WebSphere Application Server & Liberty

WebSphere 9.0.5 - Your Operational Modernization Begins Here

By Michael Thompson posted Thu April 04, 2019 12:10 PM


WebSphere 9.0.5 - Your Operational Modernization Begins Here


Enterprises are being challenged like never before to be innovative, to be disruptors, to go faster and do more with less. To meet this challenge, the way applications are designed, built, deployed and managed has evolved. The way IT was done 10 years ago is insufficient – modern applications rely on new architectures, powerful platforms, intelligent automation, and integrated cross-disciplinary teams. And yet all of the IT assets and investments from the last 20+ years are still around, are still business critical, and need to find a path forward to the modern world. Enter the application and operational modernization journey.


The Modernization Journey

Modernization is a strategic journey navigated over time where you transform your existing assets and environments to conform with modern best practices. Application and operational modernization are becoming imperatives for organizations and it is important to understand that each has different benefits, starting assumptions and drivers throughout the journey.

Application modernization, by its very nature, is a developer activity. Whether the application is refactored into microservices, augmented with new services like AI or blockchain, or is simply updated to run on the latest APIs and runtime stack, application modernization requires the development team to change the application. This modernization process presents an opportunity to solve scalability, reliability, and performance problems in existing applications.

By contrast, operational modernization is driven by the IT operations team when they are empowered to embrace new platforms and management tools which do not require changing the application or its architecture. Operational modernization presents an opportunity for organizations to streamline skills and technologies in order to reduce total cost of ownership.

Which modernization journey you begin with depends on the needs and capacity of your organization. It is not uncommon for organizations to dedicate developer time to explore building new applications and environments without dedicating time to explore the modernization effort of the existing asserts and environments. This can lead to divergent environments: the “old” and the “new”.

The reality is that existing and modern application environments will exist side-by-side for an extended period of time, potentially indefinitely as business priorities dictate. Instead of treating these application environments as two distinct worlds (i.e. “old” and “new”) it is critical to manage both assets as one environment in order to leverage your existing IT investment and drive innovation with speed and agility.

The operational modernization journey blends the “old” and “new” environments by creating a common management interface. It enables the operations team to move forward, without needing to put change requirements on the development team, and to embrace modern operations best practices in order to prepare for the transformation to containers and cloud native applications. Operational modernization is a powerful first step to the application modernization journey.


Begin Your Operational Modernization Journey with WebSphere Application Server 9.0.5

Success in the modern era depends on how effectively enterprises transform IT to bring increased agility and speed to their existing business. Enterprises need to embrace new technologies and applications while leveraging their existing IT investment. WebSphere customers are no exception. The latest release of WebSphere Application Server, version 9.0.5, offers three new options for enterprises to accelerate the transformation and modernization of their WebSphere environments. Here are the key highlights for the release:

  1. Application Navigator & Kubernetes platform services: Begin your operational modernization transformation to Kubernetes for existing WAS cells and Liberty collectives with the Application Navigator, a new application-centric dashboard, and Kubernetes platform logging and monitoring services provided at no additional charge. Without changing your applications or their environment you can begin to manage existing applications as if they were in containers.
  2. Enterprise application analysis for Liberty: Get integrated advice on moving applications to a runtime designed for cloud with the new enterprise application analysis in the WAS Administrative Console. When you run the scanner, a detailed and actionable report is generated on the readiness of the applications to move to Liberty and optionally to Java 11 as well.
  3. IBM Cloud Pak for Applications: Fully embrace your modernization journey with a highly flexible offering that delivers all of the tools needed to transform applications and operations to a modern application platform. The IBM Cloud Pak for Applications is the ultimate modernization solution, offering a clear and definitive path to adopt a full container platform at your own pace. Current WebSphere Application Server license holders can easily trade up to IBM Cloud Pak for Applications.
  4. No Migration for WAS V9: WebSphere Application Server version 9.0.5 flows directly from the existing WAS V9 service stream and will replace the scheduled fix pack. All existing WAS V9 customers can directly update to from (or any prior WAS 9.0.0.x version). Movement from WAS 8.5.5 to WAS 9.0.5 will still be a migration as it would be today.

WebSphere Application Server 9.0.5 accelerates your transformation to a modern application platform by providing a clear, prescriptive operational modernization journey. You begin by managing existing WAS workloads from the Kubernetes platform with Application Navigator & the Kubernetes platform services. This ensures a seamless operational experience when applications are ultimately deployed in Liberty containers with the guidance provided in the enterprise application analysis reports. Begin adopting container-style management for your existing workloads with WAS ND 9.0.5, and shift into containers with IBM Cloud Pak for Applications.

