynamic workload balancing, and the application placement manager. This integration ensures predictable application behavior when you apply application updates, and a smooth transition from one application edition to another while the system continues to manage your application performance goals. You can access application update processes with the administrative console, including edition activation across the application servers. Scripting application programming interfaces enable the integration of edition management functions with automated application deployment.

WebSphere Application Server includes an administrative function called rollout update. Rollout update provides a basic application upgrade, but is not interruption-free. The application edition manager is the preferred way to upgrade applications. The application edition manager supports your overall application life cycle, and enables application updates and seamless, interruption-free application deployments to your production environment.

The Value addition by Application Edition Management

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