Enterprise Architects Appreciate “Lean”

Standing out from our conversations with dozens of Enterprise Architects at last week’s Forrester Enterprise Architecture Summit 2011 in The cloud descends on San Francisco for the Forrester EA Summit 2011 [Jonathan Marsh from the Golden Gate Bridge 2/16/2011]San Francisco was the interest in and appreciation of “lean” approaches to integration challenges.  From a lot of nodding in the room after Paul’s assertion that a lean solution was a key factor in eBay’s choice to use the WSO2 ESB in their ultra-scale deployments, to expo floor conversations with Enterprise Architects who are tired of suffering under bloated old industrial middleware and perking up at the idea that this is not inevitable, I came away with the impression that we may be on the cusp of a “lean” wave.

Let me be clear, while the WSO2 Carbon platform is lean it’s not skinny.  Through a sophisticated componentization model based on OSGi, there are hundreds of features to choose from, comprising a complete middleware platform from data to screen.  You just don’t typically need them all at once.

What are some of the factors that are driving the lean movement?  I think they include:

  • Simplified installation, configuration, and provisioning.
  • Low resource use, specifically modest disk and memory footprints.
  • High performance as a result of a simple straight-line approach to the problem at hand.
  • Immense productivity and reliability gains which occur when a tool addresses the problem at hand directly, not through multiple layers of generalization and abstraction.

This lean mentality kind of reminds me of my Microsoft days during which Windows Server Data Center Edition was introduced.  DC is essentially a version of Windows Server stripped down to its leanest, most performant and secure core.  It surprised me at the time that they charged significantly more for less actual code.  But it does demonstrate the value proposition of “lean,” and why it may now be a trending topic in the field of Enterprise Architecture.

Jonathan Marsh, VP Business Development and Marketing
Jonathan’s blog: http://jonathanmarsh.net/blog

Think Again.

Tomorrow at the Forrester Enterprise Architecture Forum 2011 (WSO2 is a Gold Sponsor and talking about Ultra-scale deployments) we are launching a new campaign – the “Think Again” campaign.  The theme of our booth and materials is:

Think there’s nothing new in middleware?  Think Again.

This campaign idea originated during a conversation we had recently during an investor analysis of WSO2 technology and business.  The comment was “WSO2 is the only new thing in the middleware space.”  We received similar excitement from analysts over our platform at the Gartner AADI conference last year, a recognition that our deliverables today match the Platform-as-a-Service vision predicted at the conference for five years out.

The foundations of this claim are solid:

  • Our lean and modular approach is unique and provides clear customer value.
  • Our cloud-native platform gives you a full range of deployment options, from on-premise server installations, virtualized environments on- or off-premise, or fully multi-tenant, elastic cloud deployments on public or private infrastructure.
  • And our open source business model and world-class support services raise the bar on software vendor-customer relationships.

A small taste of the campaign is available at http://wso2.com/thinkagain.

So, think we’re just a low-cost alternative to IBM, Oracle, Tibco, and the rest?  Think again.

Jonathan Marsh, VP Business Development and Marketing
Jonathan’s blog: http://jonathanmarsh.net/blog

WSO2 Workshop tours: an easy intro to an easy platform

The workshop series just completed in the US (San Jose, Salt Lake City, Orlando) was attended by a diverse set of people having interests in the platform and on particular set of products. I had the pleasure of meeting people who were there to build their own skills in imageSOA, Cloud, and WSO2 technology and those who were looking to evaluate and potentially deploy WSO2 platform in the enterprise.

Since the workshops run pretty much like a discussion with lots of white boarding and demonstrations, everyone is able to pose their questions and get a clear understanding of the platform. It was quite interesting to hear from people who have already used WSO2 as well as from those who have not.  The questions ranged from “What exactly does an ESB provide to an enterprise?” to “What mechanisms support LDAP within the WSO2 Identity Server?” to “Tell me in concrete terms what is Cloud?”

One particular message that echoed throughout this workshop series was the fact that WSO2 technology is very easy to understand. Within the short span of one day, the audience learns the product well enough to run a basic end-to-end scenario and literally start to answer each others questions! That is a pleasant moment to experience. :-)

I’m sure as much as the audience learned from WSO2, we learned from them as well. Nothing like a teaching moment to bring home both the great ease of use of the product — and what can be even easier to achieve the same effect. The simplicity and straightforwardness of the product are prime ingredients on which the WSO2 platform is built, and we continually strive to improve on these goals through user contact opportunities like the workshop.

My thanks to everyone who came to visit us and give us the time to share the world of WSO2. We’re planning many more workshops this year, on a wider array of topics, and we hope to meet even more of you through these great events.  Keep an eye on the WSO2 events calendar — and let us know where you’d like to see a workshop!

Devaka Randeniya, Director of Sales
Devaka’s Blog: http://devakar.blogspot.com/

A WSO2 First: Multi-Tenant Tomcat WebApps

In a previous post I talked about the advantages of unifying Web Applications and Web Services or APIs into a single server runtime.  And about some of the advantages of making Apache Tomcat part of the WSO2 Carbon family.

Tomcat LogoBut there possibly isn’t any aspect of a Carbon-based Tomcat more exciting than combining it with the power of WSO2 Stratos, the WSO2 Carbon-based cloud middleware platform.  Stratos provides hosting on the cloud with all the advantages that implies: the agility of instant self-service provisioning, elasticity to automatically scale up with business peaks and down as demand subsides, the efficiencies of multi-tenant architecture, and greater intelligence through full monitoring and metering.

As a WSO2 Carbon family product, this means Tomcat Web applications can be deployed on the cloud!  Either on your private cloud infrastructure, or on the WSO2 public cloud, relieving your businesses of the chore of maintaining their own IT infrastructure.

We’re very proud to offer the first commercial release of Tomcat available as either server-based software, a virtual machine image, or as a multi-tenant platform as a service (PaaS) on private or public clouds.

You can try the Tomcat WebApp samples, deploy your own WebApp, and more at https://appserver.cloud.wso2.com.

Afkham Azeez, Senior Architect and Senior Manager

Azeez’s blog: http://blog.afkham.org/

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