In addition to these new modernization resources, the WebSphere Application Server 9.0.5 release will reset the ‘Enhanced 5+3 Support Lifecycle’. Effective from the generally available release date of version 9.0.5, all WAS V9 customers will start a new five year minimum term of standard support with the option for at least three additional years of extended support after that.

WebSphere continues to innovate enterprise management of Java EE applications, evolving towards enterprise container strategies and cloud-based deployments with the release of WAS 9.0.5. With this latest release, WebSphere clients will be able to efficiently and confidently modernize their mission critical applications and operations while ensuring investment protection.


Get Ready for Containers with Application Navigator and Kubernetes-based services

Modernization can be a daunting with no clear place to start. WAS 9.0.5 provides a clear, structured path to begin moving existing WebSphere applications into containers. At the heart of this transformation is the Application Navigator – a new integrated application dashboard which provides a hybrid view of WebSphere applications deployed in containers, traditional WAS cells, and Liberty collectives.

From a single pane of glass, you can see all of your applications irrespective of where or how they are deployed – enabling a multi-cell, multi-collective view of your existing WAS real estate. The Application Navigator delivers a streamlined management experience for visibility, problem determination, and contextual actions across a variety of environments: cells, collectives and containers.

Application Navigator runs in a Kubernetes environment, and WAS ND 9.0.5 makes the Kubernetes platform logging and monitoring services available for use by the existing WAS installs at no additional charge. By directing the WAS and application logs into Kubernetes-based logging and monitoring services deeper insights about the applications can be obtained.

This breadth of visibility combined with centralized logging and monitoring enables a smooth transition from traditional styles of deployments to modern containerized deployments. When the application is containerized, the logs and monitoring will remain in the platform’s logging and monitoring services ensuring a consistent, smooth operations experience. Whenever you plan to move to containers, WAS ND 9.0.5 provides the tools to get started with the operational experience.


Analyze the readiness of your applications for Liberty and make the move to the Cloud

Understanding the effort to move your existing applications to Liberty has never been easier. New functionality integrated into the WAS Administrative Console quickly analyzes your application then shows you their level of readiness to be moved to Liberty, and optionally to Java 11. Simply select the enterprise applications to analyze and run the scanner, which generates a detailed, easy-to-consume, migration report that provides guidance to move your apps to Liberty. A summary of the results also is displayed directly within the enterprise applications collection of the admin console, which makes it easy to identify the "low hanging fruit" that can be moved to Liberty already and to develop a plan for modernizing the rest of the application portfolio.

IBM Cloud Transformation Advisor, which is available at no charge from the IBM Cloud Garage or the IBM Cloud Private Marketplace, is another more comprehensive modernization planning and analysis tool. Transformation Advisor not only examines your applications but also their configuration, shared libraries and other resources, and then provides a migration plan with options for moving the applications to container-based deployments. When you are ready to make the move, 'simple' applications can be easily transformed to containerized Liberty instances and automatically deployed to the cloud with the click of a single button! For applications that Transformation Advisor categorize as 'moderate' and 'complex,' important customized assets, recommendations and tools for modernizing and preparing them for appropriate cloud deployments are provided.


Reset Enhanced Support Lifecycle

IBM understands that every client has their own modernization strategy. In support this, effective from the generally available release date of version 9.0.5, the WAS V9 ‘Enhanced 5+3 Support Lifecycle’ will be reset, starting a new five year minimum term of standard support with the option for at least three additional years of extended support after that. The Support Lifecycle reset and IBM Cloud Pak for Applications offering enable WAS customers to modernize at their own pace, in their own time.


What else is in WAS 9.0.5?

Since the WAS V9 release in 2016, many enhancements have been made to the WAS family of runtimes. The Liberty runtime now supports Java EE 8, Eclipse MicroProfile, Spring Boot and Java 11. The WAS Liberty runtime, based on the Open Liberty project, is a single, continuous delivery, code stream. Since its inception, Liberty has delivered the latest programming models in a continuous delivery fashion. Starting in 2019, Liberty is now on a 4-week delivery cycle, enabling even faster access to the latest technologies for Java application developers. We are pleased to celebrate, as part of the WAS 9.0.5 release the many continued enhancements of the modular, fit-for-purpose, cloud-ready Liberty runtime. Use of the WebSphere Liberty runtime’s single continuous delivery stream continues to be entitled as part of WAS 9.0.5, in addition to WAS 8.5.5.


Join us in an interactive webinar to learn more!

Join us on the upcoming April 23rd webinar 3 New Ways to help you get to containers with WebSphere ND to engage with WebSphere experts who will describe the new modernization options in the WAS 9.0.5 release. Come learn how you can get started on your operational modernization journey right away.